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Tale on the Importance of Tolerance in One's Life!

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  • Divya Venkat
    THE GREAT SAINT TUKARAM AND HIS WIFE Tukaram was a great saint of Maharashtra. He was always singing bhajans. Once on a festival, some teenagers came to
    Message 1 of 13 , May 2, 2006
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      THE GREAT SAINT TUKARAM AND HIS WIFE

      Tukaram was a great saint of Maharashtra. He was
      always singing bhajans.

      Once on a festival, some teenagers came to Tukaram.
      They, being mischievous said, ''Sing some funky raag
      or song.'' Tukaram refused.

      So the teenagers grabbed hold of Tukaram and shaved
      off all the hair from his head. They then painted his
      head white with lime. As if this was not enough they
      sat him backwards on a donkey and gave him the
      donkey's tail to hold! They garlanded him with a
      garland made of carrots and brinjals. They then took
      him all around the village, shouting and making fun of
      poor Tukaram all the way.

      When Tukaram's wife Jaanbai saw this, she burst into
      tears.

      But Tukaram said to her, ''Why are you crying? What
      wrong has been done? My hair was long and I didn't
      have the money to cut it, so the kids cut it free of
      charge! And I also have dandruff but now the lime will
      cure it. And when we got married did we have a
      procession? No, so we had it today! Plus the vegetable
      garland will do as food for a few days.''

      Tukaram was very humble. Another person would have
      been greatly insulted. He tolerated everything, and
      now the whole of Maharashtra sings the praises of
      Tukaram and Jaanbai.

      SPIRITUAL COMMENTARY

      One must have tolerance and patience in every act so
      that one would have the clarity to extract positivity
      even from a negative situation. Tolerance leads to
      tremendous amount of optimistic thinking and approach
      to anything in life.

      Saadhana or Spiritual practise needs be done in a
      disciplined, systematic manner, in an atmosphere of
      virtue. Just as we use fans to cool the scorching
      atmosphere during summer, so too the fans of tolerance
      and patience is needed to overcome the sweltering heat
      of Ajnaana, Asathya, Anyaaya and Akrama (ignorance,
      falsehood, injustice and indiscipline). In a world
      where Dharma is being insulted and denied at every
      turn, peace and tolerance are the roads through which
      man can save himself.

      In every act, have tolerance, patience and mutual
      help. In the family, cultivate patience and mutual
      respect; in the community, have Dharma and justice; in
      the community of people, have the ideal of peace. Thus
      it is important to have complete tolerance for people
      of other races, cultures, nationalities, and
      religions.

      Living becomes a glorious experience only when it is
      sweetened by tolerance and love. Willingness to
      compromise with others¡¯ ways of living and
      cooperation in common tasks, these make living happy
      and fruitful.

      The Mahabharatha declares: "What is not in Bharath
      (India) does not deserve reverential consideration";
      and in Bharath, the message has always been:
      tolerance, respect for all faiths and the practice of
      the essential teachings of love and service with
      giving up of hatred, envy and pride - Sai Baba

      Only Love can create tolerance and compassion, and God
      reveals Himself to those with tolerance and
      compassion. Thus when we have a heart full of love and
      compassion for others, we can acquire great moral and
      spiritual strength to face any challenge in the world
      in the positive light.




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    • Divya Venkat
      THE KING AND HIS THREE QUESTIONS Once a king wanted to know answers to three questions about which he had been contemplating for a long time. One day the king
      Message 2 of 13 , May 3, 2006
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        THE KING AND HIS THREE QUESTIONS

        Once a king wanted to know answers to three questions
        about which he had been contemplating for a long time.

        One day the king raised these questions in his Court
        Hall. The questions were:

        1.Where is God?
        2.In what direction does He cast His look?
        3.What does He do?

        None could answer these questions.

        The King then summoned with due honour a sage to his
        court. He asked the sage to answer these questions.

        The Sage replied: "Like butter in the milk God is
        everywhere".

        To answer the second question the sage asked for a
        lamp. He lit the lamp and asked the King: "In which
        direction does this lamp shed its light?" The lamp
        sheds its light in all the directions" replied the
        king. The sage said "Likewise God is Effulgence itself
        and His vision is not directed to a particular place
        or person. He is all seeing".

        The king asked: "What does He do?" The sage said:
        "Since I am in a way instructing you in spiritual
        matters, I am in the position of a preceptor, you a
        disciple. So we have to exchange our places. Are you
        prepared for this?" The king agreed and came down from
        his elevated position and sat on the seat in which the
        sage sat.

        The sage said with a twinkle in his eyes: "This is
        what God does. He brings down the mighty and elevates
        the humble. He can make the poor rich and the rich
        poor. He can do anything. He is all pervading. He is
        all seeing and Omnipotent."

        The king was very much pleased with these answers. He
        expressed his gratitude to the sage and honoured him
        in a fitting manner.

        SPIRITUAL COMMENTARY

        Like the king in the story, every one of us should try
        to understand the true characteristics of God: God is
        Omnipresent, Omniscient, and Omnipotent.

        God is the infinite Being who is immanent in everyone
        and everything and who transcends everyone and
        every­thing in the universe; He (or She if you prefer)
        is thus omni­present; and He is also omniscient and
        omnipotent.

        This life and the worlds we see are the play or
        display of His infinite powers and potenials; He is
        the Original Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer of the
        worlds; He is the Director of the play of Life and
        Dispenser of the results of players. He is formless
        and limitless but can assume any number of forms and
        limitations.He is the eternal "I" hiding behind
        numerous "i"s in bodies, minds, etc.

        The equation Bhagawan Sai Baba gives is:

        God = Man - (minus) (false) ego

        He is free and so has given the individual beings who
        are derived from Him, freewill. Given this freewill,
        Beings (known as jivas in sankrit) begin to play the
        Game of Life and become responsible for all their
        actions (which are fol­lowed by appropriate reactions
        as the Rule of the Game re­quires).

        If you identify yourself with Him, you enjoy the Game
        as the Inventor of a Game or as the spectator of a
        Game enjoys it. But if you have forgotten Him by
        identifying yourself with your Role in the Game or
        with your Body-Mind-Intelli­gence, you may be pleased
        or pained alternately as the Game proceeds in your
        favour or against your wishes.

        When the pleasure-pain cycle fatigues you, you seek
        release from the Role. But from one Role to another,
        you alternate and again become tired. Now, God
        appearing differ­ent from you, understands your agony
        and slowly makes you realise that you are not the Role
        but the Role-player, that you are not the body or mind
        or the intelligence but the one who is using them. At
        last you become aware who you really are-and there is
        a big merry laugh! The roles, the pleasures and pains
        have been self-imposed for the bliss of it!

        If you are like the Prisoner in a Jail bound by the
        results of your actions, you are said to be a bonded
        Being. But if you are like the Jail Superintendent,
        you are also in Jail most of the time, but free to
        leave it when you like (except for the sake of doing
        your duty voluntarily accepted by you), you are said
        to be a liberated-in-life person, a Jivan Mukta! As a
        Mukta or liberated person you are enjoying life! As a
        Bonded being, you don't!

        The Evidences for the omni presence of God are:

        (i) Consider the movement of planets and the earth in
        space: What a precision! What an accurate maintenance
        of distances, speeds etc.! If a plane or a rocket
        moves like that in the sky or space, you know that an
        intelligent man is in the pilot's seat or that some
        very intelligent man is remote-controlling it.But if a
        planet is moving, will you say it is an accident?
        Can't we infer the presence of a Super-intelligent
        Being behind that?

        (ii) Consider what Cressy Morrison, a Scientist seems
        to have written many years ago:

        The Sun to Earth distance is approximately 9x107
        miles; if it is less, we will be roasted; if it is
        more, we will freeze! Similarly the Moon to Earth
        distance is approx. 2x105 miles; if it is less, the
        ocean waves will rise up so high that we will all be
        under water! Again, if the Earth's Crust had been 10
        feet thicker, it has been estimated that Oxygen would
        not have been available in air and there would have
        been no life on earth! Similarly if the sea had been
        deeper by some feet, Carbon dioxide would have been
        absorbed by it and plants could not have grown and
        Oxygen would not have been available!

        Think again of the eel which swims to Bermuda even if
        it is born near Europe! Who taught it all that?

        Again, it seems that in Australia people once used
        cactus fences; their terrible propagation rate however
        became a horrible problem. It could not be checked by
        chemicals etc.etc. Then, a specific Bacteria was
        found to exist in Nature to eat the Cacti away! It
        was imported-it killed the Cacti and became extinct
        itself!

        What accurate specificity! What a balance! And if
        someone says it is all just an accident in Nature,
        then Shake­speare's plays are accidents too? A
        computer can write them? Ha!

        As a scientifically trained person, I believe it is
        not at all scientific to say that there is no
        super-intelligent omnipresent being behind all this!
        We see Atomic spectral lines and deduce the electron
        configurations in atoms. We observe some reactions and
        their rates and deduce their mechanisms.

        Using the same sort of reasoning, we can deduce the
        omni­presence of a Being behind all these phenomena!

        Then What Prevents us from Realising God's presence?

        What prevents us from realising this is our total
        dependence on our senses, instruments and our minds.
        No, Sir! That is not enough!

        Is Newtonian Mechanics enough to understand sub-atomic
        phenomena? We know that we have to resort to quantum
        mechanics.

        Are ears, noses, skin and tongue capable of seeing
        colours?!Only the eyes can perceive colours!

        So too, God cannot be perceived by senses and the
        instru­ments (which are extensions of the senses) or
        by the mind! Only Intuition or Insight can perceive
        God!

        This is present in all of us but because most of us do
        not use it, it tends to atrophy! How to activate this
        faculty of Intuition and Insight?

        If you like I will use a simile to help you to
        understand it: Think of a Cinema Theatre where a
        morning show or Noon show is on. To see the picture on
        the screen, (i) you have to get the ticket, (ii) the
        doors must be closed enough (iii) no strong lights
        must be on, inside; and (iv) no loud talking must be
        done.

        The Human body is like that Theatre.The Screen is the
        Intuition. The picture is Insight.The ticket is Guru
        or God's Grace.The doors are the senses which must be
        suffi­ciently controlled!The inside lights are
        thoughts which must be controlled or avoided!Loud Talk
        is Excessive Desires!There must be a ceiling on
        Desires!

        So,if you do all that,by the Grace of the Guru-God,
        you can have intuition and insight. The Vedas are
        based on this only.

        By intuition and insight only the Vedic Seer-Saint has
        sung:

        "I know Him, the greatest Lord of all! He shines like
        the sun (in the sky of my Insight) beyond the darkness
        ( of a closed Mind and limited senses)!He has become
        or made all that has form and name! Through His
        creation that can be observed, He is showing His
        presence, Power and Glory!"


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      • Divya Venkat
        CHAITANYA MAHA PRABHU AND THE THIEF Sri Krishna Chaitanya was the pioneer of the movement of Nagarsamkeertan. He used to get himself immersed in the
        Message 3 of 13 , May 4, 2006
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          CHAITANYA MAHA PRABHU AND THE THIEF

          Sri Krishna Chaitanya was the pioneer of the movement
          of Nagarsamkeertan. He used to get himself immersed in
          the contemplation of the Lord while singing His glory
          and used to be oblivious of the external world.

          Once he was conducting Nagarsamkeertan in Navadweep.
          Several leaders of the town too joined him in his
          bhajan. They were all ecstatically singing bhajans and
          walking along the streets. A thief also joined this
          group. He thought it would be an opportunity for him
          to pick the pockets of rich devotees who would be lost
          in singing and dancing.

          But when he actually participated in it he began
          singing with more zeal than others. All of them had
          come to a temple and were seated. He sat near
          Chaitanya, while those sitting in front were listening
          to his discourse. Many had left the temple precincts
          by then.

          He held Chaitanya's both feet and said: "Swami, you
          are giving so much advice to so many people. Kindly
          impart to me some sacred "manthra". Chaitanya looked
          at him and said: "Tell me first of all who you are and
          what you do". The thief said: "Swami! How can I lie to
          you? I am a thief. I have been a thief all my life. My
          name is Rama, people call me 'Rama' - the thief."

          Chaitanya said: "Oh what a pity. I shall give you a
          name or a message but what will you give me as guru
          dakshina?" The thief at once said without any
          hesitation: "I shall give you a share in the booty I
          get from my theft."

          Chaitanya said: "I have no need for any money. All
          that I insist is that you should give up stealing."

          The thief said: "Swami, that is my profession, how
          else can I earn a living, when I do not have any other
          skill?"

          "Well," said Chaitanya, "I shall give you a sacred
          name on one condition, when you go for thieving, you
          must first recite the sacred name I give you 1008
          times." Chaitanya whispered into his ear: "Om Namo
          Bhagavathe Vasudevaya".

          Transformation even by then had taken place in the
          thief because of the touch of the holy person. He was
          also freed from the sin of his past deeds because of
          the conversation with Chaitanya. The thief went back a
          refined person.

          One day many wealthy house-holders had locked their
          houses and had gone for the darshan of Sri Krishna
          Chaitanya. The thief did not want to lose this
          opportunity to break into a house. He went to the
          house of the richest man of the town. He broke into
          the house and entered the room where the iron safe was
          kept. He opened it and saw valuable gems and jewels of
          gold. He resolved not to touch anything until he had
          finished reciting 1008 times the manthra given to him.


          Before he completed the number, the master of the
          house arrived along with the familiy. The lady of the
          house wanted to remove all the jewels she had worn
          before she left the house and keep them back in the
          safe. She saw a stranger lost in the recitation of the
          sacred manthra "Om Namo Bhagavathe Vasudevaya." She
          thought he must be a great sage who had come to their
          house to bless them. She called her husband. The thief
          was lost in his meditation. The entire familiy sat
          round him with folded hands. They thought he must be a
          saintly soul like Chaitanya.

          The thief opened his eyes after the completion of 1008
          times the manthra. He was surprised to find a group of
          people sitting reverentially before him.

          The master of the house asked him, "Oh Sir! May we
          know who you are and may we request you to honour us
          by accepting to take food with us today so that we
          shall be redeemed of our sins."

          The thief said to himself: "If the mere recitation of
          the Lord's name, now and then can bring me such
          honour, what greater things cannot happen to me if I
          sincerely make it my daily habit of reciting the name
          continuously. I may certainly win the grace of the
          Lord." He decided to give up thieving.

          He prostrated before the master of the house and his
          wife and said, "Mother, let me tell you the truth. I
          am a thief. Let me go to the forest. I shall spend the
          rest of my life in the contemplation of God." All were
          surprised at his words but were very happy.

          He stayed with them as their guest that night. The
          news of this event spread fast around in the morning.
          As a result, the whole neighbourhood came to see him.
          They took him in a palanquin round the town and left
          him in the forest where he wanted to do his tapas.

          Later, once again, he came to Chaitanya and received
          his blessings so that he may blossom into a real sage.
          This is the power of Nama Sankeertan or Chanting the
          Lord's name!!

          SPIRITUAL COMMENTARY

          The Lord Himself has settled the nature of His worship
          for every age. Bhakti Marga is Kali Yuga's simplest
          and safest way for Realization of soul for all. Though
          the scriptures relate that there will be a decline in
          dharma in this Kali era, man can take heart from the
          fact that it is in this age that the method for
          realising God is easy. Even the performance of one's
          duties fetches the maximum benefit (Punya) and the
          lapses for not following them properly do not result
          in grave sins. The code of conduct (dharma) prescribed
          by the scriptures varies according to the age.

          Chanting the Divine name has been mentioned as the
          best antidote for all the sins of man. Easy to adopt
          by anyone it does not have any restriction in the
          manner, time or place for its recitation. There are
          different methods in which the Divine names can be
          handled, Nama japa, Nama sankirtana, Bhajana and
          recitation of Stotras, being some of the popular
          methods followed according to one's preference.

          Harikatha like Nama sankirtana is another method in
          which the glory of God is narrated through the medium
          of classical music. The songs composed by the great
          masters lend themselves well to embellish the Puranic
          episodes handled in Harikatha, since they testify to
          the mystic experiences of these saints who have
          realised God through chanting the Divine name.

          Listening to the glory of God (Sravanam) is as
          important as chanting His names. The Ramayana and the
          Vishnu Sahasranama were very important traditionally
          because they were recited before the Lord Himself in
          His incarnations as Rama and Krishna respectively,
          said Kalyanapuram R. Aravamudan in his Harikatha. The
          Bhagavata Purana which was narrated to Pareekshit
          mentions in the Gopika Gita, ``Munificent are those
          men who extensively recite on earth Your nectar-like
          story, which is life-giving to the afflicted, has been
          celebrated by the wise, eradicates all sins and is
          auspicious to hear.''

          While the 1000 names in the Sahasranama were selected
          and strung together by Bhishma, the name Rama selected
          by Sage Vasishta for the Lord attests to its
          importance. It is besides being a name of the Supreme
          Being, also a mantra capable of delivering man from
          bondage.

          "Nama Japa" means constantly chanting the name of
          one's beloved God or Guru with respect and devotion to
          invoke God's blessings and free one from material
          (worldly) attachments to move towards Spiritual
          Realization. The Holy name is the Divine medicine to
          save us from the chronic disease of worldliness. Swami
          Sivananda of Rishikesh had said that Namasmaran is the
          'Namopathy', the best of all Naturopathy, Homeopathy
          and Allopathy medicines in curing the physical and
          mental ailments. He gave the gospel 'DIN' that means
          'Do It Now.'

          The power of Nama Japa is well known to all. In the
          epilogue to the great Vishnu Sahasra Nama, Parvathi
          asks Lord Shiva: How do the wise chant the thousand
          names in brief? And Lord Shiva responds with the
          well-known couplet "Sri Rama Rama Rameti, Rame Raame
          Manorame" Rama Nama, he says, is singularly equal to
          the thousand names.

          Scriptures say that the celestial Narada Muni once
          asked Srimannaryana "Which is your permanent abode?".
          To this Sri Vishnu replied "Naham Vasami
          Vaikunte,NahiYogi Hridaye,Yatra Mad Bhakta Gayanthe
          Tatra Thistami Narada !" which means "Oh Narada, I am
          not in Vaikunta, nor in the hearts of yogis, you will
          feel my presence where my devotees sing my name with
          love and affection".

          When Arjuna asked Lord Krishna, "Oh Lord, how can I
          perceive when I am engaged in worldly activities?" To
          this Lord Krishna replied, "Oh Arjuna, you can always
          do my Namajapam by which you will remain in my pure
          consciousness". (Bhagvadgita).

          Meerabai turned ecstatic when she discovered the
          potency of Rama nama. It was like coming upon a
          treasure - " Payoji maine Ram ratan dhan paayo!" This
          treasure, she says, none can rob, it does not reduce
          if you draw from it, in fact, it grows at a compound
          rate!

          It is said "God Realization will not spring out of
          one's heart, if the seed of the name is not sown in
          the proper soil of a saintly and devoted heart,
          carefully sifted by the process of renunciation,
          watered by the tears of Love and Repentance and
          guarded always by good, moral character."

          The practice of chanting the Name of God is
          recommended by all religions. If one believes in God,
          he must necessarily believe the word of God as well.
          Listening to the glory of God (Sravanam) is also as
          important as chanting His names. It is important to
          coordinate thought with chant. If the mind wanders
          while lips utter the Name, the exercise is futile.

          Let us do the Japa feeling God's presence in
          everything and everywhere. Let us draw closer and
          nearer to Him while repeating His name. Let us think
          He is shining in the chambers of our heart and
          witnessing the repetition of the Mantra, as He is the
          witness of our mind!



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        • Divya Venkat
          THE LITTLE BOY AND HIS FAITH In an obscure village lived a mother and her son. The boy had lost his father when he was just two years old. The mother exerted
          Message 4 of 13 , May 4, 2006
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            THE LITTLE BOY AND HIS FAITH

            In an obscure village lived a mother and her son. The
            boy had lost his father when he was just two years
            old. The mother exerted herself in many ways to earn
            enough money for bringing up her only son and
            educating him. The boy too was very smart, obedient
            and had a great love and regard for his mother. The
            boy grew up and reached seventh class. He was studying
            hard for the examination.

            One day he told his mother, "Ma, I have to pay fees
            Rs. 20 for the examination within four days. Please
            somehow get for me the amount."

            The mother was panicky, she had no money with her, and
            it was the last week of the month. She went to the
            headmaster and explained her inability to pay the fees
            in time and requested to help her in some way or
            other. The headmaster replied that nothing was in his
            hands.

            The mother returned home, sat under a tree near her
            hut and was weeping. The boy returned from the school,
            found his mother weeping. He sat near her and asked:
            "Why are you weeping mother?"

            "My son, I cannot find money. You cannot go to school
            from tomorrow. You better come and work with me. There
            is no other way."

            The boy said: "Why don't you ask somebody a loan of
            Rs. 20. After the examination, I shall work and will
            be able to pay back the amount."

            "My dear son," replied the mother, "who will give me
            the money? Only God if He will."

            The boy eagerly enquired, "Who is God, Ma? Where is
            He? What is His address? I shall go and get money from
            Him."

            The mother helplessly said: "Yes, there is the Lord of
            Vaikunta, Narayana, who is the source of all wealth."

            Without a moment's hesitation, the boy ran to the post
            office. He had a few small coins with him. He
            purchased a card and wrote on it his mother's
            unfortunate condition, his own need and requested God
            to send Rs. 20 immediately by return post. He ran to
            the post box tied to a tree, but he was too short to
            reach the slit to put in the letter box.

            The postmaster who had been observing the boy all the
            while, came out took the card from him and asked: "To
            whom are you writing the letter?"

            The Boy said: "Oh Sir! This is a very urgent letter to
            Lord Narayana in Vaikunta. I have to pay my
            examination fees within three days. I am writing to
            him requesting him to send Rs. 20 immediately."

            The postmaster stared at the address on the post card.
            He could not find words, tears gathered in his eyes at
            the innocence of that boy. "My dear boy, who gave you
            this address?" asked the postmaster. The boy narrated
            the dialogue between himself and his mother. "Sir, my
            mother says that God is very kind and He will
            certainly help the poor like us if only we pray to Him
            earnestly."

            The postmaster was very much moved. He patted the boy
            and said: "My dear boy, I shall see to the express
            delivery of this post card. You better come day after
            tomorrow."

            The boy ran home in a joyful mode. He told his mother
            that he would get the money in a day.

            The boy went to the postmaster the day after. The
            postmaster said: "My dear boy, here is the cover,
            inside it you will find Rs. 20. Now go and pay the
            fees." The boy ran home with the cover and placed it
            in his mother's hands.

            The mother asked him sternly how he had got the money.
            The boy narrated the entire discussion with the
            postmaster. She would not believe him. She hurried to
            the postmaster and asked him whether what her son had
            told her was true and how it could have happened.

            The postmaster told her: "Mother, believe me. I have
            always been a hard hearted man. When I saw your son
            with that letter, I could not believe my own eyes. A
            letter written to God with such faith. It moved me. It
            must be God who had induced me to come to the rescue
            of your son. Please take the money. It must be God's
            will that I should give this money. Otherwise I would
            not have chanced to see your boy and your son's faith
            in God would have been shattered. I consider this an
            opportunity to help a good boy."

            SPIRITUAL COMMENTARY

            If we pray to God sincerely, God does help us. He
            would induce someone to act as His agent. Implicit
            faith in God alone would rescue everyone from all
            troubles and travails.

            Steady faith alone can earn victory. You cannot be
            changing your allegiance as and when you please. Hold
            fast until the realization is awarded. Faith can work
            wonders. It can compel the Lord to manifest himself
            and give you what you believe he will give you. The
            Faith can come only slowly by association with the
            Godly, by reading the lives and experiences of godly
            persons and by gaining experience oneself.

            An individual who has faith in God must put his faith
            into practice. By believing in God and yet ignoring
            God's utterances and commands, you are contradicting
            yourselves. Faith is not a cloak that is worn outside
            for deceiving others. Do not waver or doubt once you
            are convinced. Seek to understand and satisfy
            yourself. After that, do not be mislead. When the sun
            is over your head, there will be no shadow; similarly
            when faith is steady in your head, it should not cast
            any shadow of doubt. Faith in God is the secure
            foundation on which hope has to be built. The faith
            has to be stable and strong. The feeling that God will
            come to our rescue has to be vivid and vital,
            motivating and activating all that we do or speak or
            think.

            Everyone has the right to earn grace, but those like
            Ramakrishna who have faith in themselves, will earn it
            soon and plentifully. God loves those who have the
            self-confidence and the courage of conviction and who
            seize every opportunity to improve their spiritual
            status. Your 'self' is God. You have faith in your
            judgment, your intelligence, your ability, because God
            within tells you not to falter and fear. That is
            assurance from within, from your basic truth, which is
            otherwise called God. It does not matter if you do not
            call it God, it is enough if you believe in yourself.
            That is the real test of theism.

            A time honoured proverb says "Na Sukhaath Labhyathe
            Sukham" - Real and lasting happiness cannot be won
            through physical pleasures. Lasting happiness can come
            only by the discipline of the mind and faith in the
            Lord which cannot be diminished by good or bad
            fortune. Man has to use the power of discrimination
            given to him to fight the evil forces within him and
            to foster the Divine elements in him by his own
            effort, by listening to the voice of his conscience.
            Man has to use the freedom to discriminate between
            right and wrong, good and evil.

            Peace and happiness cannot prevail in the individual
            and society until man develops faith in the unity of
            mankind, inspite of the apparent differences. Man has
            to renounce all thoughts of difference and learn to
            derive delight from the Vision of the One in the
            smallest and the most colossal of God's Creation. Be
            happy and make others happy. Happiness in the nature
            of the Atma.

            So develop that unshakabale faith in the Lord like
            Prahlad who being a little boy with complete faith in
            the Lord could be saved even from the evil clutches of
            his own father Hiranyakashipu,when Lord took the
            Narasimha Avatar to protect him. So just surrender
            with faith to the Lord all your problems and worries
            in life and wait for HIS ringtone!!


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          • Divya Venkat
            THE ANIMAL CONFERENCE AT THE FOREST One day a clever fox began wondering, Why man is considered the acme of creation and in what way is he superior to
            Message 5 of 13 , May 9, 2006
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              THE ANIMAL CONFERENCE AT THE FOREST

              One day a clever fox began wondering, "Why man is
              considered the acme of creation and in what way is he
              superior to animals? Both man and beast have emotions
              and passions. Both have their own good and bad
              qualities. Why then this superiority? Let me go to the
              king lion and seek his advice."

              Thinking thus, the fox hurried to the lion's den. "How
              nice to see you after so many days! Come tell me what
              is it that you want?" said the lion.

              The fox said in all humility, "Oh, King! Man is
              growing all-powerful and is claiming sovereignty over
              the entire creation! I cannot tolerate man's arrogance
              and his claim of superiority over all animals. In what
              way are we inferior? Can we not establish our
              superiority? We must do something about it."

              The lion nodded its head and said: "True dear, what
              shall we do?" The lion and the fox discussed the
              problem for a long time and decided finally to call
              for a conference of all animals in the forest. They
              would discuss thoroughly the relative merits and
              demerits of man versus animals.

              The lion then said to the fox: "Go and make all
              arrangements for the conference. Invite all animals,
              big and small without any exception. But, who will
              preside over the conference?"

              The fox replied: "There is a sage in our forest who
              has been doing penance since a long time. He is a
              friend of both man and animals. He will certainly have
              no preference or prejudices. Why not request him to be
              the Chairman?"

              "Do so", replied the lion.

              In a week's time the fox executed the whole plan. A
              vast area in the forest was cleared to hold the
              conference. On the appointed day the animals began
              filling up towards the conference venue. Very soon,
              all the animals were seated in their respective
              places. The sage arrived in time and took his
              presidential seat. The lion and the elephant stood on
              either side of the sage, while the fox stood in front
              of the gathering.

              The fox being the Secretary of the conference welcomed
              the gathering and said: "I welcome you all and thank
              you all for attending this conference". Referring to
              the Agenda of the conference, the fox said: "I am
              pleased to place before you four major points over
              which we have to deliberate. You have to think well
              and come forth with your opinions as these points have
              a vital bearing on our self-respect.

              Man as well as the animals are born alike, of the womb
              of the mother. Then why should animals be called
              'janthu' and man as 'manava'? They should be addressed
              alike.

              There is a fantastic notion that man is wise and
              animals are foolish. We cannot accept this humiliation
              and baseless stigma.

              It is claimed that man has the most blessed faculty of
              speech. But what is the reason for pride when man is
              only abusing this faculty? In what way do we suffer
              for want of this faculty? Though we are dumb, we are
              able to procure food, find shelter, rear our children
              and live happily. So, man cannot be considered as
              superior to us only because of this rare faculty of
              which he boasts.

              Finally, they say that we are cruel and that man is
              kind and compassionate. In fact, we are more kind and
              considerate than man. So, we have to refute this
              allegation, as well.

              Having read out the agenda, the fox went and sat in
              its place.

              The lion stepped forward and raising his head, said in
              a dignified manner: "I totally approve of all the
              points of the agenda. I cannot consider man superior
              to us in any way. Let us first of all take up the
              point of valour and strength. Is there one among men
              who can excel me in strength and valour? Even though I
              am the sole monarch of the forest, I do not indulge in
              any act of injustice and corruption. I don't kill any
              animal unless I am hungry. Such being the case, can
              man claim to be superior to us?" "Never, never",
              roared the whole assembly.

              The lion then resumed its seat beside the sage. The
              elephant got up and trumpeted its own glory. "In form,
              stature, and strength, I am far superior to man. He is
              a pigmy beside me. As for intelligence, I am reputed
              for my subtle intellect. Since time immemorial, for
              every important and auspicious function in the temple
              or in the palace my presence is considered auspicious.
              In fact pious men offer me fruits and flowers with
              deep feelings of reverence. How can man call himself
              superior to us?" The whole assembly roared: "He can't,
              he can't". The elephant went back to its seat by the
              side of the sage.

              Then came forward the dog and saluting one and all in
              the assembly said aloud: "I have sound reason to claim
              that the animals are certainly superior to mankind.
              Take for example, the quality of love, faithfulness
              and loyalty. Can any man boast of himself being
              superior to the dog in these qualities? Man himself
              keeps us and treats us as a member of his family
              because of these rare qualities. But, what about men?
              They have no sense of gratitude even. They keep us on
              cheap food or on the left over bits at their meal.
              Man, in his relation to his own master whom he serves
              is ungrateful to the core. Sir, I am sure, we animals
              are far superior in these characteristics to man."
              Having spoken thus, it went and sat in its place.

              It was now the turn of the President to give out his
              decision on the mater under dispute.

              The sage got up and said: "My dear friends, what the
              dog has said is true. Man often says one thing and
              does another. This inconsistency is not to be found in
              animals". All the animals clapped for long with joy.

              The sage continued: "In the matter of food, sleep and
              allied habits of living, there is absolutely no
              difference between man and animals. But, there is one
              fundamental difference. The animals cannot transform
              themselves, while man can transform himself through
              education, company and emulation. The animals cannot
              even change their food habits".

              The fox at once got up and questioned, "Oh Master!
              What you have said is true. But do you think that all
              men transform themselves?"

              The sage said: "Why, without doubt, such men who do
              not, are worse than animals." At once all the animals
              clapped and cheered the President.

              The sage continued: "Men have got another virtue,
              discrimination". The fox said: "It is true that they
              have discrimination, but what is the use? They put
              even animals to shame in their bad conduct. Oh, what a
              pity! Man spends all his time, talents, strength and
              money to earn his bread, while we animals procure food
              without any labour."

              The sage could see that the fox was trying to exceed
              the limits and make much of their instinctive nature.
              So, he said: "Oh, dear animals! You must also be told
              about another important distinction. Man can conquer
              illusion. He can realise the self or atma and attain
              immortality. In fact the very word "man" indicates
              these attributes:

              M - means Maya;
              A - means the Atmic vision and
              N - means Nirvana.

              By getting rid of illusion and attaining Atmic vision,
              man can become God. Why don't you own and admit your
              limitations?"

              The animals asked him: "Oh Wise one! Do you mean to
              say that all men make use of these three attributes?"
              "No, not all of them," replied the sage.

              "Then those who do not attain nirvana by conquering
              illusion and having atmic vision must be treated as
              our comrades" asserted the animals, in one voice.

              "Oh, Dear ones!" replied the sage, "I have come to
              this forest only to be your friend and prove myself a
              true Man".

              SPIRITUAL COMMENTARY

              Importance of Human Birth:

              In this wonderful universe, God has created billions
              (84 lacs according to Hindusastra calculation) of
              creatures or beings (including Gods, demigods,
              insects, beasts and men) inhabiting heaven, hell,
              earth, ocean, sky and other intermediate regions. Of
              these, those creatures or souls, whose merits
              preponderate, go to heaven and live there till they
              enjoy the fruits of their actions, and when this is
              done, they are cast down while those souls, whose sins
              or demerits preponderate, go down to hell, and suffer
              the consequences of their misdeeds for so long a time
              as they deserve. When their merits and demerits
              balance each other, they are born on earth as human
              beings, and are given a chance to work out their
              salvation. Ultimately when their merits and demerits
              both drop down (are got rid of) completely, they get
              their deliverance and become free. To put the matter
              in a nutshell, souls get their births or
              transmigrations according to their deeds and
              intelligence (development of their minds).

              Special Value of the Human Body:

              As we all know, four things are common to all the
              creatures, viz. food, sleep, fear and sexual union. In
              the case of man, he is endowed with a special faculty,
              viz. knowledge, with the help of which he can attain
              God-vision, which is impossible in any other birth. It
              is for this reasons that Gods envy man's fortune and
              aspire to be born as men on earth, so as to get their
              final deliverance.

              Some say, that there is nothing worse than the human
              body, which is full of filth, mucus, phlegm and dirt,
              and which is subject to decay, disease and death. This
              is no doubt true to a certain extent; but inspite of
              these drawbacks and defects, the special value of the
              human body is - that man has got the capacity to
              acquire knowledge: it is only due to the human
              knowledge that one can think of the perishable and
              transitory nature of the body itself, and of the world
              and get a disgust for the sense-enjoyments and can
              discriminate between the unreal and the real, and thus
              attain God-vision. So, if we reject or neglect the
              body because it is filthy, we lose the chance of
              God-vision, and if we fondle it, and run after sense -
              enjoyments, because it is precious, we go to hell. The
              proper course, therefore, for us to pursue is the
              following; that the body should neither be neglected
              nor fondled, but should be properly cared for, just as
              a traveler on horse-back takes care of his pony on the
              way till he reaches his destination and returns home.
              Thus the body should ever be used or engaged to attain
              God-vision or self-realization, which is the supreme
              end of life.

              It is said that though God created various sorts of
              creatures he was not satisfied, for none of them was
              able to know and appreciate His work. So he had to
              create a special being - Man, and endow him with a
              special faculty, viz. Knowledge and when He saw that
              man was able to appreciate His Leela - marvellous work
              and intelligence. He was highly pleased and satisfied.
              (Vide, Bhagawat 11-9-28). So really it is good luck to
              get a human body, better luck to get birth in a
              Brahmin family, and best one, to get an opportunity of
              having recourse to a Guru's Feet and surrendering to
              Him.

              Man's Endeavour:

              Realizing how precious the human life is, and knowing
              that Death is certain and may snatch us at any time,
              we should be ever alert to achieve the object of our
              life, we should not make the least delay but make
              every possible haste to gain our object, just as a
              widower is most anxious to get himself married to a
              new bride, or just as a king leaves no stone unturned
              to seek his lost son. So with all earnestness and
              speed, we should strive to attain our end, i.e.,
              self-realization. Casting aside sloth and laziness,
              warding off drowsiness, we should day and night
              meditate on the Self. If we fail to do this, we reduce
              ourselves to the level of beasts.

              How to Proceed?

              The most effective and speedy way to gain our object
              is to approach a worthy Saint or Sage - Sadguru, who
              has himself attained God-vision. What cannot be
              achieved by hearing religious lectures and study of
              religious works, is easily obtained in the company of
              such worthy souls. Just as the sun alone gives light,
              which all the stars put together cannot do, so the
              Sad-Guru alone imparts spiritual wisdom which all the
              sacred books and sermons cannot infuse. His movements
              and simple talks give us 'silent' advice. The virtues
              of forgiveness, calmness, disinterestedness, charity,
              benevolence, control of mind and body, egolessness
              etc. are observed by the disciples as they are being
              practiced in such pure and holy company. This
              enlightens their minds and lifts them up spiritually!!

              "Having taken birth thousand and thousand of cores of
              times, as a result of the accumulated merits, at some
              time the being gets the human birth. Having obtained
              the human birth which is difficult to get and which is
              like a step to Liberation who is more sinful than him
              who does not uplift himself." (Garuda Purana and Sai
              Teachings, Path to Liberation, pag. 29)

              "Man alone has the chance to liberate himself from the
              wheel of birth and death, through the pleasant means
              of serving God. But as a result of ignorance, or what
              is worse, perversity, he lets the opportunity slip
              from his hands, and suffers grief and pain, fear and
              anxiety, ad infinitum." (SSS Vol. VI, pag. 60)

              "The traditional number of created beings is 84 lakhs,
              and man is the final item of the evolutionary
              procession; but, why did the number stop at 84 lakhs?
              It stopped because man is the zenith, the fullness; he
              is Maadhava in fact, though he has ignored the truth
              and holds fast to the belief that he is just a man. He
              is endowed with manas, buddhi, chiththa and ahamkaara
              (mind, intelligence, reasoning fac lty and ego), all
              four, in an integrated personality, whereas the birds
              and beasts and all other species have mostly
              ahamkaaram (ego) alone. The lives of the later are
              centred round the aham and its desires and demands.
              But, man has the capacity to follow sathya, dharma,
              shaanthi and prema; man alone has it. If he does not
              evince that capacity and develop it, he is as bad as a
              vaanara or a daanava (ape or ogre). When man was
              created, there remained nothing higher to create."
              (SSS Vol. 6-15)


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            • Divya Venkat
              THE PUNDIT AND THE KING A learned Pundit was once giving discourses on the Bhagavad Gita in the august presence of a Maharaja. One day the turn of this sloka
              Message 6 of 13 , May 12, 2006
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                THE PUNDIT AND THE KING

                A learned Pundit was once giving discourses on the
                Bhagavad Gita in the august presence of a Maharaja.
                One day the turn of this sloka came:

                "Ananyaaschinthayantho maam
                Ye janaah paryupaasathe
                Theshaam nithyaabhiyukthaanaam
                Yogakshemam vahamyaham." (Gita chapter 9, verse 22)

                The Pundit was explaining enthusiastically the
                many-sided implications of this sloka, but the
                Maharaja shook his head and said: "This meaning is not
                correct."

                He continued to dispute the correctness of every one
                of the explanations the Pundit gave. The poor Pundit
                had won meritorious distinctions at the court of many
                a Maharaja and was honoured by them all with pompous
                titles. He felt as if he was stabbed when the Maharaja
                in the presence of the entire band of courtiers
                condemned his explanation of this sloka a 'wrong'.

                He smarted under the insult; but plucking up courage,
                he again set upon his task, and marshalling all his
                scholarship, he plunged into an eloquent discourse on
                the multiple meaning of the words, "Yoga" and
                "Kshema."

                The Maharaja did not approve of even this; he ordered:
                "Find out the meaning of this sloka and having
                understood it well, come to me again tomorrow." With
                this, the Maharaja rose from his throne and went into
                the inner apartments.

                The Pundit lost even the few grains of courage left in
                him. He was weighed down by anxiety; he tottered under
                the insult; he reached home and, placing the copy of
                the Gita aside, he dropped on his bed.

                Surprised at this, the Pundit's wife asked, "Tell me
                why you came home from the palace today in such grief?
                What exactly did happen?" She rained one anxious
                question after another so that the Pundit was obliged
                to describe to her all hat had happened, the insults
                heaped on his head, the command with which the
                Maharaja sent him home, etc.

                The wife listened calmly to the account of what had
                happened and after pondering deeply over the incident,
                she said, "Yes; it is true. What the Maharaja said is
                right. The explanation you gave for the sloka is not
                the correct one. How could the Maharaja approve it?
                The fault is yours."

                At this, the Pundit rose in anger from the cot, like a
                cobra whose tail is trodden hard. "What do you know,
                you silly woman? Am I inferior in intelligence to you?
                Do you, who are engaged in the kitchen all the time,
                cooking and serving, claim to know more than I? Shut
                your mouth and quit my presence," he roared.

                But the lady stood her ground. She replied, "Lord! Why
                do you fly into such a rage at a statement of mere
                truth? Repeat the sloka once again to yourself and
                ponder over its meaning. You will then arrive at the
                right answer yourself." Thus by her soft words the
                wife brought calm into the mind of her husband.

                The Pundit started analysing the meaning of each
                individual word in the sloka. Ananyaaschinthayantho
                maam, be began, deliberately and slowly, repeating
                aloud the various meanings.

                The wife intervened and said, "What use is it to learn
                and expound the meanings of words? Tell me what your
                intention was when you approached this Maharaja. What
                was the purpose?"

                At this, the Pundit got wild. "Should I not run this
                family, this home? How am I to meet the cost of food
                and drink, of clothes and things, for you and all the
                rest? It is for the sake of these that I went to him,
                of course; or else, what business have I with him?" he
                shouted.

                The wife then replied. "If you had only understood
                what lord Krishna has declared in this sloka, the urge
                to go to this Maharaja would not have arisen!

                The Lord in the Sloka clearly explains that –
                “Ananyaschintayanto maam ye janaa paryupaasate” which
                means :Whoever worships me without any other thought
                or any other material worries and if one surrenders to
                ME completely at all times, his mind ever fixed on ME…

                “Teshaam Nityaabhiyuktaanam Yogakshemam Vahaamyaham”
                which means –“ To those devotees of mine, I would
                provide everything that they need and fulfil all their
                requirements in life(yoga and kshema)".

                Thus explaining the sloka to the Pundit the wife
                remarked –“You have not done these; you approach the
                Maharaja, believing that he would provide everything!
                That is where you have gone against the meaning of the
                verse. That is the reason why he did not accept your
                explanation."

                Hearing this, that reputed scholar sat awhile,
                ruminating on her remarks. He realised his mistake. He
                did not proceed to the palace the next day. Instead,
                he got immersed in the worship of Krishna at home.

                When the king inquired why the Pundit had not
                appeared, courtiers said that he was staying at home
                and had not started out. The king sent a messenger,
                but the Pundit declined to move out.

                He said, "There is no need for me to go to any one; my
                Krishna will provide me with everything; He will bear
                my Yogakshema Himself. I suffered insult because I did
                not realise this so long, being blinded by eagerness
                to know the manifold meanings of mere words.
                Surrendering to Him, if I am ceaselessly engaged in
                worshipping Him, He will Himself provide me with all I
                need."

                When the messenger took this message to the palace,
                the Maharaja proceeded to the dwelling of the Pundit
                on foot; he fell at the feet of the Pundit, saying "I
                thank you sincerely for explaining to me this day, out
                of your own experience, the meaning of the sloka which
                you expounded yesterday."

                Thus, the king taught the Pundit that any propagation
                of spiritual matters which does not come out of the
                crucible of experience is mere glitter and show.

                SPIRITUAL COMMENTARY

                Mere learning by rote the contents of books is not
                important. We should imbibe the gandha (essence) of
                all Granthas (texts). That is true education. People
                read a number of books, but what is the use? They
                merely quote what others have said. Is this what we
                are supposed to learn? We should listen to the
                prompting / utterance of our inner voice and share it
                with others. But, scarcely anybody thinks on these
                lines today.

                We must put into practice at least one or two
                principles of what we have learnt and set an example
                to others. People who are learned scholars, but do not
                practice what they preach may appear to be eminent and
                famous but with their own actions might end up cheap
                in their behaviour.

                The end of education is character. We should consider
                character as our very life-breath. Education without
                character is useless like half-cooked rice. We should
                practise at least one or two principles and only then
                venture to preach to others.

                There are three important principles in every human
                being – Manas (Mind), Buddhi (Intellect) and Atma
                (Self). What is the nature of Self? It is
                all-pervasive. True education is that which originates
                from the heart. The reference in this context is to
                the spiritual heart and not the physical heart. There
                are many noble souls who are setting ideals to society
                by translating their knowledge into action. If we do
                not act in a principled manner, all our education
                becomes useless. It is what we practise that matters,
                not what we speak. Wherever we may go, our behaviour
                should be exemplary.

                In order to realise our true nature, we must practise
                what we preach. Only then can we experience bliss.
                Verily, bliss is the true nature of man. Why should we
                give up that which is natural to us and lead an
                artificial life? Wherever we see, in colleges and
                schools, students lack practical knowledge. They give
                importance, only to bookish knowledge and become
                ‘books' themselves. True education is that which
                originates from the heart. Heart is very important for
                human existence. We should rely more on our spiritual
                heart than on the physical heart. Conscience is
                another name for spiritual heart.

                Keep your heart pure. That should be your main
                endeavour. Whatever is done with love and purity of
                heart will confer bliss on you. In fact, bliss is
                latent in everyone. But man is unaware of this truth.
                One should make every effort to manifest one's innate
                bliss in him.

                In politics, in the field of administration, in
                schools and colleges, in spiritual institutions,
                everywhere, we have a surfeit of preachers but a
                famine in practitioners. Heroes on platforms prove
                themselves zeros when they descend to the ground.

                Therefore, demonstrate in your own lives, how love can
                confer peace and joy, how all faiths lead to the same
                goal, how all men and brothers of one another. This is
                the real message of living a truthful and purposeful
                life!!


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              • Divya Venkat
                ISWARSHANDRA VIDYA SAGAR AND THE YOUNG OFFICER Once Iswarachandra Vidya Sagar (see footnote after the spiritual commentary for more details on him) was
                Message 7 of 13 , May 13, 2006
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                  ISWARSHANDRA VIDYA SAGAR AND THE YOUNG OFFICER

                  Once Iswarachandra Vidya Sagar (see footnote after the
                  spiritual commentary for more details on him) was
                  proceeding to a neighbouring village to deliver an
                  address. People used to gather in large numbers to
                  listen to his lectures. A young officer, who wanted to
                  listen to Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar's lecture, got down
                  from a train with a bag to go to the Lecture-hall.

                  Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar also got down from the same
                  train.

                  The young officer was calling for a porter to carry
                  his bag.

                  Iswar Chandra went to him and said: "Why do you need a
                  coolly to carry this small bag? Can't you carry it
                  yourself and save the money?"

                  He replied: "It is not in saving money but saving my
                  dignity that I am asking the coolly to carry my
                  bag.You see I am an educated person."

                  Iswar Chandra told him: "The hallmark of education is
                  humility, not pride. If you cannot carry your own bag,
                  how are you carrying your body? If, however, you
                  cannot carry your own bag, I shall do so."

                  And Iswar Chandra carried the officer's bag. He acted
                  on the motto: "Plain living and high thinking."

                  The young man wanted to offer money to his 'porter'.
                  Iswar Chandra told him: "To serve you is my reward".

                  The young officer left and was later proceeding to the
                  venue of the meeting. There people were offering
                  garlands to Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar to welcome him to
                  the meeting.

                  The young officer realised that the man who had
                  offered to carry his bag at the station was none other
                  than the respected speaker of the evening, Iswar
                  Chandra Vidyasagar. He felt ashamed that he had made
                  such a great man carry his bag.

                  He reflected: "What is his education and what is mine?
                  I am like a glow worm before the Sun." !!

                  SPIRITUAL COMMENTARY

                  If we regard what we are or our ego is depending on
                  our position or wealth in life, one does not know when
                  this position will rise or fall or even vanish
                  altogether. The moment we lose our position, we become
                  an ordinary person and so there is no point in having
                  ego which depends on our position or authority. If we
                  want to feel important or arrogant because of our
                  education, it is well known that true education
                  consists of acquiring humility and removing the ego.
                  True education does not bring arrogance. Education
                  brings humility in its wake and all educated people
                  look at everyone else with humility and equal
                  mindedness.

                  If we ask the question who is a blind man in this
                  world, we get the answer that he who knows everything
                  and yet is not able to see things in the proper
                  perspective, is a blind man. If only we are able to
                  give service and conduct ourselves with humility when
                  we see elders, that will be referred to as true
                  education. Without knowing the essence of education,
                  we should not go about saying that we are an educated
                  person. Our beauty, our age, our strength, our wealth
                  and our position should not make us feel very proud
                  because with our advancing age all these will vanish.
                  In this context, what is the point in our feeling
                  proud of this leather bag of a body?

                  To make the education that we get a prop for our life
                  or a breadwinner for our life is a mistake. Our life
                  itself should give us the strength to live. Education
                  should not be made a breadwinner. There are crores of
                  people in this world who are not educated and who are
                  still living a good life. To think that education is
                  necessary to enable man to live is quite wrong.

                  Education should enable us to be an ideal and develop
                  into an ideal example. Our learning is not to be used
                  just to fill our stomach. Education is the correct
                  type of education if it enables us to lead a life
                  which can be an example to others and if it enables us
                  to distinguish the right from wrong.

                  Education should promote humility in us, should enable
                  us to become more humble than an uneducated person, it
                  should enable us to serve our Guru,parents and country
                  and our service should become a selfless service. If
                  we become a selfish person and simply acquire degrees
                  which become a burden on our shoulders, that kind of
                  education is of no use. Selfishness, exhibitionism and
                  immorality are now a days mostly seen in an extensive
                  measure only in the educated class of people. Such
                  education which makes us proud and which removes all
                  the good qualities such as humility and humbleness
                  cannot add to the prosperity of the country. It can
                  only cause harm to the country and create confusion
                  and trouble.

                  As we become more and more educated, our ideas should
                  become broader and broader. As our knowledge grows
                  further and further, humility should also become more
                  and more. At any time and under all circumstances we
                  should be prepared to give our help, energy and
                  encouragement to those who ask for it. But now a days
                  the moment our students get one or two degrees they
                  become burdensome to their own parents and they do
                  such things which cause great confusion in the minds
                  of the parents. They bring tears of sorrow to the
                  parents. The father of the house struggles to do
                  everything for the family even when he grows old. In
                  spite of the fact that the son sees the father going
                  through all this struggle, he does not raise even his
                  little finger to help him. This kind of education
                  which makes one not serve his father, how is it going
                  to enable him to serve the country? Mother and father
                  would have struggled and starved on many occasions to
                  be able to feed and support their son as a student and
                  when the parents are in difficulty the son would not
                  do anything to help them and relieve their hunger and
                  trouble. He himself eats and sleeps like a Kumbhakarna
                  in a very selfish manner. What is the use of education
                  which he has received if it does to teach him to look
                  after the welfare of the mother and father when they
                  are in difficulties?

                  We all know the greatness of Hanumaan who was the
                  symbol of selfless service. He was endowed with mighty
                  power, valor, strength and he was hailed as a great
                  scholar of impeccable character. Yet when the demons
                  in Sri Lanka, questioned him who he was, he never
                  hesitated to reply that he was the servant of Sri
                  Ramachandra. Such is the humilty of a well educated
                  person.

                  We will have to feel honored to call ourselves as a
                  servant of God and humanity. If we start serving with
                  the attitude that service to man is service to God we
                  will find God there. The same thing we may not
                  experience in japa or dhyana. We have to shut our mind
                  and open our heart which happens while doing Seva
                  only.

                  We say diamond and gold are highly valuable. If we
                  enquire deeply, man is more valuable than all the
                  wealth of the world. Men alone decides the value of
                  gold and diamond, and other materials. Man should have
                  faith in himself. Every one should chant the name of
                  God and engage in service in accordance with the
                  advice given by Hanumaan to Vibheeshana. He said:
                  "Mere chanting Rama's name won't do. You should also
                  engage yourself in Rama's work". Vibheeshana went on
                  chanting the name but failed to make any effort to
                  alleviate the suffering of Sita and Rama on their
                  separation while Hanumaan engaged himself in the
                  service of Rama.

                  Learn to turn over a new leaf even if you have not
                  lived an ideal life in the past. Do not brood over the
                  past and worry about the future. Concentrate on the
                  present. Take everything as the gift of God; discard
                  worry. You cannot demand sweet medicine for your
                  illness from the doctor. You must take whatever is
                  prescribed. Do not give room in the heart for anything
                  else but God. The world outside is a reflection of the
                  Inner Being. Be happy within and joyful outside and
                  have enthusiasm for service. Do not bother about
                  others heckling you as you are engaged in Service to
                  God which is the HIGHEST one can achieve in human
                  birth!!

                  ==== FOOTNOTE=======

                  Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar (26th September 1820 - 29th
                  July1891) was a polymath. Born in Midnapore, West
                  Bengal, he is widely considered as one of the most
                  significant figures of the Bengal Renaissance of 19th
                  century. He was an academic, philosopher, educator,
                  entrepreneur, writer, translator, reformer and
                  philanthropist. For more details on him please go to
                  this link :
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishwar_Chandra_Vidyasagar


                  HARI OM!!


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                • Divya Venkat
                  TUMBARU AND NARAD JI Narad and Tumbaru went to Vaikunth to meet the Lord. Tumbaru was a very good singer. He sang so well before the Lord that even the Lord
                  Message 8 of 13 , May 15, 2006
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                    TUMBARU AND NARAD JI

                    Narad and Tumbaru went to Vaikunth to meet the Lord.
                    Tumbaru was a very good singer. He sang so well before
                    the Lord that even the Lord felt joy and peace in his
                    heart. As a gift the Lord gave him some fine clothes
                    and ornaments.

                    But looking at this, Narad ji even though he is
                    considered the 'mind of God,' as he is a great devotee
                    of the Lord,felt very jealous of Tumbaru. He also
                    wanted to please the Lord even more by singing. So he
                    decided to learn to sing.

                    But his voice wasn't very good as Tumbaru but
                    nevertheless he still learnt to sing and tried hard to
                    get it into a proper tune. After practising a lot,
                    finally Naradji went to the Lord and sang.

                    The Lord said, ''Hey Narada, you've come to get fine
                    clothes and ornaments from me, but you can't sing as
                    well as Tumbaru.'' The Lord was very clear and curt in
                    his remark!

                    Naradji could not take this insult. So he performed a
                    lot of austerities to please Shivji and asked a boon
                    from Shivji that he should become an expert singer.

                    Being happy with this boon, he again went in front of
                    the Lord and sang but it was to no avail. God was not
                    pleased. Naradji again began to practice.

                    He worked very hard for thousands of years. But as he
                    was doing this out of jealousy, God was not pleased.

                    In the end Naradji went to Tumbaru. He became very
                    humble and asked Tumbaru to teach him how to sing.
                    Tumbaru taught him with all his dedication very
                    happily.

                    Naradji then once again went to see the Lord and sang
                    before the Lord in Dwarka. The Lord was now extremely
                    pleased with his song and rewarded Naradji with lots
                    of clothes and ornaments!!

                    SPIRITUAL COMMENTARY

                    Never be jealous. Jealousy often disturbs peace of
                    mind. Jealousy and hatred are twin thieves. The one
                    cannot live without the company of the other. There is
                    an inextricable relationship between them; they will
                    always take shelter within each other. Hatred may be
                    compared to an underground pest and jealousy may be
                    compared to an above-ground pest. Together they can
                    destroy a tree. Consider a tree which is very green,
                    which is flowering and producing fruit, which is very
                    attractive to look at. When pests enter this tree the
                    tree will become dry within days. One of the pests
                    will go to the branches and leaves above while the
                    other strikes at the roots below. While the one spoils
                    the beauty of the tree the other will try to destroy
                    the very life of the tree. They will always accompany
                    each other.

                    So it is also with jealousy and hatred. Wherever there
                    is jealousy there will also be hatred, and whenever
                    hatred is visible you will find jealousy lurking
                    invisibly behind. Hatred takes on a particular form.
                    It manifests itself in various ways. For jealousy
                    there is no form; it remains hidden under the surface.
                    It has been said that there is no person in the world
                    who does not suffer from some jealousy; there will be
                    at least a small tendency towards jealousy in every
                    person. To make sure that this jealousy and hatred do
                    not enter your system you have to develop selfless
                    love. Where there is selfless love there is no place
                    for jealousy and hatred to enter and take hold. When
                    jealousy and hatred are kept out, you can have the
                    experience of divine bliss.

                    Conquer Jealousy and you can Conquer Anything:

                    There is an ancient story of a devout woman who had a
                    reputation of being completely equanimous and free of
                    jealousy. Even her name meant 'without jealousy'. When
                    the three aspects of divinity, Brahma, Vishnu and
                    Shiva, which are the creative, the preservative and
                    the destructive principles of divinity, came to test
                    her, her extreme purity of heart was able to win them
                    over and turn them into little babies. She became like
                    a mother to them. In her presence, they remained
                    happily nestled in her arms.

                    The three aspects of divinity also represent the three
                    qualities in nature, the active, the passive, and the
                    cyclical, which govern all phenomenal life in the
                    world. These three qualities make up our experiences
                    in the world, and the three aspects of divinity are
                    the substratum of these qualities. Therefore, the
                    deeper meaning of this story is that when you are free
                    of jealousy, everything in the world will be like a
                    baby in your arms. You will be its mother, it will
                    look up to you and follow you. Truly, once you are
                    free of jealousy you will be able to conquer anything.

                    You may think that jealousy will destroy others but in
                    fact it will destroy you, not the others. It will make
                    you sick. You will not be able to sleep well. You will
                    not be able to eat well. Even if you are totally
                    healthy, once jealousy takes hold of you it will cause
                    all kinds of physical ailments to sprout up in you. It
                    is like an inner consumption. Just as tuberculosis
                    creeps in and consumes, so also jealousy weakens you
                    without your realizing it. It can get into you in any
                    number of ways and will ultimately destroy you.

                    Jealousy is a vicious disease which must not be
                    permitted to gain a foothold. You must feel that God
                    will always bless you with his grace. Even if you are
                    in a lesser position than you think you deserve, you
                    should enjoy the happiness of others. You should be
                    glad to hear of their accomplishments and not feel sad
                    just because they have things which you do not have.
                    Jealousy is all-pervasive in this immoral age. It is
                    prevalent in all types of people, be they worldly or
                    spiritually inclined. It is mostly because of jealousy
                    that people lose their peace of mind and waste their
                    lives. Along with jealousy, backbiting and hatred soon
                    make their ugly appearance. If you are the target of
                    these evil qualities in others, your best protection
                    is the great virtue of forbearance.

                    So long as you have jealousy you can never shine. All
                    the great virtues in you will disappear. The Gita has
                    taught that the primary spiritual practice is to
                    develop ideal virtues and apply them in your daily
                    life. In this way, you create favorable circumstances
                    for yourself. When you lead a virtuous life, you will
                    be able to experience the principle of the atma. But
                    if you do not develop the great qualities and apply
                    them to your daily life, you will never be able to
                    realize the divinity.

                    If your love is wholesome, full and complete, you will
                    be able to manifest the fullness of the Atmic
                    effulgence and shine brightly. If you have a narrow
                    selfish love, it will be something like a dim bedroom
                    bulb. It is not a question of current; the potential
                    for providing any amount of current is available and
                    ready. You must change the bulb in order to get a
                    greater light. If you are filled with jealousy, then
                    the power of the light will be very small. If you have
                    the effulgence of selfless love, then the power will
                    be something like a 1000 watt bulb. Therefore, develop
                    your love. It is possible to recognize the divinity
                    only with the help of love.

                    There are a number of important signs of jealousy.
                    Jealousy makes its appearance when you meet a person
                    who has earned greater fame than you. Or it will
                    develop when a person has more wealth than you.
                    Jealousy will also show its head when you come into
                    the presence of a person who is more beautiful and
                    handsome. For students, jealousy will soon appear if
                    there is another student who scores higher marks than
                    you. It is the weakness of ordinary human beings to
                    develop jealousy whenever they come in contact with
                    people who excel them in terms of wealth, position,
                    beauty, intelligence, and other such qualities.

                    Jealousy will not live harmlessly inside you. The
                    moment jealousy enters all the virtues which you have
                    cultivated over a long time, all the great qualities
                    which you have developed, are destroyed. It ruins the
                    human nature; it strengthens the animal nature; it
                    promotes the demonic nature. It has no scruples. It
                    does not look forward or backward. It is such an
                    insidious quality that you must see to it that
                    jealousy will never possess you.

                    Enjoy the prosperity of others. Enjoy the progress of
                    others. Enjoy the welfare of others. Enjoy the beauty
                    of others. This is true virtue. This is one of the
                    most important teachings of the Gita. Desiring the
                    good of others is a laudable quality which everyone
                    should possess.

                    Jealousy and Hatred destroy those who possess them!!

                    While explaining these principles to Arjuna, Krishna
                    told Arjuna, "For your evil cousins, the one hundred
                    brothers who have been plotting to destroy the
                    Pandavas' joy and happiness, it is their evil
                    qualities which encouraged them to do all their wicked
                    deeds. People who are jealous attract bad people for
                    company. These cousins have with them their evil
                    uncle, who encouraged them in their enmity towards the
                    Pandavas. He is filled with jealousy. These are all
                    blind people. Just as their father is physically
                    blind, all hundred brothers are mentally blind. They
                    join together and fall in line with one another. But
                    you can be sure, Arjuna, that the bad qualities in
                    these people will destroy them." As Krishna predicted,
                    not even one of these hundred brothers survived the
                    war to perform the funeral rites for their parents.
                    This is the great tragedy of falling into hatred and
                    jealousy.

                    Are you jealous of somebody? Jealousy is a canker.It
                    is incorrect to imagine that A has blocked your
                    promotion in office or that B has ruined you by
                    competing in the same business.

                    Again and again remember: no one can make or mar your
                    career. Your career and your life are shaped by your
                    previous Karma. If you are destined to rise, not all
                    the world can stop it. If you are not so destined, not
                    all the world can help you to come up either. Each man
                    is governed by his own destiny. Each man's life is
                    independent, though seemingly interdependent with the
                    lives of others.

                    Remember this. Understand this point well. Never again
                    be jealous of others or blame others for your
                    misfortune. Instead, strive to learn from those who
                    are better than you and in that you would definitely
                    become a better person!!

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                  • Divya Venkat
                    DRAUPADI AND LORD KRISHNA Once during the Sankranti Festival, Draupadi happened to be in Lord Krishna’s residence. Lord Krishna was enjoying and sharing with
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jun 25, 2006
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                      DRAUPADI AND LORD KRISHNA

                      Once during the Sankranti Festival, Draupadi happened
                      to be in Lord Krishna’s residence. Lord Krishna was
                      enjoying and sharing with them fresh sugar cane of the
                      season. While cutting a piece of cane, his little
                      finger got injured. Blood began to ooze out.

                      The queens ran to their apartments and started
                      frantically searching their wardrobes for a piece of
                      coarse cloth to bandage the wound. But Draupadi, who
                      was seated at the Lotus Feet of the Lord, at once tore
                      a piece off her sari and bandaged the wound. The
                      queens returned with pieces of cloth only to find that
                      the wound had already been attended to by Draupadi.

                      Years rolled on and Draupadi was being humiliated by
                      Dussasana in the court of Dhritarashtra at Hastinapur.
                      He was trying to disrobe her. She cried out in the
                      open assembly for help and prayed to Lord Krishna to
                      come immediately to her rescue and save her honour.

                      Lord Krishna who was then at Dwaraka hundreds of miles
                      away, readily responded to her sincere prayer. He
                      shook the little finger, the self same finger that was
                      bandaged by a piece of cloth torn from her sari by
                      Draupadi.

                      Lo! Yards and yards of cloth flowed into the court
                      covering the body of Draupadi. Thus Draupadi’s small
                      act of service and sacrifice brought to her later on,
                      the Lord’s Grace and protection in her great calamity
                      from which none of the her heroic husbands, the
                      Pandavas, could save her.

                      SPIRITUAL COMMENTARY

                      A good act is a Godly act for which God rewards at the
                      appropriate time.Before desiring anything one must
                      make himself worthy of it!!



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                    • Divya Venkat
                      THE HUNTER AND THE MONKEYS A hunter wanted to catch some monkeys. Hence he gathered sticky saps from the trees and made a very sticky liquid. He coated the
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jun 29, 2006
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                        THE HUNTER AND THE MONKEYS

                        A hunter wanted to catch some monkeys. Hence he
                        gathered sticky saps from the trees and made a very
                        sticky liquid. He coated the liquid on the trunks of
                        some trees. As the sun dried the liquid, the liquid
                        looked like beautiful crystals.

                        The monkeys were very attracted by it. Hence they went
                        to touch the trunks with their right hands.
                        Immediately they realized that their right hands were
                        stuck to the trees.

                        Worried, the monkeys tried to escape by pushing the
                        trunk with their left hands, so their left hands were
                        stuck too. Next they tried to push off the trunk with
                        their right feet, then their left feet and finally
                        their heads.

                        After this, they became completely stuck on the tree
                        trunk allowing the hunter to capture them easily.

                        SPIRITUAL COMMENTARY

                        In real life, very often craving starts with a very
                        small and seemingly innocent desire. Soon one becomes
                        attached to this small desire. Next in order to
                        support this small desire, one becomes attached to
                        another desire. To support this 2nd desire, one
                        becomes attached to a third desire and so on. Soon one
                        becomes completely attached to many desires, just like
                        the monkey with all its limbs and head stuck. Hence
                        the wise saying goes,

                        "Which is better: to satisfy a thousand cravings, or
                        just simply conquer one craving?"



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