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A 'Vedanta Mission' Page

Letter's of Guruji-3

(Poojya Guruji Sri Swami Atmananda Saraswati )


INDEX

(Click on 'Subject' to jump to that particular Letter)

No.

Subject of Letter

1. Exercising & also giving freedom
2. Doubts regarding the predictions of Nostradamus 
3. Man an Embodiment of Perfection
4. My Introduction
5. Destiny and Law of Karma 
6. Anger and Rishi Viswamitra
7. Understanding Anger
8. Good and Bad Anger
9. Handling Conversions
10. Feel the Poetry & Drama of Gita

- 1 -

Exercising & also giving freedom

Hari om !

Regarding my reply to your Merry Christmas mail, well I am not offended in any way. There is no question of offence too. I exercise full freedom in expressing what I want to say & also like others to have full freedom too. In my unofficial earlier reply I had indicated to you to remove those words & sentences which in any way put such words in my mouth which I neither meant or implied, but you apparently felt very strongly about what you wrote, and therefore except for the additional initial note, nothing was changed. Well you exercised your freedom, and I exercised mine. My letter was certainly slightly strong, but I think there are times when it becomes necessary to put your views very clearly & strongly, so that mis-interpretations are not possible again. I just view your letter as a sample case of someone who is not well-informed regarding few things. But it doesnt really matter, as long as you take the things in right spirit & dont get hurt, then such discussions are rather enlightening.

To come to think of it, both you and myself, were in fact advocating tolerance in religious matters, the only difference was that you thought that in this case Hindus are to blame, & my information is that Christians were more to blame. As we do not have whole facts we are in fact just imagining things. Whoever is responsible is not taking the right way to put forward his displeasure about the state of affairs. Wherever intolerance will be there, whether Hindus or Christians then negative consequences are bound to follow. Regarding 'Merry Christmas' I have my way of looking at these things & you have yours. That is no reason to be offended too.

When we put forward any idea then we should be simultaneously ready to face either its acclamation or its refutal with an equipoise. Otherwise we will never be able to discuss anything. I take these things very lightly. So just relax. As I said even if you reject what I said you will still be dear to me.

With lots of love & om,

Swami Atmananda

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- 2 -

Doubts regarding the predictions of Nostradamus 

Hari om !

It was nice going thru the mail sent by U… regarding the famous predictions of Nostradamus. It was interesting & also informative. Thanks U…. Regarding his interpretations I have my reservations. Some fanatic & ignorant Hindus may get flattered, but in my opinion it all appears baseless. My reasons are :

1. The Quatrains of his book called 'Century' appear to be a kind of verse and is more indicative rather than explicit, and there have been people who have 'interpreted' most of the things, as per their understanding. Even though the interpretations may have proved correct, about which also I have my own doubts, still we should remember that they are someone's
interpretation. One thing strikes our mind immediately is that the interpreter is certainly not aware of the Hindu ethos & values.

Hindus just cannot get up & give a fight, what to talk about being the conquerors of the world. With the present state of general ignorance & decadence of their religion, philosophy, culture & values, where people hesitate even to call themselves a Hindu, it is just not possible that they
can be the conquerors of the world, and that also in the name of their religion. If a whole race has to be a part of that movement then it requires years of proper education. This is no where around. Potentially Gita & other Vedantic scriptures are capable to help bring about such dynamic character & strength of conviction that some one can be made a world leader, but for that we require years of proper education.

2. Hindus are & were not able to give a concerted fight even to militants in Kashmir & earlier in Punjab, and rather preferred to flee than die for their motherland or families, what to talk about giving up their lives for their magnanimous values, culture & convictions.

3. India is one of the rare few countries in the world, where secularism had always been an intrinsic policy of their culture. Today it is a unanimously accepted policy of our constitution, and therefore right from our childhood our people are brought up in an environment of mutual accommodation & tolerance. Such people are not the types who go around conquering the
world. Their blood does not know how to boil, they just adjust. If it were Jews etc then we could have understood, but not Hindus. So in my view there is some thing wrong in the interpretation pertaining to Hindus being conquerors of the world.

4. Unlike semitic religions Hinduism is only bothered about the spiritual dimension of religion. We never had or have political ambitions. Conversions of others is not the in-thing here. When a Christian comes to us, we never ask him to get converted but see to it that he starts taking Jesus as that one in which everything is embraced. We as teachers of Hindu religion increase his faith in whatever faith he was born. This cannot even be imagined by semitic religions. So I dont see any logic that we go around as a Hindu conquering & converting the world.

5. OK ! if someone says someone born in this country could be that person. Well ! in that case the present scenario indicates that the so called conqueror could be US citizen alone. In that case it is logical to presume that, 'that' Hindu is in US. In that case we should see some NRI who is a senator in US and powerful too. There is no one fitting the bill. US the only super
power of the world today can afford wars, not India. Remember our short war with Pakistan, our people had to shell out extra taxes for years together to compensate the extra expenses.

6. All countries are busy planning & formulating pacts to face the sole super power of the world in the years to come. The newly created 'European Union' is one such group. Recently the Russian Premier Primokov proposed a pact between Russia, China & India in the same light, which was of course immediately rejected by India. In near future also US is not likely to be
good friend of India as Russia had been all along, for the simple reason that friendship with India is not really profitable to US at present as is with China. At present the scenario is that US is angry with India for its nuclear explosions and thereafter not signing the CTBT, for which President Clinton is desperate to take credit. So either the date is wrong or the name the
conqueror is wrong.

7. Dont even dream of US playing second fiddle to someone or 'helping' someone. All have to help US in such wars. It is the undisputed leader today. Even UN Security Council has to ultimately tow its line. Whether we like it or dont that is a fact, not only at present but for year to come. Saddam Hussain's are a rare breed.

So whether we look from the point of view of our philosophy of life, our mental make-up, our economics or even the present political situation of the world, the Nostradamus predictions or rather their interpretations are in for a surprise.

Moreover, any predictions whether of Nostradamus or anyone else, just doesnt make sense. The only lessons anyone draws from these thing is that 'everything is destined in life', and, 'we have no freedom whatsoever'. This is refuted by our Vedas & even logic. It is the 'Law of Karma' which alone satisfactorily explains things in the world & not astrology.

If even for a moment we accept that everything is destined, then mind you God will become the greatest & biggest sadist of the world. How can the creator ever create the suffering masses, the inequality and all these things. No religion can ever dream of even imagining God to be a sadist. So we do not accept that everything is pre-destined. It is just a matter of chance
that some forecasts just happened to be right, thats all. Dont take Nostradamus predictions too seriously. Inspite of logic going against the whole prediction still if someone continues to believe in him, just because some Mitterand & some other people believed then in my opinion it amounts to blind following, and I am the last person to blindly follow anyone.

With lots of love,

Swami Atmananda

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- 3 -

Man an Embodiment of Perfection 

Hari om !

Swamiji I need an explanation on this one. " Man is the embodiment of perfection ."

Indeed man is an embodiment of perfection. Look from any angle. Physical body is perfect, beautiful. Emotionally he can feel what no others can ever imagine. Intellectually the advances in science etc are mind-boggling. He being the very inventor of Super Computers obviously has a mind which is much more advanced than that too. He goes around with a Super-super computer on his shoulders all the time, his own head with its brain.

Spiritually he has the capacity to transcend time. He can change his destiny. He can realize the transcendental truth. He can awake to a state where he himself is the infinite & immortal truth. He can be one with God himself. He is potentially God, and can awake to that state too. The Upanishads educate us to keep that alone as our real goal of life, and also reveal the methodology of this inner awakening too. What more can we ever imagine or hope for ?

This is if he gets the right knowledge. The problem today is that even though this guy has an inimitable, sophisticated, portable, super computer right on his shoulder, but he neither knows how to operate it, nor is made aware of it. Our education system is indeed in shambles. We are educated just to make a living, nothing else. Ignorance of his real truth, potential & capacities has brought about mis-apprehensions about himself being limited in time, space & capacities. The situation is comparable to mis-apprehending a piece of shell on the sea shore to be a piece of some silverware or some such thing. Once the basis is wrong there-after the entire calculation goes haywire.

Isnt it strange that very very rarely people know about the truth of their own Self, yet claim to know so many things. The state of most of the people is comparable to a dream state. Living in a world which is projected & transitory, yet as long as he dreams he takes all that to be real. Just as we get up from our dreams and realize that it was all a projection, so also a person going into the truth of life comes to realize that the divisions, limitations, including the very continuum of time & space are not really there. This entire world is like a big dream in the mind of the creator. It is not really there. There is one thing which always remains and we all are basically that. Once this discriminative capacity & understanding is brought about thereafter it will be directly perceived that 'Man indeed is an embodiment of perfection'.

Love,

Swami Atmananda

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- 4 -

My Introduction 

Hello !

I welcome three New members to our Mera Indore List. May I request you all to please send a brief introduction of yourself.

About myself. Well, here it goes. I did a part of my schooling in Mhow, and then did my graduation in science also from there. My father happened to be a doctor in the Army and was posted there. Later I did a PGD in Sales Management and took up a job in a private company. Served there for few years, when an inquisitiveness overtook me to know more about our philosophy & religion. I contacted Swami Chinmayananda, and later joined his Sandeepany Sadhanalaya at Bombay for a three years full time course. That was a turning point in my life. I was astounded at the philosophical depths revealed in the Upanishads & Gita etc, and discovered a goal for myself. Helping bring about awareness of all this to those around me. I was treading all alone but was very happy about it. There was challenge & satisfaction.

I was appointed the Acharya of a premier Spiritual institution called 'Sandeepany Himalayas' run by my Guruji at a place called Sidhbari in the Dhauladhar Valley of Himachal Pradesh, and taught students of a similar course there for five years. After taking Sanyas I left my Guru's place and traveled around till I came to Indore, and established a setup here. I am not for seclusion, isolation or absence of work, but right education & enthusiatic, creative & selfless work. As per me right knowledge alone redeems. Today I have an organization called Vedanta Mission, which organizes all our programs all over the world. In India - Indore, Bombay & Ahmedabad are our active centers. I want to use all possible modern means of communication to help attain the goal I have kept for myself. Thus our teachings are today available on the Net. I am giving weekly lessons on the Vedanta philosophy thru e-mail. We are bringing out a monthly e-zine called Vedanta Sandesh, and manage various Mailing Lists which has discussions on such subjects. We have our Web Pages, all made here at our Indore Ashram. We have Stress Management Workshops for executives of various establishments & Institutions, and also two annual Meditation Camps in different parts of the country. I also run a free, full time Gurukul for full-time students of Vedanta. It is called Vedanta Ashram. I keep myself busy and enjoy my work to the utmost.

The very fact I am here on the net shows that I have great respect for new technology and that learning should be a continuous process. I hope that thru our members of MI List I will come to know more about some new things, programs & sites, apart from exchanging notes on the work we do on the net.

May we know each other better. Best Wishes,

Love & om,

SwAtma

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- 5 -

Destiny and Law of Karma 

Hari om !

U wrote : 'perfect statement this. God is not & cannot be a sadist. God could never want his creations to suffer the way they are. the next logical deduction is, everything is a result of our karma. our own wrong doing or good deeds. there is no such thing as destiny.'

That is pretty near to what God himself expounds in his 'Law of Karma'. Everything is the result of one's Karma's, yet it is a fact that there is something as 'Destiny' too. The word destiny implies that some thing is now inevitable and is bound to happen. Well ! this apparent contradiction of accepting both the Law of Karma and also destiny is taken care of by the Law of Karma itself. The actions performed in the past are already history and cannot be changed now. So their results are destined to come to us. It is as simple as that. We reap what we sow.

'i believe most of your life is decided the minute you are born, how you will look, what kind of education you shall get, what kind of upbringing you are going to be brought up in, etc. yes, definitely lot of karma has to take place to actually fulfill each of the above, but more or less it is decided.'

Well u believe, but I dont. I think your statement is vague. What exactly do you mean by 'more or less' & 'definitely lot of karma has to take place' ? Where do u exactly draw a line ? Do you accept the potential of Karma's to actually help fulfill your 'destiny' ? What exactly is that potential ? The moment you accept destiny in the way u seem to, then inspite of your opening statement that 'God cannot be a sadist' yet you do not give any reasons of repudiating this inference. The moment u accept the potential of Karma's to change things then you are saying exactly what 'Law of Karma' is talking about.

'if there is some truth in the above, then my next point is, that we haven't performed a single karma to attain whatever we did to be born as a blessed child as compared to some other hapless child somewhere in the world. was this destiny?'

If you attribute everything to destiny divorced from your Karma's, then in my opinion there is no truth in your above statements.

'we can then attribute this luck or bad luck to our past karma of our past lives. but very frankly speaking, there has not been any logical or scientific proof whatsoever supporting this theory. its like that fill in the blanks with 4 options where you know that 3 options are definitely not true , so the 4th one must be the correct one. past life theory is like that. no other option can so conveniently explain everything without getting eyebrows raised. if somebody tells me that i am suffering because i have committed sin in this life, i can argue that i haven't or somebody else has committed more sins still he is left unscathed, but if somebody tells me that its because of my past sins, i am speechless. i can't answer cause i have no knowledge about my past life. i don't even know whether a man has more than one life. if he has more than one life then how many? how & when will it end. after a break of how many years are we re-born. if the same souls are being re-cycled then how come the population of the world is exploding? :-) where are the new souls coming from?'

Well ! my dear man ! you are mistaken here. One, there is tons of logical & other proof to show that this life is a continuity of earlier lives. Second, what exactly you mean by scientific proof ? Even scientists today dont claim that their existing instruments & methodologies meant to understand & objectify the 'effects', are insufficient to know the ultimate 'cause' of the world. I am sure you must be aware of the transition or rather graduation of physicist's to metaphysics. Have you ever wondered why this thing is happening ? They themself are not depending on existing systems too much. I will suggest you please read a beautiful book called 'Tao of Physics' by Dr.Fritjof Capra, a Nuclear Physicist of UK. Have you heard of the 'Theory of inexplicability' of Dr.Heissenberg, a German Physicist. Well, these scientist themself say that the methods being adopted sy scientists uptill now are insufficient, rather incorrect to know the truth of world. Why is there the role of Philosophy even today ? The tenets of Vedic philosophy which were revealed by God himself reveals that it is the Karma which alone is powerful. Regarding your other questions about life, then again I will give the same answer. Try to understand what God himself has to say on these matters. You as a believer sure will be believing that he is pretty intelligent and knows his world & its secrets properly. So instead of asking scientists who are still humbly searching ways to know the truth of life, read what God has to say on these matters.

'God exists. He's there. when i really want him, he replies. he touches my life everyday in some way or the other. God wanted me to be the way i am, thats destiny for me. without believing in the theory of destiny i will feel myself flying in vaccum. believing in it pulls me closer to god. its that gravitational pull, that string which keeps me attached to him.'

It is that God himself who has reveals this 'Law of Karma' in Gita & elsewhere. He alone establishes the supremacy of Karma over destiny. Loving God is indeed a great virtue, but the gravitation towards him will fulfill itself only when you understand his precepts too. Mind you I am not propounding my theory, but the tenets as revealed by God himself.

'for most of us our karma would be work, hard work, earn money, become self-reliant. but lot of people are working hard, very hard, but not getting the results. whats missing? the magic wand? "being at the right place at the right time" is nothing but you being luckier than your equally competent competitor. no matter how much i try to deny it, i cannot rule out the external force affecting my life everyday, call it luck, destiny, fate, chance, co-incidence, or whatever, but it's there. it happens. & when it does, all you can say is "Thank God".

To accept Law of Karma is not denying the existence of God. In fact it is trying to understand what God himself is trying to explain to us. Regarding destiny I have already told what exactly is its implication.

'GOD is like the server and all the people are like its nodes. we have our own processors, hard disk etc, but we are still connected to him. we can perform the tasks assigned by him. definitely we have to take the action, perform our karma, so i am not propagating laziness or being an escapist but the point is that task has been assigned to us. He is the CEO. we are the staff at various posts right from a director to a sweeper. if we work upto his expectations , we are promoted, rewarded, if we don't we are warned or even sacked. we do work, but he is the final authority.'

No, God is much more than a server. He is that who has created the various Laws of nature, knowing which so many things are & will be created. He creates and thereafter does not interfere. A CEO has to work, while God just revels in his own glory, unattached. Those who understand his laws and work as per them, they get his blessing, those who dont they suffer. The ball is in our court now. No other doer is around. We are reaping today what we alone sowed in the past.

'i or anybody for that matter can't say, how much of our life is a direct consequence of our own karma & how much of it is destined, that proportion is still a mystery but life according to me is a blend of the two.'

Instead of making such big statements I will humbly suggest that you please take out some time and read what God himself has to say on these matters.

'karma is very very very important but it has its own limitations too. all things falling in proper place your karma can reap you great dividends, but a little here & there & the same effort, same karma will reap you nothing. karma is like pressing the accelerator, can make your car run fast, but that other thing is the car being in gear. your accelerating in neutral won't get you any speed. now, someone may say that putting the car in gear is also a part of your karma, then there a hundred other things which would be impossible for a person to do. all things remaining in order, you plan out things.'

'my above thoughts are pretty scattered, but that's what a confused person sounds like :-) i need answers. anybody? still lot of questions hovering my mind but can't really frame them. until later'.

Well U…! let me congratulate you on bringing in fore front a very important fact of life. This is something which has to be sorted out once for all. Nobody can ignore these things. Decisions on these matters affect our whole lives. So I also invite one & all to share their views on this matter. I and U… have provided sufficient data to start a great discussion.

Love & om,

Swami Atmananda

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- 6 -

Anger and Rishi Viswamitra 

Hari om !

Your kind mail was waiting for me when I opened the mail box today. Thanks.

All the Literature tells us to relinquish Anger, and Meditation and other techniques suppose to help one to accomplish this. Why the Great Rushi Vishwamitra is a person of anger incarnate ?

Scriptures reveal that which is a fact of life. Anger is definitely a problem, & therefore the great teachers of yore suggest to us to give it up. We should first understand the relevance of their precepts and then look at the various figures & personalities. I am sure you will not be having any doubt that anger is a problem. It mars our relationships, effects our decision making faculty, digestion, sleep etc. etc. Viswamitra or no Viswamitra this is something which has to be given up - should be a matter of our deep conviction. Having understood this when we look back and see such personalities then it becomes very evident that scriptures are revealing to us some thing through the story & personality of a great person that which was negative. He faced the consequences of this weakness in his personality, till he gave it up. Thus the moral of the story is that, just because you are learned or famous then it does not amount to saying that you will be automatically be free from all such possible negativities.

If we go deeper into the past of Viswamitra then you will know that he was earlier a king. Kings have a disposition which just makes them have their way. He just wants something to happen his way. A person with such a background & disposition when starts treading the path of spirituality then such people face some inevitable problems. An insistent & non-accommodative mind alone is susceptible to bouts of anger. This fact knows no exceptions. So he too had to go through lot of problems because of his own conditionings. But the greatness of Viswamitra was in the fact that he not only had the wisdom to realize his shortcomings, but also work very hard to overcome them. He finally did. That is what makes him so venerable & respectful.

With love & om,

Swami Atmananda

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- 7 -

Understanding Anger 

Hari om !

Just went through your mails and one reply to it. Yes, the question u raised is extremely important & pertinent, not only to understand others better but see to it that we do not fall prey to such subjective disasters. People who are so voilent, subversive & destructive are prey to some subjective happenings. They in fact do not know that but keep on helplessly flowing in that direction. The first & foremost loss is their own. A person with anger etc first makes his own life hell, and then becomes a nuisance to others too. But inspite of that, he keeps doing that. The fellow just doesnt know where the shoe bites. Ignorance of these matters has disastorous consequences.

Lets take anger as an example and try to understand it. Its cause & effects. Basically anger comes about when you think that what you know alone is the right way, that the other person is a fool. There is domination over other and you want the things to happen just your way alone. In this process you take away others freedom, and like to impose your ideas. There is a great hurry & also intolerance. If you watch closely there is a process of fragmentation going on in such minds. The fellow keeps limiting & isolating himself all because of the inflated opinion about himself. This imagined, isolating & inflated opinion about oneself is called the ego. This egocentric existence is basically insecure, limited, intolerant & always seeking & never satisfied. The more this isolating egocentricity weaves its cocoon the more you feel suffocated, and this alone spills out in various ways. Such desperate people are in fact trying to find ways to come out of their own imagined problems & shells. They just dont know the real problem. Once this ego is brought about the possibility of love simply vanishes. Ego & Love just cannot co-exist. Ego lives for itself, while in love you care so much for the other that at times you dont even remember yourself. Ego manifests from insecurity & limitation, while love is seen only in people who have fragrence of contentment within them.

Ego like any other delusion is a product of mis-apprehension of the truth of your self, and therefore the solution lies in directly percieving the truth of yourself. However this journey is possible only when right company is got, exposure of right thoughts is there. Something should happen which should make the person re-think. Even some tragedies may eventually prove to be a blessing, if they start a person to think. With great humility if someone starts searching for the truth about himself then various things are revealed about ourselves, which we never could even imagine, and in the process our mis-apprehensions of egocentric existence drops. Then alone love really gets a chance to manifest. Till then it is a constant tug of war.

With love & om,

Swami Atmananda

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- 8 -

Good and Bad Anger 

Hari om !

Read your mail few days back, but due to some preoccupations in the 'Gita Discourses' which are at present in full swing here, there was some delay in my reply.

1) Is anger always resultant from Ego. Or are there other reasons

The word 'ego' is used in spiritual litrature for a person with a limited existence, & not neccessarily an arrogant person. However, anger also comes about by not knowing a better & easier way of getting things done. In all cases there certainly is an insensitivity towards others feelings.

2) Can there be a good anger and bad anger ? e.g. a parent disciplining a child(maybe after all else is failed), or I remember this one story of Lord Krishna giving a soul life - till a 100 lies/sins were committed but punished him once he crossed that mark(I am not very sure of this, I think I saw it on Mahabharata). Was that anger as well.

There are two aspects of anger. One manifest and the other unmanifest. The first one is what we see externally in an angry person, raised voice, absence of culture or respect towards other, etc. The second aspect is more subjective - the flaring up of the mind, absence of balance & right thinking, and at times being overtaken by grief etc. This latter one is something which one should overcome & conquer. The former one, if it can be brought about without its subjective contents, will be something which is not really anger in the strict sense of the term, but does appear to be so from the point of view of other person. This is in fact helpful at times. There are people who are not available to listen to things told very lovingly. So changing your tone, raise your voice, use strong words etc. At times this becomes necessary & helpful. It is more like a weapon to handle some people. It is like acting being angry. There is one anger which comes helplessly & there is another which is deliberately brought about. As long as you are in command so long it doesnt matter if you raise your voice or even act tough. Just have the capacity to remain detached inside. Moreover why give pain to others if you can find ways of handling problem with better & more intelligent options.

3) If all of us have a part of Hari, Vasudev, Krishna in us and all his qualities are in us - then is anger, ego, hate also a part of Hari.

Hari and the potential to awake to this divinity within us is certainly present in all, yet the creator himself has bestowed some freedom to all human beings. If we do not exercise our freedom and choose to remain in delusion about ourselves & the world, then we do bring about this ego. And, with this limited guy around, along with all his fears, insecurities or arrogance, then we can always expect some fireworks in which the fellow is the first one to burn his fingers.

With love & om,

Swami Atmananda

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- 9 -

Handling Conversions

Hari om !

It was a great joy to have gone through the beautiful analytical piece of work by K…. How I wish that this objective, unbiased & in-depth way of thinking is inculcated by one & all. I wish I had seen this mail before dispatching the last issue of Vedanta Sandesh, I would have loved to include this too in it. With K… permission I will do that in our next issue. All problems whether they are subjective or outside can be sorted out only by right understanding brought about by such objective analysis. We may at times differ here & there, and at times it may take some time to come to right answers but the hope lies here alone. Right understanding alone redeems, and such analysis alone is the means. Lets all encourage such an approach. Thanks K… ! You are indeed gold.

I agree that more important than merely getting bothered about some flare ups is to go to the bottom of the issue. What is certainly of greater importance is to identify the motivations of different faiths. Your effort even though brief did address the main issue. Lack of tolerance of some faith in others is indeed proving to be a great problem. Some faiths have been, are & will continue to be a problem for all. It is also noteworthy that Christian Missionaries dare not even think of converting the people of the satan-land. Poor, ignorant & docile Hindus are their obvious targets.

I would however like to go a bit further and raise a still more fundamental question of 'What is the basic objective of all religion? Are different faiths addressing some basic objective or not ? If the motivations & objectives differ then should we still let the name of religion be used to further the objectives of such groups & people ?' As per our understanding religion is basically a package for holistic development of human personality. It takes into consideration the body, mind, intellect & also that dimension which transcends all this. It helps to bring out the best in a person. It helps create a truly complete, integrated & dynamic personalities. Real development of human mind calls for an atmosphere of complete freedom, no impositions by any saviours. Now if someone is not addressing this issue then do we still call that sect as religious one ? I think this issue too has to be addressed. Proper discussions should take place on these things and results of all propositions should be researched & verified. That way we can get the best of all. It is strange that neither any discussions have been initiated by powers that be on these matters nor have the people given any opportunity to know what religion is all about. People are kept in dark and others continue playing their sinister games. It was surprising seeing such a hue & cry at the time of proposal to introduce the study of non-sectarian & rather philosophical Upanishads etc in educational curricula. It was because of the magnanimous vision of these Upanishads alone that this country could harbor all.

Regarding Secularism I fully agree that greater understanding is called for. I however differ that this does not pose any danger to people of other faith. With the present definition of Secularism the extent of damage is unimaginable. A heritage of thousands of years is on the verge of collapse, not by positive opposition but by ignoring. It has become the resort of irreligious ones. A person professing secularism has to know the truths of life so deeply that he can have a magnanimity which embraces all & is personally not motivated by various factors which are seen to condition thousands of people of different faiths (the driving forces), such a person has to necessarily draw his strength, joy & inspiration from something which is just beyond the perceptual world. The others who also profess about secularism are those who have nothing to do with religion, they are too engrossed to fulfill their self-centered desires, they see no positive & practical role of religion. For them it is a necessary evil, a product of weak & superstitious minds. They can never even imagine the dynamics of metaphysical dimensions on human psyche. Philosophy for them is a pastime of some impractical people who do not contribute anything 'worthwhile' to the society. Moreover such people never come & vote, so who cares about such abstract things. Absence of right knowledge creates conditions which help them to exploit religion to further their selfish ends. Can we imagine secularism alongwith ignoring religious education & heritage. Does this really imply that we respect all - sincerely. We have been educating millions to ignore religion and thats what we see around - indifferentism, as you call it. Not only that but a nation which competes for the position of the most corrupt nation in the world. Thoughtless living, dirty places, immoral relationships, bidding price for sons and a list of such shameful thing. Very rarely you see that a person knows what he or she is doing, majority just follow like sheeps. Secularism in the hands of irreligious people brings about greater catastrophe. In direct opposition the person is at least truthful & in front of you, but in such conditions you have to live up with liars, who just put up a front. Such people just let the religion rot, when they do speak they speak what the ignorant ones are doing in the name of religion. Such people eliminate the very respect for religion as such. They are doing more harm than others.

As per me the present political system is at the root of such misdeeds. Multi-party democracy is intrinsically divisive. It does not unite. Have any setup along with multi-party democratic setup, the whole fabric will be shortly torn & threaded apart. People have to literally discover differences and then magnify them & then present them as saviors Two party democratic setup may prove relatively less destructive, but here also the party members for their own survival have to form groups & thus divisions. As long as people are educated & intelligent so long we can expect some proper basis of such groups, but in country like India, even in two party system we will have intra-sects on the basis of baseless things. The ideal will be to select & train a group of countrymen for the job of leadership, and give them the best possible education right from the beginning. They should truly be the best, who not only understand the economics etc but also the effect of metaphysical factors in the creation of the human psyche. With such enlightened people around we can expect open philosophical discussions, sincere efforts to identify the real objective of religion as such, providing a free atmosphere to all to raise their understanding to great heights, and of course drawing a line clearly & firmly to discourage people to further their irreligious ends in the name of religion.

Love,

Swami Atmananda

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- 10 -

Feel the Poetry & Drama of Gita 

Hari om !

Nice to know that you have completed the first Chapter of Gita. Congrats.

the lesson I have picked up is that the cause of misery is self-centered action with a view to the fruits of our labour. By acting selflessly, without any prejudices and preconcieved notions, and without looking at the results, one can view a situation objectively and take the correct decision. Is that correct? Have I missed any other message which I should have picked up?

It is interesting to go into the personality of Arjuna. You should be able to feel the fellow. Try looking from his point of view, feel his grief, arguments & subsequently the questions. As usual the answers can be found in the problems. So without any cheating go into the problems deeply. As a contrast you also have the personality of Duryodhana in the first chapter. Try sketching his personality too in your mind by his utterances. Enough tips have been provided therein. You will discover the play of paternal pamperings, its effect, the intricate details of the personality & perceptions of Duryodhana & Arjuna, the exact problem of Arjuna, the nature of its manifestation etc. So there is lot of poetry & drama, apart from the conclusions which you have rightly discovered.

With love & om to all.

Guruji

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OM TAT SAT