Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Vedanta Sandesh

The Free Monthly E-zine of Vedanta Mission

September 1999

"That which is not-there in the beginning and in the end, is essentially not-there in the intermediary stage too. The objects we see around are only illusions, but are regarded as real only by the thoughtless & deluded ones."

Mandukya Upanishad Karika - 4 / 31

CONTENTS

Click on the 'Topic' jump to them

SECTIONS

TOPICS

1. Preface :

The Battle of Ballots & you

2. Vedanta :

A Role Model

3. Scriptures :

Sri Ram Gita

4. Queries :

Parenthood !

5. Festival :

Krishna Janamashtami

6. General :

1. Let go the Sorrows, 2. Heaven & Hell, 3. Return with Thanks

7. Activities :

1. Earlier, 2. Forthcoming

8. VM Office :

Central Office Address etc.

Blessings for a Joyous Janamashtami to all our readers !

Poojya Guruji Sri Swami Atmananda Saraswati

PREFACE

The Battle of Ballots & you … by Swami Atmananda

………The election bugle has been blown. The Kurushektra is once again been readied for another battle. In this Battle of Ballots no one in the country can & should remain uninvolved. We have to take some sides. This is our dharma, our right, our responsibility. Ballot is the most potent tool to help create the country of our dreams. We have to decide who is best capable to help give us a clean & committed administration. Do go & cast your vote. Every drop counts. It is the unit alone which makes a whole. Dont think what can one vote do. People of this country have sprung many surprises earlier, and later keep the psephologists wondering.

………People who do not even take out time to exercise their franchise do not have any moral right to criticize the kind of government they get. It is the irresponsibility of the cultured & literate people which is basically responsible for the present state of affairs. It is strange that on an average only 55 - 60 % people vote in the country. Out of these the poor & dependent are at times coerced or even bought to do what their political master direct them to do, so the result is expected. We deserve what we get.

………Every person in a democracy should ideally be a very intelligent, educated & conscentious person. Everyone should be aware of the profound role of macro-level planning in our lives, yet at the same time do not forget the micro-level strength. Right policies & decisions help optimum utilization of energy & resources. We cannot be indifferent to the general direction of the policies & how they are being implemented. For those who love their country and want to make the best of their lives, concrete steps should be taken to facilitate crystallisation of their dreams. We need a positive work environment & culture in our country. We need a common goal for which all are fully committed. We need a national identity, and it is we alone who have to work for it.

………Those who say that religion and politics should remain seperate are talking nonsense. We have paid enough price for this divorce. The result is that today we have unprincipled politics & shameless politicians. The people who are ruling the country follow a dharma of total selfishness. Politics has become more of a buisness. Invest something today and later get returns for generations to come. It is obvious that such people resist the dharma-talk, because here it is this selfishness alone which is attacked. The rulers will be made to look like a bunch of fools, and the ruled too will get enough strength to see through the games which these people play. Flowering of religious fragrance requires intellectual freedom. May all get freedom to experiment ways & means for their inner unfoldment without effecting the freedom of others. Branding the others as kafirs etc is not inline with democratic norms. Why not should discuss our wisdom with mutual respect with each other and get the best of all. Religion is basically a science for personality development and manifestation of the infinite latent potential. We need people who see the profound role of spiritual awakening to better our personal & social lives. In fact we desperately need people once again who see the role of religion in the betterment of our country & the world at large, ofcourse without being fanatical. Let us define religion and use the wisdom of our ancient people properly. I am sure the decadence is not so much that we will require the west to remind us of our great heritage. Let us use our discretion and identify people who really care for the country and will really deliver the goods. Looking at the state of affairs I know this may be a tall order, but please remember great things dont come cheap. Hari om !

Go to Top

VEDANTA

A Role Model… by Swami Atmananda

………A Role Model is a must for all. It is a great help. Unconsciously we all have one. It is something which inspires us, it touches the core of our heart. Something we love to emulate. We want to be something like that. It is personification of our goal - in flesh. We can touch & feel it. Even before we learn to think the role model starts talking to us, it starts channelising our energy in a particular direction. It starts coloring us and we feel really happy about it.

Role Model & our Goal :

………Goal is a must in life. A person without a clear & inspiring goal just drifts and wastes his or her life without any achievement or joy what so ever. No goals, no challenges, no achievements & no love. Goal implies the end which we ultimately cherish, not the means which we initially work hard to acquire. Something which having attained we would consider ourself fulfilled. Basically the most important thing which touches our heart has to be one, but as a person is multi-dimensional our list of priorities may include various other things too. The best of various things at various levels. Money, relationships, competence, work-satisfaction, recognition, status, comforts, beauty, dignity, betterment of children, happiness of spouse, parents, social work, culture, spirituality etc. This at times becomes a tricky & slippery field. We have a list of aspirations. What should be our priorities ? What is the most important of them all ? What are the means for attaining these ends ? How much importance should be given to the means ? Where should one draw the line ? In these maze of questions if we find someone who reflects my priorities and has obviously sorted out the various difficult questions which were bothering me, then meeting or even knowing the existence of such a person is like a blessing from the blue. The whole complex issue of goals & priorities becomes easy to handle. Now we just have to follow someone, get inspiration & if possible also get some tips & directions from him. Such a person who fits my bill is my role model.

The 'Upasana' of Role Model :

………We see youngsters having posters of their pet sportsmen, artists or even natural beauty. The dynamic spirit, name, fame, prosperity of those people & at times their beauty touches the fans heart. They feel good & positive seeing such dynamic & successful people around and want to be something like that too. The devotees have their gods & saints around and get the same feeling. The feeling of goodness when increases to such an extent that we forget ourselves and just be 'that', is called the state of upasana. Upasana is a kind of meditation wherein we exclusively bring the thought & feeling of some inspiring person in our mind and feel highly inspired & good. There is a loving identification with the role model and simultaneously there is a temporary forgetfullness of our existing identity. Such a state is very joyfull and regular sojourns in it helps make our individuality malleable for change, apart from channelising our energy in that direction very easily & effortlessly. Such subjective jaunts have far reaching role to help bring about new impressions, deep down in our sub-conscious & unconscious minds. This in turn is the singularly most potent thing to transform a pesonality and thus even the society at large. As this is the deep rooted & profound effect of upasanas, the scriptures are very particular that our role model should be an embodiment of positive virtues & knowledge. He should necessarily have a holistic personality.

The ideal Role Model :

………We are free to choose any Role Model, but we should be ready to face the music of their negative impressions too, if any. It is necessary to first understand that who is it who really deserves to reside in our hearts. Lord Ram resided in the heart of Hanuman, and this role model helped bring about a fearless, dynamic, tough & intelligent personality of the son of wind-god. The essence of the role models provided by our scriptures is that they are all fearless, dynamic, selfless, and the most important thing is that they are all awake to their transcendental dimension too. They literally have an 'out-of-the-world' source of inspiration. This simply implies that the source of their strength is always within them, and unlike the worldly things is not perishable. Thus no situation which can ever make or break these people. Even in the most testing times they are fearless & highly inspired. These people have the strength to tread the unchartered paths and give something new to the world. These are very loving, sensitive & intelligent. They can afford to be like this because they have no stakes in this perceptible changing world, that in which they do have stakes is already available, attained & eternal. They live like kings. Fulfilled, magnanimous & contended. These people alone deserve to be our role models.

Inspiration & Attainment of Goal :

………Ability to do the upasana of our role models, will not by itself bring about the attainment of the goals represented by them. The upasana will certainly bring about the right inner conditions to work for that goal confidently & intensely. We will not only have the will & love to do, but will also have the confidence to attain our goals. We know it can be done because we have a person right in front of us who has done it. The hard work which will be subsequently put will also be a great joy by itself. The very doing of hard work will be yet another aspect of doing the upasana of our beloved role model.

Go to Top

SCRIPTURES

Sri Ram Gita… by Swami Atmananda

………Sri Ram Gita is a profound and very beautiful treatise of Vedanta found in the Uttarakand of Adhyatma Ramayana. It is an Upanishad-like philosophical dialogue between Sri Ram & Laksman. In all there are 62 shlokas in this text and is the 5th chapter of this section of Ramayana. Adhatma Ramayana in turn is part of the Brahmanda Purana which is written by the one & only Veda Vyasa, who was the medium to reveal to us the famous Srimad Bhagwat Gita too.

………The story goes that when Lord Rama had come back to Ayodhya and was ruling there as the King Rama, then once the events took such a turn that he in his wisdom thought it necessary to send Sitaji to the forest in the Ashram of Valmiki. She was pregnant at that time. This could not be digested by Lakshmana and he got very disturbed by this act of Lord. On one hand was this strange decision and on the other was his great faith & respect towards his elder brother that he will always take the right decision. Even though Lord Rama would have been missing his consort but overall he carried out his life with ease & conscentiousness. This all the more made the younger brother inquisitive about how does he handle such heart-shaking events with ease. He knew he was not insensitive, so what was the source of his strength. One day seeing the right conditions & mood he approaches his elder brother like a student and puts forward some great questions which would facilitate him also to transcend this realm of change. Lord happily goes about answering them and this is what constitutes the Ram Gita, giving out the secret of his strength, equipoise & ability to take even big decisions with ease.

………As the basic dialogoue in the text is between Lord Shiv and Parvatiji, the first shloka of Sri Ram Gita is by Lord Shiva himself who continues to narrate the story to Parvatiji. How did Lakshmanan approach the Lord with his question ? What question did he ask ? all these important details too are given out elaborately by Lord Shiva.

………Lord Ram begins his discourse right from the beginning. The beginning of our spiritual journey is from the field of ones actions & responsibilities. What ever responsibilities are bestowed to us on the basis of our stage of life and inner inclinations should be accepted with grace and one should learn to go about fulfilling ones responsibilities with full attention & involvement. That should be viewed as worship itself, and having attained a particular non-reacting intelligent mind one should approach a teacher for deeper insights. Lord reveals the limitation of Karma to take us to the transcendental. A free mind alone can inquire. Later he starts the detailed upadesha of the secret of realisation. The sravana of the Mahavakyas is followed by deep reflections on the purport of sruti. Sravana & Manana eliminates the ignorance of Self and the possible subsequent doubts regarding the nature of Self. The vision revealed, the only sadhana which is thereafter required is Niddidhyasana. Constant & intense awareness of our real truth. For the purpose of meditation of this divine essence, Lord suggests taking resort of OM, and reveals its secret too. An enlightened person himself attains Godhood. Such a person alone is totally free, appropriately called the Jivanmukta.

Go to Top

QUERIES

Parenthood !

(Reply of Poojya Guruji to a query of a devotee regarding the anticipated parenthood)

……….Hari om ! Blessings ! It is a indeed great to know that you are going to become a father soon. I pray to Bhagwan Mahadev that the whole process of the new Jiva coming in this loka is smooth, joyful & blessed for all of you.

……….Yes, every relationship has its own joys & responsibilities. Welcome the Jiva who has been made to choose your family for his or her further journey with all the love, attention & responsibility at your command. You have to be Brahma, Vishnu & Rudra all rolled into one. The fruits of the process of creation are in the process of manifestation, and will continue for a long long time to come. So also the role of a protector & sustainer. The role of Rudra implies facilitating elimination of all possible external obstacles & inner negativities. Feel & enjoy every role.

……….Parenthood is comparable to the role of a gardener. Take care of the sprout properly, but always remember you are always an instrument. The beauty & potential is inherent, your role is to see to it that it gets a chance to manifest properly & fully. Like a sculptor help manifest the inherent beautiful statue in a rough stone. You will get a chance to re-live your childhood - consciously. You will have to understand yourself properly to understand the mind of other person. So you get a chance to understand life properly.

………Great vivek is required to play your every role. Give all your love to other, but never at the cost of making the other person weak. Also, in the process of making the person tough, do not forget the softer emotional dimensions too. A balance has to be struck at every stage. The child has to have continuous joys of discovery. That is its real education. When under the umbrella of love, there is ample opportunity for continous learning and some toughness, the tree will soon grow to not only stand on its own, and flower properly exuding its fragrence around, but will give shelter to many many others around.

With love & om,

Guruji

Go to Top

FESTIVAL

Krishna Janmashtami… Swami Atmananda

……….Janmashtami is a sacred day dedicated to Lord Krishna. He was born on this day in Mathura and we are inspired by his story years after years. In & through this story there is a deeper spiritual dimension to the whole katha.

………Vyasa was the seer who introduced us to the life of Krishna through his Srimat Bhagwat Purana and Mahabharata. Vyasa was a great realised & awakened soul. One of the greatest writer & teacher. He wrote only for teaching sake. His objective was introducing the timeless truths to the people. After compiling Vedas into four parts and also writing Brahma-Sutras, he saw that ordinary people could not comprehend that divine Atman which gave the glow to our various faculties, he then revealed the secrets of life in a more figurative way, and Krishna was his masterpiece.

………Krishna is the truth. The infinite wisdom. The higher power pulsating in us. The light illuminating the objects, emotions & thoughts in us. Its knowledge was born in the quiet prison-like hearts of the Rishis who were contemplating on the mysteries of life. We know that scientific truths too are discovered in the quiet caves of rare intellectuals. There is no pain in this unique delivery. The Guru helps bring about the sprout of knowledge without the agony of labour pains. When we are asleep to the world outside then the child is born. The meaning of scriptures are revealed only in a quiet mind which is 'sleeping' to the world of objects-emotions & thoughts. The senses are the gate-keepers who slept off when the mysterious Light is revealed during meditation. Krishna the Blue-boy of Vrindavan is born. The body, mind & intellect cannot penetrate the darkness. That darkness is this night of Krishna's birth.

………Krishna was thus born in the hearts of Rishis and then taken to the house of Yasoda - to you & me. The scriptures are that little Baby. Yasoda thereafter looks after that baby. She thinks that it is her own child because he was supposed to have born to her when she was asleep. We have to look after that baby. It is not an easy job with such a mischievous fellow around. From minute to minute he steals from the house and also from the neighbourhood. When Yasoda wants to punish him, his very looks makes her forget her intentions. He slowly cleans our inside with his loving presence. With this divine light there is joy, happiness in life. The whole Gokul swings & dances because of his presence.

………So on this wonderful day let the senses sleep and the BMI (Body-Mind-Intellect) be quiet. The devotees fast, they do not take the OET (Objects-Emotions-Thoughts) food. Turning inwards they meditate. Have no fear. Be brave, light will dawn. Keep meditating. Inspite of thunders, we must remain there sufficiently long. Then only, in that long-earned tranquility will we experience, the birth of Krishna - the one which attracts all.

Go to Top

GENERAL

1. Let Go the Sorrows…

………I have in my hands two boxes, which God gave me to hold. He said, "Put all your sorrows in the black, and all your joys in the gold."

………I heeded his words, and in the two boxes both my joys and sorrows I store. But though the gold became heavier each day, the black was as light as before.With curiosity, I opened the black box I wanted to find out why and I saw, in the base of the box, a hole which my sorrows stored had fallen out.

………I showed the hole to God, and mused aloud, "I wonder where my sorrows could be." He smiled gently at me and said, "My child, they’re all here with me." I asked, "God, why give me the boxes, why the gold, and the black with the hole?" "My child, the gold is for you to count your blessings, the black is for you to let go."

Go to Top

2. Heaven & Hell…

………A man spoke with the Lord about heaven and hell. The Lord said to the man, "Come, I will show you hell." They entered a room where a group of people sat around a huge pot of stew. Everyone was famished, desperate and starving. Each held a spoon that reached the pot, but each spoon had a handle so much longer than their own arm that it could not be used to get the stew into their own mouths. The suffering was indeed terrible.

………"Come, now I will show you heaven," the Lord said after a while. They entered another room, identical to the first - the pot of stew, the group of people, the same long-handled spoons. But there everyone was happy and well-nourished. "I don’t understand," said the man. "Why are they happy here when they were miserable in the other room and everything was the same?" The Lord smiled, "Ah, it is simple" he said. "here they have learned to feed each other."

Go to Top

3. Return with Thanks…

………The Power of Speech is extremely powerful faculty. Use it intelligently & effectively. If you weigh your words properly, then others too will reciprocate accordingly. If not, then you get back what you give, with thanks. Here are some stupid questions with equally stupid answers :

1. Meeting friends at the movies : Question :- Hey, what are you doing here? Answer :- Well, it’s so hot, there were no cool cabs so I thought i’d watch some advertisements in the cool comfort of the theatre.

2. In the bus : A fat girl wearing pointed high-heeled shoes steps on your feet. Question :- Sorry, did that hurt ? Answer :- No, not at all, I’m on local anesthesia. Why don’t you try again or should i try this time."

3. At a funeral : One of the teary-eyed people ask. Question :- Why, why him, of all people? Answer :- Why? Would it rather have been you ?

4. At an announcement of wedding : Question :- Is the guy you’re marrying good ? Answer :- No, he’s a miserable wife-beating, insensitive lout... it’s just the money.

5. When you see a friend/colleague with evidently shorter hair. Question :- Hey have you had a haircut ? Answer :- No, its autumn and I’m shedding....

………So friends, if you dont like stupid answers, then please remember - simply stop asking stupid questions. Weigh your words before you use them.

(All the Articles are from Arjunas List)

Go to Top

VM ACTIVITIES

Earlier Programs :

1. Mahasamadhi of Poojya Gurudev :

………On 3rd August solemn celebrations of the Mahasamadhi Day of Poojya Gurudev Sri Swami Chinmayanandaji were conducted at the Vedanta Ashram. Poojya Guruji said that all the activities of Vedanta Misson are expression of the sankalpa of that great vibhooti. Not only here but all over the world the sankalpa of the great master is blessing the lives of thousands in various ways. He lived what he taught, and his life was a dynamic & loving expression of his divinity within. May all awake to that was the common prayer.

2. Sravana Month Celebrations :

………On the first Monday of the month of Sravana the students & bhaktas at Vedanta Ashram made a beautiful jhanki of Lord Amarnath. The Gangeshwar Mount was beautifully decorated. The top of the mountain seemed to be full of snow, while in the cave sat the white Lord of Mountains. Various devotees from nearby places participated in the Puja & Maha-Aarti that followed. On the second Monday there was the jhanki of Lord Shiva as Pushpadanteshwar, in grand flowery decor. On the third Monday was the Nag Panchami, so we had Lord Shiva decorated in his favorite ornaments - the snakes. A surprise darshan of a small snake near the temple elated the devotees. OTG Cable Network gave a good coverage to the whole program.

3. Monthly Bhajans at Indore :

………Bhajans for the month of August were held at the residence of Sh. Praveen Saini at Vijay Nagar. More than hundred devotees gathered for the lovely bhajans and prasad. The Bhajans for the month of Sept has been fixed at the residence of Dr. Ravi Kusumakar. The date & time is : 5th Sept / Time: 5:00 PM / Tel: 411861.

4. Gita Gyana Yagna, Ahmedabad :

………Poojya Swamini Amitanandaji conducted a Gita Gyana Yagna in the Sarada Nagar Society Hall of Ahmedabad. She conducted her discourses on the 12th Chapter of Gita and Shiv Mahimna Stotram in the evening & morning session respectively. The Yagna was very well received and plans are already afoot to have more sessions in this locality in future too.

5. New Releases on the Internet :

a. Hindu Scriptures : A Web Page containing brief introduction of various important Hindu Scriptures can be accessed at :

http://members.tripod.com/vedantamission/Pub/1Read/Scriptures.htm

b. Home Page of VM-Mumbai : A Home Page of VM-Mumbai was added this month. Now the devotees at Mumbai will be able to get their local Mission news & programs from the Net. The URL of the Site is : http://www.bigfoot.com/~vmmumbai

Go to Top

Forthcoming Programs :

1. Gita Gyana Yagna, Mumbai :

………A Gita Gyana Yagna to be conducted by Poojya Swamini Amitanandaji, is being organised at Bandra Hindu Association Hall from 27th Sept to 3rd Oct. The subject of evening & morning discourses will be Gita Chapter 13th and Sri Ram Gita (of Adhdyatma Ramayana) respectively.

2. Gita Gyana Yagna, Madras :

………Poojya Guruji will conduct a Gita Gyana Yagna at Gokul Dham, Madras from 10th to 16th Oct. The subject matter of discourses will be Gita Chapter 12 and Upadesha Sar in the evening & morning session respectively.

3. Janamashtami Celebrations at Vedanta Ashram :

………Bhajans, Flute recital, Discourses and Puja will be organised from 7:00 PM onwards till midnight on the 2nd Sept as part of Janamashtami Celebrations.

Go to Top

Central Office of Vedanta Mission

'Vedanta Ashram'

E / 2948-50, Sudama Nagar

INDORE – 452 009. INDIA

--------------------------------------------------------

Tel : 91-731-486055, Fax : 789497

E-mail : vmission@bigfoot.com

Home Page : http://www.bigfoot.com/~vmission

Published by

Swami Atmananda Saraswati

Go to Top

OM TAT SAT