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Shalini Mehta, EzineArticles Basic Author
     

What’s the purpose of your pilgrimage?

November 12th, 2016

dscn1749During Diwali this year we planned to spend our Diwali with the Holy Mother and Thakur Sri Ramakrishna by visiting the holy places where God through them had done His leela. It was the most awesome experience of our life because we’ve been reading about these places daily and trying to follow Thakur’s teachings in our life. Mother gave our eyes this blissful experience that is captured in our hearts and will stay with us throughout our life and beyond.

While there, we met various devotees who like us were on pilgrimage to that holy place but all for different reasons. It was when I heard from each of them, I realised what pilgrimage meant to different people. One of the families I met was there because this was one of the places in their All-India pilgrimage trip, so they spent two days at one place, three days at another, so on and so forth, and had to finish their journey by visiting their guruji (Spiritual Teacher). Another family of two sisters was there who would visit that place every two to three years, mostly to meet holy people (Sadhus and Sadhavis) who were known to them or their family or belonged to their home town and spend time with them. Another family we met who visited that place every year as a ritual because that is what they had pledged to do, and meet their guru who had initiated them (initiation means a mantra is given to repeat as a japa for you till realisation comes forth in you). Then there was a lady who visited the holy place because her guruji (Spiritual Teacher) had instructed her to visit every year for Kali Puja. And let me emphasize, none were wrong, all were doing what their minds prompted them to do.

I was asked by few people whether I had been initiated or not? Initially I evaded the question, but later shared that none other than the Divine Mother herself had initiated us by Her grace. Our motive of this Pilgrimage was very simple: we try to live, read, experience, and breathe the Word of Sri Ramakrishna and Mother Sarada Devi daily. I believe they are living with us in our home, our hearts and out of that love for God, we wanted to see the places where God came in human form, was born, and lived as an Avatara, and performed His leela (sport) and touched the places by His physical presence. What a great privilege for all the living human beings of this age and those of times to come, that an Avatara had been here just 175 years ago and His presence is immaculately preserved for the devotees to see and experience. For me nothing more is required in this life time for a Pilgrimage, for I’ve seen with my own eyes the presence of an Avatara and that of His team that every Avatara brings along with Him when He makes mother earth pure once again with His touch. The aura of Swami Vivekananda can still be experienced in the room where he passed his last days at the Belur Math and left his body. His home is preserved in its original glory at the time of his existence in it. The houses of the devotees (the Anatarangs) of Thakur where Thakur and Mother blessed them with their presence are preserved with the things they used during their stay, made us feel as if it was like yesterday. No words can describe the joy we experienced.

Every Avatara brings with Him His own people – anatarangs (the inner circle ones). These souls are ever free and are called Ishwarkotis. As told by Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda was a Sapta Rishi (one of the seven celestial rishis), a part of Shiva Himself, just like Hanuman. Then there were two householder devotees Balrama Basu and Sri M. (Mahendranath Gupta, the recorder of the Kathamrita) who were also the anatarangs of Sri Chaitanya. Swami Saradananda and Swami Ramakrishnananda were the disciples of Jesus – John and James. Swami Brahmananda also called Rakhal Maharaj was the cowherd companion, Rakhal, of Sri Krishna in Vrindavan.

I realised that to enjoy something of someone, you have to love that person first; instead of knowing someone and then loving her which is a completely different experience. Therefore, today I want to reiterate through my experience that we have to first develop love for God. Let us not see what He can do for us in times of need but love Him for who He is. May God bless you with a deep devotion for Himself and may you experience His love – Shalini Mehta.

Turn around your ego

September 16th, 2016

Sri Ramakrishna while talking to the devotees one day said, ‘When the storekeeper is working in the store, the owner does not look into the daily working of the store.’ Same way when your ego is working for you, God does not take your responsibility.

One might wonder without ego one would be taken advantage of, people may fool you around and if ‘I’ the ego is not there, then, who am I, what would ego-giant-inside-metaphormy existence be? To this again, Thakur has answered beautifully. He says – if the ego does not go away in any way then turn your ego towards God. Say ‘I’ am the child of God, ‘I’ listen to God alone, my source of everything is He. This ego is good. Thakur said just like mishri (lump of refined sugar) does not come under the category of sweets and hence does not do any harm to health, so does ego for God brings no harm to oneself.

So leave the bad ego, I am the doer, this is my family, this is my work, this is my house, I am so educated, I am so qualified, I work in such a big company, I earn so much, this is bad ego. And inculcate the good ego, that I am the child of God.

Spend time with God and surrender your ego to Him.

Learning from the Battle of Mahabharata

July 9th, 2016

Lord-Krishna-Defeating-Karna-in-MahabharataFor a couple of months now, I’ve been watching “Surya Putra Karna Mahabharata” on Television with my daughter. When I watched older version of Mahabharata on TV during my school days I didn’t learn anything out of it. But this time when I watched, I learnt many important lessons that I thought are interesting to share. Karna’s character is known for his giving nature and also for how great a warrior he was but I saw his character from a totally different perspective, from the perspective of being a God’s child. This learning was so profound that I thought I must share what I learnt.

After watching Mahabharata I realised that for anyone who is seeking solutions for their everyday battles, reading or even watching Mahabharata is essential, because this is one battle that we are fighting daily in our lives. If we can learn from it we would know what to do and what not to do in our battles. The first, most important thing that comes out of that battle for our lives is to make God the driver of our life without questioning Him. It is rather most unfortunate for a person to deny the offer when God Himself wants to be your driver and is asking you for it rather than rely on your capabilities. We need to trust Him completely.

Secondly, God warns you again and again of your wrongs, you need to pay complete attention to Him rather than being too rigid and confident of your capabilities. Thirdly, you don’t have to prove it to the world of how capable you are, God already sees you capable and this is sufficient enough. Wanting to prove it to the world will only make you make wrong choices which will make you lose your battles. Fourthly, we need to trust God more than we trust our minds. Our mind can only give us options based on its own experience or someone else’s experiences while God is all knowing. He is the know-er of our past, present and future. What He knows and what He tells us we cannot even imagine even in our wildest of dreams. So trust God with all your heart!

Also, God wants to hear from your mouth what you want. Like in Bible Jesus said, you have not because you ask not. So talk to God, God already knows what’s in your heart but He loves it when you tell Him. He loves listening to your voice. –Shalini Mehta

 

 

Seed that falls on different grounds!

May 14th, 2016

Christ giving Sermon

Reference Mathew 13:1-9, Mark 4:1-9, Luke 8:4-15

Jesus said- “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was sowing, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun rose, the seedlings were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the seedlings, and they yielded no crop. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it sprouted, grew up, and produced a crop—one bearing thirty-fold, another sixty-fold, and another a hundredfold.” 

Explanation

The seeds that dropped on the path, this means consciousness for God does not get awakened in too much noise. Birds devoured those, means; it entered from one ear and went out from the other. Fell on rocky ground means some people hear the Word of God, some understand it, but when it’s time to put it into practice they see they have to renounce attachment to worldly stuff, they leave it. Some fell among thorns means some forget about the Word of God when they go through the trials and turbulence of life. Good soil means the devotee of the inner circle (Peter, John, James, Sri M, Swami Vivekananda and all the inner circle ones). They are the living witness of the Aavatar (God incarnate). They go through poverty, pain, penance, sorrow, misery, exploitation, but keep holding on to His Word. They are the leaders of the world. The world lifts up through their life-it gets the awakening of God. For this Christ says-Unto you is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of Heaven. They alone are eligible for receiving the mystery of God. (As explained by Sri M-the direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa)

 

Who can realize God?

April 8th, 2016

Praying in desperationRecently I posted this for our whatsapp group, a conversation between Sri M (direct, householder disciple of Sri Ramakrishna) and Sri Ramakrishna Himself. The conversation goes like this that Thakur Sri Ramakrishna says that- Anyone can realize the Self (God within). To which M says- But God is the doer, whatever He wishes to get done, to some He enlightens and to others He keeps making them sleep (meaning one unaware of God and is bound to the world). To which Thakur gives the perfect answer- One needs to Pray with desperation. If you are intimate, He’ll surely listen.

When I read this it was like a big veil lifted, this is a huge assurance for everyone. I’ve heard and also read that only the one whose time is ripe can realize God. But this assurance from an Avatar is so life changing for every being who has adorned a human body. All one needs is to pray with desperation and be intimate with Him and God will listen.

On this note I pray for all the readers that may this desperation reside in you to seek God, so that you don’t have to go through the process of birth and death, again and again-Shalini Mehta

 

Temptation

March 11th, 2016

Thakur As we celebrate the 180th Birth Anniversary of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, I want to share with you some of his treasured words of wisdom for us. Thakur had only one prayer on his lips all the time-माँ- अपनी भुवन मोहिनी माया में भुलाईयो ना और पाप के हाथ से सर्वदा मुक्त करो । The same as Jesus said in Mathews 6:13- Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Initially I did not realize the essence of the prayer but as I started praying this prayer regularly, God revealed to me its true meaning. This is prayer we all need to pray all the time, you might wonder why? God in action is called Shakti (माँ) the Divine Mother. Now the Divine Mother manifests herself in two powers-Avidya Maya and Vidya Maya. Vidya Maya is the positive side of the Divine Mother while the Avidya Maya which Christians and Muslims call Satan is the Negative side. This negative side pulls us into temptations, makes us believe the wrong things as right and keeps us oblivious of discerning. Also, many things about us the other person can judge that we are doing wrong but we see ourselves right in our own eyes and keep suffering, are all play of Avidya Maya.

female had holding apple with snake

Now you might wonder, what can be done about it. Thakur Sri Ramakrishna gave a solution for this, as you get closer to God, spend time praying, Avidya Maya also leaves your way. Hence this prayer. No matter how smart, intelligent or how much you are filled with God and His Word, you cannot win over God’s Avidya Maya without praying humbly all the time.

So, rather than asking God for anything else, ask for His Pure faith and Pure love and the above prayer. I do it daily, without keeping a count of how many times in the day-Shalini Mehta

Merry Christmas-Message of Jesus

December 25th, 2015

Jesus-Dec-15

Today as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, let’s ponder on his actual message. Preachers today preach what people want to hear, that Jesus can fulfil all your dreams and make your life abundant and do miracles in your life. No doubt, yes he can do that, but what about the step we need to take before that. We have forgotten that Jesus himself never had a home, no mansions or horse-carts. The true message of renunciation by Jesus has been lost in what people want to hear and what makes the preachers famous and rich.

The actual message of Jesus was to love God and love Him not as you love your things, love Him so much that those things seem like a mound of dirt to you, for God is above and beyond all things – to renounce everything for God. While we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, let us remember his message to us – Love God for who He is, not for the miracles of His hand.

There would be no hunger in you for the worldly when you start loving the One who made this world, for once you get Him in your life, nothing seems attractive except Him.

Be in the FLow

December 21st, 2015

surfer-in-the-flow-630x315We are naturally drawn to making our decisions, thoughts and words, that are influenced by our mind but as we grow in our relationship with God, our decisions, thoughts, words are naturally influenced by God. We wait on God more patiently, or better way to put it is that God’s grace helps us be more patient and instills faith in us. It’s not easy or even bring this change overnight, but that is exactly every Soul will have to ultimately accept subsequently. This change is difficult because our minds are conditioned to think and act, but we have to understand that when we align ourselves to be in the flow of God, our life automatically becomes peaceful, more contained and aligned.

So many times we do things or want things that are not aligned to God’s will and make ourselves go through the pain of suffering because our mind does not want to allow us to be in God’s flow. While you must have experienced that there are times when some really good things have happened to us when we switched our minds off and things happened without effort. But how wonderful it would be that all our thoughts, decisions and words are in that flow, at all times. This is possible only when we spend time with God, more you spend time with Him, more you’ll get used to being in the flow. This will help you experience God’s best for your life.

I believe that this would encourage you to be in alignment with God.

Learning From Death

November 26th, 2014

 

funeral-flowersRecently there was a death in the family; it took the family by surprise, even though we are all well aware of the fact that God is a God of surprises. God alone is my teacher; I don’t go by the teachings of anyone else till the time God speaks to me about it. There was surge of well wishers pouring in from everywhere and every person had their opinion to share along with the condolence in some form or the other. Everything that happens to me or around me I always see God’s hand in it and ask God to reveal me what He wants me to learn through it. And true to His character, God revealed me three things very beautifully.

The first thing that God revealed to me was that- We rejoice when a baby is born but in reality a soul got separated from God, while death is the time to rejoice for soul as it is meeting time with God. When a soul adorns a human body meaning when a baby is born, we rejoice, celebrate and welcome the new life. But birth is when the soul is separated from its real Father and Mother-God and accepts an illusion as reality. Why an illusion because there have been many mothers and fathers in past births for that soul and many more would be there, but God is the only One who has been its own in every birth and would be with it till eternity. God also made me understand that death in reality is a time of rejoicing for the soul as it would now get a chance after years to meet its real Father and Mother-God, from whom it got separated. And every death is a promotion for the soul, promotion because God never demotes you. The ultimate abode of every soul is God and through every death He takes you to a place which would ultimately help you reach Him.

 

The second thing God revealed to me was- There is only one duty of a human being – to love Him. Instead of making other duties right if only this one is fulfilled, rest all automatically get fulfilled. When a soul leaves the body, people start to discuss and contemplate the kind of person s/he was and if he fulfilled his/her duties and what kind of birth would the soul get- good or bad. But God said for a human being there is only one duty, fulfilling which your all other duties would be fulfilled well. And that one duty is to love God. But if you didn’t fulfil that duty your all other duties that you think you did well with your mind, are a complete waste.  Why waste? Because human birth is meant only to love Him. In the mango farm you are there to relish mangoes. Then how many trees are there in the farm or how many mangoes on each tree, there is no need to know. You are here to enjoy eating mangoes which is to love Him, don’t waste your time knowing what you don’t need to know.

 

When we keep a pet in our homes even though we love it a lot, when it dies we don’t follow any kind of ritual, we bury it and maximum get a tomb stone over its place of burial. But when a soul leaves a human body, many rituals are followed, prayer meetings are held, why so? Because human birth is precious as this is the only way you get to love God and He reveals to you who He is. Therefore, don’t waste this birth. It is very essential to not try to understand God with your mind; you’ve to love Him from your heart. Once you love Him from your heart He will make you understand who He is. Worldly intellect contemplates and looks for the value addition in its relationships, the same worldly intellect we use while building relationship with God. But if you make Him your own and love Him for who He is and not to get your desires fulfilled, you’ll receive multiple folds.

 

One must remember that our journey with God is in different stages just like a student goes to school and has to clear the stage it is in to come to the next stage. But if a grade one student after learning sentence formation thinks that he knows more than what a High School student knows or even more than a university student then that particular soul is becoming a hurdle in its own spiritual progress because Bhagvad Gita 6:6 says that- The soul is its own friend when that soul has conquered its mind, senses and body, but one who has not been able to win over its mind, senses and body, then it becomes its own enemy. That is why your heart should forever yearn for Him. When a beggar begs for alms, you do not immediately help the beggar by getting a train ticket for him to travel; maximum you give him a dollar or small help in kind. Same way God does not reveal Himself to everyone in the same way, you’ve to keep asking and yearning only then He reveals Himself to you. More you go towards God more you’ll find the worldly talk tasteless, but if it has still not happened to you, it means you need to go deeper, further.

 

Third revelation that God unfolded was- There is limited time for the soul, not more or less, therefore, it is vital to fulfil your duty of loving God sooner. Even if you ask for time later it is not given. There is limited time for each soul, not a second more or a second less. When your time is up, then no matter how much you beg you’ll not be given extension. Therefore, it is imperative for each of us to finish our work in the stipulated time, and that work is to love God.

 

But in all this it is very essential to know that loving God does not come by just worshipping, or reading scripture after scripture, without putting it on. The clothes in your closet have to be worn; just hanging in the closet doesn’t fulfil their purpose, and same way one has to put on His Word in life. When you put on His Word in your life, your life changes, that is when the magic happens.

 

I pray to God for every person reading this piece of writing that God makes you experience a deep relationship with Him which will make your presence in the world fruitful. God bless you-Shalini Mehta

People a blessing!

September 3rd, 2014

People a blessing

People who betrayed you, challenged you, hated you, ignored you, were the ones whom God chose for you to learn to change your ways and are a blessing for you. This post got the maximum likes and shares as our post on Facebook. That is when I realized that it is not only my own experience but the experience of so many others. Usually when people love us and appreciate us we bend towards them because we all like being appreciated, loved and praised. But when some people ignore us, hate us; our normal reaction is we have negativity in our heart for them. But honestly when this time I got the same response I had been getting again and again from some people in the family I realized, it’s not about them, and it’s about me. God is trying to show me something about me and not them.

I prayed to God to give me clarity on this and He showed me that the more we try to attach ourselves to people, more approval we seek from people; we would receive more of such responses. This got me to immediately pray to God to detach me to all want in me to seek approval in any way from any one and attach me to Him. Also I prayed to God that I needed to seek only His approval for my actions, so help me do this. There was a shift, a shift in my attitude, a shift in my perspective, a shift in my actions. And this gave me lot of peace. When we seek people’s approval for our actions we lose our peace but when we seek God and His approval, we not only get approval but experience the joy and peace bubbling in us.

That is when I realized that whosoever God puts in our life even though we have had distasteful experiences, it was for our own good. So we could listen to God more and seek Him more. So I encourage you today that all those people who scrub on you like sand paper may seem painful but are only making you shine. So be blessed!

     
 
 
 
 
 
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