February 15th, 2017
This is a very special month, why special because we celebrate the 181st birthday of Sri Ramakrishna who was God in mortal form as He descended to earth and blessed this country with His pious presence on February 18th, 1836. Though as per Hindu calendar we would be celebrating on 28th February, this year.
Recently God revealed to me about journey of a devotee relating to the advent of various Avataras, which I thought must be shared with you. Leading the life of a devotee is not easy. God revealed that when Sri Ram and Mother Sita came to earth, their life was full of challenges, there was never a time where they could enjoy and live together as a couple and enjoy the bliss of being Divine. Hanuman, the humble servant of Sri Ram always waited for that time, but it was like – there is never a dull moment. When they married, they were sent to exile where they faced many challenges including slaying of many demons, including Ravana. When they returned and Mother Sita was carrying she was sent away from the palace in that state. And in all this it seemed God (Sri Ram) was heartless and least concerned especially to Mother Sita whose heart remembered only Sri Ram. Same is the first stage in a devotee’s life – it’s like there is never a dull moment, he gets out of one test and before he can even breathe, he is into another. But all this while, if devotee clings to God alone, he comes out stronger, bolder and evolved. Sri Ram through Hanuman taught how Bhakti is most precious and faith in His Name is absolutely essential.
The second stage of a devotee’s life is like coming of Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna came as Avatar, He was completely different in His dealings from Sri Ram. He taught the world how it was essential to be skillful to reign over one’s enemies. And His teachings to us in the clearest form are in the Bhagvad Gita. The Gita can only be understood, practiced and followed by a true devotee. A devotee is pure and simple at heart, the main criteria for a soul to receive God in heart. But this makes worldly people take advantage of devotees. Sri Krishna’s ways teach a devotee how to deal with world. Thakur Sri Ramakrishna used to say that why would a believer of God be a fool. And it is essential for a devotee to learn at this stage. This stage in a devotee’s life is life-changing. Initially devotee is apprehensive because a devotee is projected in a particular way. But when he accepts the change, his understanding of God’s ways enables him to adapt.
Then Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa came, and he came very recently. Thakur’s main teachings evolved around Bhakti, pure love and pure devotion for God, without which a devotee cannot depend on God completely. This teaches a devotee to surrender, see God as a person and develop a relationship with Him. Thakur emphasized that it was essential for a devotee to see God as his friend, as a parent, or any other relationship other than that of lover. A relationship makes the devotion deeper and profound.
I believe this revelation would help you in your walk with God to make your relationship with God stronger and deeper. Though at the same time I would like to emphasize this revelation does not mean God has come only as these three Avataras, because once Sri Krishna asked Arjun to count how many black things were there on a tree, when Arjun went close he saw countless faces of Krishna. Sri Krishna told Arjun can a human mind understand, it is like these countless fruit that I come in various forms.
God bless you in everything that you do-Shalini Mehta
January 20th, 2017
Once again a very happy and blessed New Year to you and your family. January is not only a month to celebrate a New Year but also Lohri, Makarsankranti, Pongal and Republic Day. So wishes to you for these occasions too. Since it’s the beginning of a new year, I would like to share with you the importance of January 01.
For us it is not only an opportunity given by God for a new beginning in every walk of life but January 01 holds a very important significance. Before I tell you the actual reason, let me give you a background to it. Sri Ramakrishna the incarnate of Sri Ram, Sri Krishna and Jesus, was suffering from cancer in his last days in that body. To give him a better environment his devotees brought him to Cossipore Garden House in Calcutta so that he could have an open environment and fresh air which would help his body recover. This was also the place where Thakur Sri Ramakrishna went into Mahasamadhi in August 1886. Here also once when Swami Vivekananda was massaging Thakur’s feet, a thought struck Swamiji that at this moment if Thakur says that He is God incarnate, he would believe Him to be an Avatara and as soon as the thought came to Swamiji’s mind Thakur said ‘Je Ram Je Krishna, idanim Ramakrishna (One who was Ram and Krishna, He is now Ramakrishna) Swamiji was a transformed person after that and would even eat the vomit of Thakur, repenting why he didn’t believe Thakur all this while as being an Avatara.
Here also one very interesting incident happened on January 1, 1886. Thakur was so unwell that even for changing side on bed, he needed two people to help Him. His room was on the first floor of the house and on the ground floor room all the young boys who were later initiated into becoming monks of the Ramakrishna order were sitting, doing their own things. Thakur came down all by Himself towards a mango tree near the gate where only the householder devotees sat discussing about Thakur. As soon as Girish Chandra Ghosh, a householder devotee (who was the first among devotees to recognise Thakur as an Avatara) saw Him, he fell on Thakur’s feet crying that you have come for me Lord to free me of the bondage of birth and death, the tears from his eyes sent Thakur in Samadhi and that is when He showed His real Self (virat roop) to the devotees) and blessed all the devotees saying- Chaitnya hok! Meaning may you be illumined. That put all the house holder devotees in ecstasy and some of them started crying and others started to laugh and saw their chosen deity (Ishta).
All this while the would-be monks who were on the ground floor were oblivious of this happening. After that day January 1 has been celebrated as the Kalpataru Day. And anyone who goes to Thakur with a pure heart receives from Him whatsoever he so desires.
December 13th, 2016
As we know this is the last month of 2016, and like always I want to take this opportunity to share that we still have time before we enter into a brand new year. So let’s take this opportunity to reflect upon what we did or didn’t do, what we could and couldn’t do, not for earning more or having more facebook friends or impressed upon our relatives, but; what we did or could do to deepen our relationship with God. I’ve always kept the words of Sri Ramakrishna in my heart- He said-Move ahead, if someone has experienced a little of Spiritual gain somehow, one must not think all has been done. Move ahead! For which he narrated a story which clearly explains his teaching.
There was once a woodcutter who used to go to the forest to cut wood, suddenly he met a Brahmachari who told him to move ahead. After the wood cutter reached home he pondered upon what the Brahmachari had told him. So after few days he went deeper into the forest and found trees of Sandalwood, thus selling them he became a rich man. Same way again he remembered the Brahmachari’s words- Move ahead, after few days he went further ahead and found silver mine and became richer. Thus moving ahead he found gold mine and then a mine of precious stones. Therefore Move ahead in your spiritual journey making only God your anchor, you’ll experience God in ways no Scripture or holy person can explain it to you. God is an ocean of bliss, deeper you go into Him, blissful you and your life becomes.
I believe these words would have a deep impact on your heart and want you to reflect upon your relationship with God. May God bless you with a deep devotion for Himself and may you experience His love.
God bless you and your family!-Shalini Mehta
November 12th, 2016
During 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.
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 my 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.
July 9th, 2016
For 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
May 14th, 2016
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.”
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)
April 8th, 2016
Recently 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
March 11th, 2016
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.
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
December 25th, 2015
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.