Posts Tagged ‘ramakrishna’
Sunday, November 12th, 2017
Some of us, very often, rather daily, read the scripture to make us aware of God’s prescription for our lives as a routine. Many of us are content with just reading it, and believe that just reading would be much beneficial to us, and that “we” are far better than others who do not even glance at the Word. God, however, sees us differently. I would like to quote two scriptures that are close to my heart in this regard:
The Bible says in James (1:22) “Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
In the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Thakur makes us understand this with an interesting story: “A man received a letter from home informing him that certain presents were to be sent to his relatives. The names of the articles were given in the letter. As he was about to go shopping for them, he found that the letter was missing. He began anxiously to search for it, several others joining in the search. For a long time, they continued to search. When at last the letter was discovered, his joy knew no bounds. With great eagerness, he opened the letter and read it. It said that he was to buy five seers of sweets, a piece of cloth, and a few other things. Then he did not need the letter anymore, for it had served its purpose. Putting it aside, he went out to buy the things. How long is such a letter necessary? As long as its contents are not known. When the contents are known one proceeds to carry out the directions.
“In the scriptures, you will find the way to realize God. But after getting all the information about the path, you must begin to work. Only then can you attain your goal.
“What will it avail a man to have a mere scholarship? A pundit may have studied many scriptures, he may recite many sacred texts, but if he is still attached to the world and if inwardly he loves ‘woman and gold’, then he has not assimilated the contents of the scriptures. For such a man the study of scriptures is futile.
“The almanac forecasts the rainfall tor the year. You may squeeze the book, but you won’t get a drop of water — not even a single drop.”
Therefore, my friends, the key to a happy life is to practice the scripture in our life. Without it, we remain where we are and do not progress to the next level. Moving forward means that we are learning our lessons from the scripture and then practicing them in our daily lives.
God bless you with the practice of the Word!- Vinay Mehta
Wednesday, September 6th, 2017
In view of how people are choosing their Gurus, I thought of sharing something that will make us understand that we need to use our discernment when we choose a Guru. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa emphasized that a human being cannot be a Guru, only Satchidananda (God) is Guru. What does this mean? When we go ahead and start following someone the first thing one needs to look into is, whether he/she is a renouncer or an accumulator. Jesus, Guru Nanak, Mohammad, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, were true renouncers, they were God incarnate. Why do we then not hold on to the Truth instead of holding the fake?
I want to share something of Sri Ramakrishna’s character which will further clarify my point. When Sri Ramakrishna wanted to teach humility to himself, this is what He did (as per excerpt below). This has been picked by from the book of Swami Vivekananda- Swamiji on Himself, in Swamiji’s own words.
Whenever he (Sri Ramakrishna) wanted to do anything he never confined himself to fine theories but would enter into the practice immediately. We see many persons talking the most wonderfully fine things about charity and about equality and the rights of other people and all that, but it is only in theory. I was so fortunate as to find one who was able to carry theory into practice. He had the most wonderful faculty of carrying everything into practice which he thought was right. Now, there was a family of Pariahs living near the place. . . . My Master would go to a Pariah and ask to be allowed to clean his house. The business of the Pariah is to clean the streets of the cities and to keep houses clean. . . . By birth, the Brahmin stands for holiness and the Pariah for the very reverse. And this Brahmin asked to be allowed to do the menial services in the house of the Pariah. The Pariah, of course, could not allow that, for they all think that if they allow a Brahmin to do such menial work it will be an awful sin, and they will become extinct. The Pariah would not permit it; so in the dead of night, when all were sleeping, Ramakrishna would enter the house. He had long hair, and with his hair he would wipe the place, saying, “Oh, my Mother, make me the servant of the Pariah, make me feel that I am even lower than the Pariah”. . . .
All are Avataras are an epitome of humility. Thus, when you desire for a Guru, ask God to become your Guru, I did and learned the true meaning of who a true Guru is. God only is the One who has clarified all questions lurking in my soul and spirit. So seek God!
Sunday, July 16th, 2017
I’ve read this so many times while contemplating on the Words of Sri Ramakrishna and also read in the Word through the Holy Mother Sarada Devi that -“One may have the grace of the Guru; the grace of God, and the grace of his devotees, but without the grace, of one’s own mind, one may be completely ruined”. It always amazed me, the connection of mind with realizing God. When I read this excerpt of Swami Premananda’s teachings, it made so much sense, that I knew I had to share this.
Following is the excerpt-
I have heard Sri Ramakrishna say: “One may have the grace of the Guru; the grace of Krishna [God], and the grace of his devotees, but without the grace, of one’s own mind, one may be completely ruined”. What is this grace of one’s own mind? It is that, one must desire God and struggle to realize Him. He must struggle to purify his mind. Have firm faith in your own Self. “I will surely find God, I can never fail” – this self-confidence and firm determination are needed. Let the field be ready; then, if a good seed falls upon it, the seed will sprout and grow into a tree. Increase your love for God. Let strong renunciation and intense yearning possess you. Then only will you experience God’s grace and receive peace. (Refer Mark 4:8, Mathew 13:8 and Luke 8:8)
The above teaching explained and spoke by itself everything. That also answers why one must spend time with God, or with Holy (sadhu) people. Why one must study the scripture and worship God. Why one needs to sing His praises and focus on developing a relationship with Him. Because till the direction of the mind is not changed from the World, to the lotus feet of God, it will never yearn for God. It is rightly said that the company you choose to spend your time with, that colour your mind adorns. So, one needs to soak the mind in those things that makes you remember God, just as if you soak your hands in handling peeled beetroot, your hands will get the ruby colour of beetroot.
Thus, once the field of your mind is ready and prepared, realization comes through His grace.
Tuesday, 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
Saturday, 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.
Friday, 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.
Friday, 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
Friday, 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