By-Products of Spirituality

Dear readers,

Welcome to another interesting week of insightful topics and discussions. It is great to be able to share with you all once again.

The last weekend has been festive and intense for those of us who are Gaudiya Vaisnavas and during this very auspicious period of reflection on the appearance of the Supreme Lord on this planet over 500 years ago, I took in some realizations which I shall share. During the course of our spiritual journey many of us will encounter different test, trials, setbacks, be they internal, external or objects of our own creation. Our response to these factors usually go a long way to shape or mold our subsequent path in spirituality.

However adversity is not the only stumbling block on the path of devotional service to the Lord, as opulence, and even material success could very well impede our progress. It is on this matter we shall deliberate today. Many people take on spirituality for a diverse number of reasons and with time these reasons manifest or take form due to the practitioners intense desire to have them or just due to the fact that they have developed some good spiritual credit that gives them the spiritual eligibility to attract and manifest these subtle desires. In the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krsna mentions that four kinds of Men surrender unto Him, the distressed, the one who desires wealth, the inquisitive and he who is searching the knowledge of the Absolute truth. Now very few people fall in the last category and Lord Krsna Himself mentions this again in the Bhagavad Gita that of many Men who seek Him hardly does one know Him in truth.

Today these four classes of men still seek Krsna and they are not to be condemned of Judged, however our discussion today is centered on what happens to a practitioner who fall in the category of those who harbor desires and seek to fulfill it in the process of devotional service. It is said that the Maha Mantra is a wish fulfilling mantra and as such those who chant this mantra naturally have their desires fulfilled.  Second point is that on the level of chanting the semblance name (nama-abhasa) one gets his material desires fulfilled. This is one of the qualities of such improper chanting. Having one’s material desires fulfilled is not a flaw in itself if the objective is to use those desires to further service the Lord properly, however when these material desires are used to acquire fame, worship and adoration, or presented as a pseudo-advancement yard stick, then the practitioner gets into a difficult position in his/her spiritual life. Of course one may cite the verse that says “akarma sarva karmo va, moksa karma udaradi…” that is even if one has no desires, to many desires or desires liberation still one should worship the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, as a reference to justify our having desires different from giving satisfaction to the Supreme. Fair enough, the idea is that with time and practice, the practitioner can either dove tail those desires or even rise above them and totally focus his time and energy on the Lord’s service.

If a practitioner who while chanting harbors material desires in his mind or heart, soon they will manifest and come to reality either by the potency of the semblance name or by virtue of his spiritual practice. This in itself is doesn’t mar his progress as much as the fault of beginning to assume that these material desires that are manifesting are as a result of his spiritual growth and his progress on the path of devotion. This thought or misconception is where the real problem lies and if not tackled immediately, could very well spell out his downward swirl. When a practitioner or persons on the path of devotional service begin to equate spiritual progress with the level of one’s material success then the growth of our devotional creeper is stunted. So what should be the mindset of a practitioner who has material desires or has them being fulfilled while engaging in devotional service?

The sincere practitioner should pray to the Lord for guidance and help to be able to curb his material desires. He should try to reduce the association of persons or things that increase these desires. He should take his devotional practice seriously while accepting whatever material embellishment he gets as just a means to serve better. He should not use or even harbor the desire to use these material embellishment to attract fame, honour or adoration. The practitioner should dearly pray to the lord to help him surmount the temptations that come with material progress and he should pray to those practitioners who are advanced to help him steer clear of distractions that come with material advancement.

I know some of my readers may wonder and even begin to think that I am saying material advancement is bad or not something to acquire. The truth is when something powerful is placed in the hands of someone who cannot manage it, then it becomes dangerous. However when placed in the right hands it is desirable. So it is not much the item but the person who has the item. On a lighter note, as living beings in the material world it is natural that at some point in time we will have material desires either due to past karmic impressions or due to our current actions and choices. This should not be a cause for despair or lamentation, the mere fact that we can identify which desire is not favorable or which advancement may be an impediment is a step in the right direction. The only thing we have to do in addition is to be careful of our choices, and our actions.  There is no one to police our thought or our desires or to see how we use our material embellishments. The only person who can really check us is; ourselves.

I hope this blog sheds good light on this matter, do read, share and follow for more. Do have a splendid week ahead.

God; form or formless

Dear readers,

It’s a pleasure to be able to share with you all once again yet another interesting topic. Last week we had the chance to deliberate on a thought-provoking matter and needless to say we were able to gain a lot more insight on tests in our spiritual journey.

Today however topic of deliberation is different and beyond the regular, before we delve into it, allow me to give a brief preamble. If you are new to this blog space and would like to have a background information on what I’ll be discussing today then please do read this blog >God’s descent<. Having said that, today we shall be discussing about the form or formlessness of God. It might sound somewhat bold to try to “depict or describe” God, however there is no cause for alarm or panic as whatever I present here today will be backed by references from scriptural texts and in this way we can appease the minds of my readers who are from various religious backgrounds.

The reason why I have chosen to deliberate on this topic today is because; tomorrow the world over many Gaudiya Vaishnava will be celebrating the advent of the Supreme Lord on this planet over 5000 years ago.

So first question is why would God want to come here to this planet in the first place?

In the Bhagavad Gita Chap 4 text 7 and 8, the Lord gives the reason why he descends. He says whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious principles he descends, and when he does he comes with the objective of re-establishing religious principles, protecting his devotees and annihilating the miscreants. Sometimes the Lord doesn’t descend himself but sends his emissary to do his bidding. This emissary could be the Lord himself in the form of an incarnation or of a being invested with spiritual potency to carry out his mission. The Bible confirms this in John 3.16 where it says for God so loved the world that he sent his Son, that whomsoever believed in Him would not perish but have ever lasting life. So by accepting the Lord or his incarnations when they descend puts us under their protection. When we are protected by the Lord we definitely will have ever lasting life.

Does God really have a form?

Many people ascribe various attributes to God, and in this light describe Him as the great Light, the Great sound, the great energy etc. In as much as He is all these, He is also more. He is the great light but also the source of that light, he is the great sound but also the source of that sound. He is described in an ancient text known as the Brahma Samhita, or hymns by Brahma; one of the demigods working under the Lord’s direction. In this text it is mentioned that “the lord has an eternal, blissful, spiritual body. He is the origin of all, and has no other origin. He is the prime cause of all causes. This means that despite the fact that He has a body his body is not subject to the laws of material nature like ours. We have a body that grows, falls sick, gets diseased, grow old and eventually dies off. These attributes do not occur in the body of the Lord, thus his body is eternal, blissful and spiritual. His body doesn’t deteriorate in any way form or manner. He never gets old and there is no question of death for him, as he is death personified himself.

In the Bible in Genesis 1:26, God says “let us make Man in our image and likeness” which means we have a form similar to his.  In the Hadith, it is mentioned that on the day of resurrection, Allah will come to those who worship Him and He’ll say I am your Lord”, they reply: we’ll stay here till our Lord comes to us and when he comes to us we will recognize him, then Allah will appear in such a shape that they can recognize.

If God has a form why is that form not spoken about, or why is He treated as formless by many religions?

In all sincerity, many people are hesitant to speak about the form of the Lord due to inadequate information on this subject matter. This is because not many scriptures have a detailed description, and thus there is hesitation to discuss that which is not properly explained. However those who have access to revealed scriptures like the Vedas, which are the oldest scriptures known to Mankind, have no difficulty in getting the right information.  Second is they find it difficult to actually discuss the subject because they are limited in understanding and feel the Lord’s form is like theirs; which is full of limitation. The human mind finds it difficult to discuss about the absolute or anything absolute because it is finite in nature. Naturally whenever there is a discussion in that direction and there is inadequate guidance then the immediate response is to try to negate the concept so as to remain “safe” in their limited conception.

More so, one cannot speak about what one has no information on. In order to speak about the name, form, qualities and pastimes of the Lord, one needs to have access to the information and the right attitude to get it. Also, because this concept has been abused by many people who claim to be “god”, because they know it is valid and exists, many religious do not even teach it ( for those of them who know).

The form of the Lord is definitely not one we can cover in one dissertation, however this is just a sneak peek into the concept of the nature of the form of God. When we make a genuine effort to try to serve the Lord in truth and surrender to a bona fide representative or spiritual guide, then we can hope that the necessary information needed is revealed to us. By the mercy of the spiritual master one gets the benediction of the Supreme lord, and without his mercy one cannot make advancement.

I hope this dissertation helps shed light on this matter. Till next week, do share, read and internalize. Follow for more.

The Gold and Diamond Test

Dear readers,

It is a pleasure to be here to share with you all once again yet another interesting topic. I hope you all had a productive week, mine has been great and I am particularly looking forward to a festival today, which is celebrated by Gaudiya Vaisnavas.

My topic of consideration today is one which many spiritual practitioners find difficult to wrap their minds around, because of the delicate nature of the subject. This subject is one that has made many people become atheist and has also strengthened the faith of those who are believers. It can be summarized in a single phrase; “why does God allow his devotees to go through tough times”. However before we begin to deliberate on the subject matter let’s look back in time and cite a few examples.

Lord Jesus Christ in the Bible was of a simple disposition, he helped the poor, fed the hungry, healed the sick, but in the end he was betrayed by his own disciple for 30 silver coins (is a man’s life not worth more than that? How cheap). In the last meeting with his disciples when he was about to be arrested by the soldiers and one of his disciples drew a sword to fight back, Jesus did the opposite and turned himself in. Bear in mind that this is a person who is a sakti-avesa avatar (one who is imbued with divine potency to do God’s work), he is described as the Son of God in John 3.16 and we all know he had divine powers and abilities. He didn’t try for once to use that power, when brought before the people and the Pontius Pilate asked the crowd to choose between him and the criminals, they chose the criminals over him, still he didn’t complain. Today he is celebrated the world over, and almost everyone knows that name, Jesus.

Haridas Thakur who is the manifestation of Suddha nama, and who is known as nama acarya was flogged in 22 market places, lied on etc. He had the potency to descend wrath on those who did these things yet he didn’t, and the lord intervened. Today his glories shine even brighter than ever.

The Pandavas, knew Lord Krishna on a one on one basis, imagine having the Supreme Lord as a relative and friend. Yet despite this privilege they went through such terrible situations that one can hardly even imagine the extent to which they must have been damaged.  They were poisoned, attacked, set up, had their house burnt down, had their property usurped by dubious means, had their wife stripped in front of an assembly of men, My goodness, this one is tough. However in the end they were victorious and today their glories are sung even more. I can go on to list more examples but I’ll just stop here.

Now let’s draw a few lessons; sometimes in the course of our spiritual life we are thrown into some situation which may seem absurd, however if we fail to learn the lesson, we fail the Gold and Diamond test.  What is the Gold and Diamond test? To purify gold and make it pure, it is subjected to heat, diamonds are just carbons subjected to a lot of pressure over many years. Similarly for a devotee’s qualities to shine, he has to be subjected to heat and pressure, after that one can see the Gold and diamond in him/her. A pseudo devotee will melt under heat (trials) or break under pressure (tribulations).  Lesson two, when a devotee is going through the Gold and Diamond test, in matter of time, if he/she passes the test, we may not see the transformation or elevation physically, but internally there is a great milestone covered, and they are given more access to divine strength and protection.

Lesson three is often times people want to know but these people who pose as disturbances to devotees what is their fate? Usually not very good, Judas committed suicide and couldn’t even spend the money he got from betraying Jesus, the entire Kauravas lost their lives and none of them was spared in the war, etc. The devotee doesn’t wish anyone bad, however Krsna never lets his devotees perish, “Na me bhakta pranasyati”. It’s a promise. I once had an interesting experience once while travelling by road in a public bus.  A private car, double crossed our vehicle forcing us to come to a complete abrupt halt and he jumped out of his vehicle yelling at the driver of the bus I was in. That day was Pandava Nirjala ekadasi, I was travelling with another devotee, and we were observing the fast in total. We were chanting the entire time of the journey, when this incidence began. The driver who had forced us to stop began hitting the windshield and went on to hack off the side mirror on our vehicle.

Our driver became furious and wanted to retaliate, I told him “wind up your side mirror and stay put”. When the devotee who was me tried to speak calmly to the enraged driver who was trying to damage our bus, the driver moved over to our side of the bus as we were seated in front and started to rain abuse on him, the devotee in question wanted to step out to and probably engage with the driver, again I told him, “ignore it, remember you are fasting”. Now this is where it gets scary, from nowhere in a split second a van carrying military officers, suddenly pulled over, and in a few seconds the man terrorizing our vehicle was in cuffs. It was unbelievable, it happened so fast that many people didn’t even understand what was happening. While the officers were whisking him away, for causing nuisance and destroying our car, he started to apologize. A few minutes ago this was the same person who had vowed to beat us up if we dared step out.

The devotee with me looked and me and said this must be instant karma. I said “you see why it was pointless go out to meet him”. The devotee in no way wishes that those who prosecute him should suffer, rather he prays for them, Jesus said on the cross “father forgive them for they know not what they do”. Haridas thakur was constantly praying in his mind for those who were flogging him and that inhibited the lord from acting, even Arjun who saw his wife stripped in front of him, turned down retaliating when he had the chance at the battel field. However the Lord, in his own sweet time, solves everything.

I don’t intend to make this too lengthy, I hope you all learn a thing or two from this. Till next week do share, read, internalize and follow for more.

Karma

Dear Readers,

It’s a pleasure to share with you all yet another interesting topic this week. Yesterday was father’s day and I’ll love to say happy belated Father’s day to all Father’s out there. Being a Father is more than just having the capacity to produce babies, it comes with a lot of responsibility and naturally all those who wear this crown are really special people.

In this light, I’ll like to speak about something which many of us may be familiar with already or perhaps might have heard of; Karma. Karma or the Law of retribution, as some call it. The word Karma simply means that we are accountable for every action we pose and these actions can have effects on our lives, either in the past, present or future. Even though many people find it hard to “believe” in the Laws of Karma, this doesn’t change the fact that the law is universal and always acting. The laws of Karma are like Newton’s third law, which state that to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

If we can accept Newton’s law as scientific, then we must also realize that the laws of Karma are similar and even more efficient. Contrary to some belief system, that the laws of karma are just “cold and heartless” because they hold us accountable for events which we may have committed in a life prior, the laws of Karma are actually needed to keep some balance in the universal system. A quick look at our modern day Justice system, we may have seen cases where by a criminal is investigated for years and a track record of all his misdeeds are documented and used against him in a court of law. The criminal doesn’t tell the judge; “O how can you judge me by those crimes I committed 5 years ago, I can’t even remember I did them”. Similarly some people find it difficult to accept the laws of Karma because it naturally brings to light a very crucial topic; Reincarnation.

The laws of Karma go hand in hand with reincarnation and thus anyone who is adverse to the principles of reincarnation cannot easily accept the laws of Karma. Often times the reason why people find it difficult to accept the principles of reincarnation is because it places a lot of responsibility on them; something many people do not like to have. The fact that we are responsible for everything we do, no matter when it happened, is a thought many people cringe at. So basically what Karma says is, not only are we responsible for the results of our actions but these results can be transferred to another life time if need be. Should this be difficult to comprehend, let’s take the example of retaking a course at the University. Sometimes when a student fails a course in a semester, he is asked to carry the course over to the next semester and retake the exam.

The idea behind is to make sure that whatever has to be learnt in that course is learnt and only then can the student be allowed to move on. Similarly Karma clapping back at us is not in any way “cold or heartless”, we all get what we sow. we cannot sow corn and somehow or the other expect to reap apples. Another interesting point is the fact that our karma is not all bad and gloomy. There are people who have good Karma in this life as a result of extra pious activities they have performed in a previous life. The presence of pious credits from a previous life accounts for the seemingly inexplicable blissful life some people have now, despite the fact that they do not have to work so hard. In the same vein, many people have to pay a lot of Karmic debt this life time due to mismanagement of certain privileges in a previous life time or due to gross misdemeanor.

On the brighter side, not all Karma is bad and not all is fixed. We have the power to change whatever Karmic pattern we have in our lives because our lives are defined by the choices we make. The proof to this is certain inspiring stories of people who come from very poor backgrounds but work and become financially successful. This is to show that we can change our karma in certain areas if we decide to put in the necessary work required. Of course there are certain people who feel that Karma is fixed and cannot be changed, however this is a misconception. If Karma was fixed then we wouldn’t have to do anything, because whatever has been pre-destined would happened. This conception would have left many rich people today still poor, if they had believed that they couldn’t change their poor background status by working diligently and legitimately.

Just like we have good and bad, we also have good and bad Karma, both are results of our activities. For those who engage in activities that are bad and nefarious, there is a resultant karma waiting for them to reap. Likewise those who perform pious activities also have good karma in store for them. There is an interesting twist to karma, which makes it sometimes difficult to comprehend and this is due to the intricate nature of the laws of action and inaction. In this light sometimes we have people act in a way we calculate to be “bad” but in the long run they actually are doing something pious, even without their own knowledge. When this occurs they get pious credits all the same, irrespective of whether they knew or not. This goal of life however is not to go about doing good deeds just because we want to acquire pious credits in this life and beyond. In actuality the aim of our activities should be to please the Supreme Lord, because by so doing we are free from the resultant actions of good and bad karma.

When we understand this point and endeavor to apply it then our lives become successful.  I hope this sheds some light on the matter. Till next week do read, share and follow for more.

YES, NO, VERY GOOD

Dear readers,
Welcome to another week of interesting blogs. It is a pleasure to share these topics with you all on this platform.
This week I will be presenting a short story told and commented on by a guadiya Vaisnava mentor, he had a style of telling short stories and then deciphering moral lessons from them especially as regards spirituality. So once, there was a simple villager who had picked up some English through listening. He memorized a few words such as ‘Yes’, ‘No’ and ‘Very good”, however he never attempted to actually understand the application of these words in the proper context.

The only thing he knew was that a sort of respect was accorded to those who could speak the English language in front of others.
Once some bandits committed a murder and then while escaping made it look as if the so-called English speaking villager had been the culprit. When the villager was brought to the law court, the judge asked him in Bengali, “Did you commit the murder?” The villager felt if he spoke some English in front of the Judge then the judge might accord him some respect, considering him to be a follower of the western culture and thus may be relieved of the allegation of murder.

Contemplating thus, the Villager replied to the judge, “Yes!”. The judge asked “was there anyone else with you?” Promptly the villager replied “No!”. Then the Judge said, “Do you realize that you will have to go to Jail? Now the villager thought that in order to really prove he was a gentleman he needed to put forward his best protest. He replied “Very good”. From this story one can deduce certain salient points about spirituality, and the first is on the issue of giving scriptural quotes in a parrot-like fashion, without proper understanding of the instructions, religious terminologies or injunctions. In a bid to draw respect and admiration from people, and those who listen to them these pseudo spiritualist are quick to quote various verses from scripture without actually having a realized perspective of whatever they are quoting.
The general mood is to portray erudition or spirituality by making a show of been well versed in the scriptures. However if these pseudo spiritualists are not put to test like the villager in our short story then no one knows for sure what they are made of. It is one thing to quote references from religious texts backing whatever we profess but it is another to actually have realized these words in our daily lives. That is, be a living testimony to these words from the scriptures by actually internalizing the message, living it and being an example to others who seek to build faith in such words. The position of the preacher or the cleric is to be one of realized knowledge and not mere parrot-erudition.

Anyone with a good memory can also regurgitate verses from any scripture but it takes one who has tried and tested these words to have implicit faith in them. This faith doesn’t only come from having seen physical proves to what he reads but from having the grace of a spiritual mentor who guides him on the path of real spirituality. Often times we see men who are so-called “lettered” with big degrees try to give commentaries on scriptural matters or even give delineations on esoteric and spiritual subjects on the mere basis of their degrees. Those who are true spiritual practitioners see these delineations as words like those of the villager; ludicrous verbosity. They pay no heed to them because they know that the inner imports of the sacred texts are only revealed to those who have the mercy of a genuine and bonafide spiritual mentor, who is also part of an unbroken line of spiritual mentors.
Thus it is imperative that we do not become like our villager here who is ignorant and doesn’t even try to dispel this ignorance by seeking out a true teacher. We all know for certain that picking up a Medical text book and memorizing a few medical jargon doesn’t make one a medical Doctor. Sooner or later when we are put to test in a real life situation then we would have to prove our competence. The only way to get true realizations about spiritual topics and sacred texts is to learn from those who have actually realized their meaning from deep study, sacrifice, prayers and total surrender to a mentor or guide.

Another interesting point is that just like the Villager many pseudo lettered Men do not even know that they are not literate in matters of spirituality, they feel that by conjuring up a few big words to impress their audience they can get past the details of real spirituality. They also feel that whatever they lack in spirituality they can make up for it in their educational accomplishments and thus see no need to surrender to a real guide The topic of surrendering to a guide becomes imperative to anyone who has a real desire to advance in spirituality The problem most of the so-called scholars have is that they find it difficult to have to submit to the tutelage of someone who maybe materially less educated but spiritually very advanced. Not only is humility a requirement for approaching a guide it is also a very important aspect of spirituality.
I hope this short story and delineation sheds some light on this subject, till next week keep reading and sharing. Do follow for more.

Tough love: a prerequisite for purification

Dear readers,

It is yet another week and I am glad to be able to share with you all yet another inspiring topic. I hope you all are faring well.

Today we embark on a topic that I can say is more of a bitter pill for many spiritualists and needless to say, not very much desired. The topic of tough love, unlike Love is one that many spiritualists fear a lot for many reasons. However before we delve into the topic proper, let’s see exactly what we mean by tough love.

Tough love is an expression of love which though difficult to accept is very beneficial for the advancement of whomever it is shown. For aspiring spiritualists or even practicing spiritualists on our various paths of faiths, we all know that purification is a very fundamental part of raising our consciousness.  There are many methods by which one can purify one’s self, either internally and externally or even by both. External purification includes having a bath and putting on clean clothes while internal purification includes praying. There is however another method of purification that comes either as a result of very high mercy from the Supreme Lord or as a result of our deviations.

When we deviate from our spiritual vows and are lackadaisical in our spiritual practices, then sometimes we get chastised either by our spiritual mentors or by higher forces. This chastisement which may seem harsh a times is what we describe as tough love, as it is meant to bring us back to our spiritual practices and help us keep focus. One may liken this to a citizen who is fined for parking wrongly on the street. The idea is not just to get the fine out of him but to help him remember that he is responsible not only for his life but that of others while he is driving. Similarly the objective of tough love from say a spiritual mentor, after our deviation, is not to minimize us but to help us raise our consciousness to what we actually are.

This first aspect of tough love even though hard to accept is somewhat easier than the second aspect, which is as a result of very high mercy from the Supreme Lord. There are times when the Supreme Lord out of his causeless mercy decides to help a soul here to reunite with him faster in his abode. In order to bring about a quicker reunion between the soul and the Lord, the Lord makes certain arrangements which although seemingly tough are meant to purify the soul here quicker and help him return to the Lord’s abode. This type or category of tough love is quite difficult to accept because many spiritual practitioners have a difficulty recognizing it on time and even when they do; it is difficult to accept that the Lord is allowing them go through such intense purification.

A good example from the Bible is the story of Job, who went through so much tough love but became exalted afterwards because he allowed the tough love to purify him and bring him closer to the Supreme Lord. In the Vedas we have the story of Sudama Vipra, a dear friend of the Lord who was so impoverished that he could barely even feed his family. In such a tough state of intense poverty his wife asked him to go see the Supreme Lord. Sudama refused initially as he didn’t want to ask the Lord for anything, however reluctantly due to his wife’s pleading he went. The Lord met him and upon his return back home he was immensely blessed and very opulent.

In the story of Sudama, we can see that for seasoned spiritual practitioners even when the Lord puts them in a very difficult situation in order to purify them, they do not complain or try to fight the situation. They accept the situation seeing it as the Supreme Lord’s will and as a means to further purify themselves. The Supreme Lord on the other hand doesn’t give this tough love to just anyone, because it is very special and considered like a fast track to returning to his abode, and thus only those very dear to him get such special mercy.

One may wonder but why put someone in such a tough situation just to purify him? If one has ever seen an Olympic Gold medalist or a world champion train, then you may have an idea as to why the “push” is necessary. At the end of the day, it is the practitioner who is glorified and not the Supreme Lord, and this is what the Lord wants; that his devotees are glorified. Gold is rid of impurities only when subjected to high temperatures and when the process is over, Gold comes out pure and free from impurities. In the same vein, because the devotees of the Lord are like unrefined Gold, the quickest way to rid them of all impurities is to subject them to the Lord’s tough love.

The Lord does this because he knows his true devotees will pass the test and come out even more glorious than before. There have been times in my life when I have felt the “squeeze” and even felt like it was too much to bear but at every step in the process there was some reciprocation and because I had accepted the events in my life, I knew that the Lord would always be there. Whenever the tough love phase passed, there were many realizations and considerable spiritual growth.

This is not in any way to blow my horns or to sound holier than thou, but to reassure all spiritual practitioners that; blessed are those who receive the Lord’s tough love, for pure love of God awaits them soon”. In order not to create any ambiguity, we must be able to discern when we are going through trials as a result of reactions to improper actions and when the Supreme Lord is actually trying to use us on a higher dimension. The intelligence to discern the difference comes with solid practice and understanding of the revealed scriptures.

I shall pause at this point to allow you reflect and share this with others. Till next week when we meet again, do follow for more.

 

 

 

 

Greed

Dear esteemed readers,

Welcome to another week of informative blogs, I hope you all are faring well. Today we shall deliberate on a topic which we can all admit is having a negative toll on our relationships, communities, countries and even our planet as a whole. This crucial subject matter is none other than Greed.

At some point in time or another we have either accused someone of being greedy or maybe we have also been called greedy at some time due to certain actions or behaviours we exhibited. When we say someone is greedy what do we actually mean? In general we are saying that the person is not considerate of the feelings of others and cares too much about themselves, that they feel the need to over accumulate resources which could serve a larger number of people, just for themselves. So key words are too self-centered, inconsiderate, and over accumulation.

In the sacred texts of the Bhagavad-Gita it is mentioned that there are three gates leading to hell; lust, anger and greed. One would admit that if a person is lusty, angry and greedy or exhibits these tendencies then it is difficult to deal with them on a deeper level. Without digressing too much, why do people feel the need to over accumulate resources, things, money etc? The answer is because they lack self control and they fail to acknowledge the real owner of these things. It is mentioned in the revealed scriptures that everything we survey on this planet belongs to the Supreme Lord and thus we should take that which is our quota, knowing well to whom they belong. The sticky part in here is that many people fail to realize that we actually do not possess anything and all that we seek to acquire through over accumulation is actually the Supreme Lord’s property. We are but custodians of all we have, and the moment we forget this salient fact we begin to have problems.

Every now and then, we hear over the media of how much debt the planet is plunged into and how much poverty the world is facing, and sometimes I wonder “to whom do we owe this money?” Well I guess it’s more of a rhetorical question because I don’t expect anyone to give me a solid answer. On one hand we cry at the poverty level of many countries and put up banners and ads all over the internet to “raise” money for them, but on the other hand we celebrate a few individuals as the “world’s richest people” and every year we so diligently keep record of their earnings and publish them in the best of media outreach. Please do not get me wrong and feel this is a subtle attack on those who are rich and have made a name for themselves, I am a strong believer in people getting the results of their labour. However what I still do not understand and I guess most of you don’t too, is why a Man, who has so much money that it, is estimated to be practically impossible to spend all in one life time, be so keen on getting more and more?

If one is not satisfied with the little he/she has, even if you give them the whole world they won’t be satisfied. There is a saying that “there is enough for everyone’s need but there is never enough for one person’s greed”. Thus we can see that day in day out the more we put our greed first at the expense of other people’s needs we are making a choice, knowingly or unknowingly. It doesn’t matter how much we try to pretend it is all about “competition, having the winning edge, etc” the fact remains that people will suffer from our choices and actions. The other side to this spectrum is the fact that even though some people feel the need to over accumulate resources etc, you find out that they are never satisfied and are seldom really happy. So you begin to wonder, if you have so much money and you still aren’t satisfied and happiness in its deepest sense is far from your reach then why continue this futile chase? If greed and over accumulation was really fulfilling then the world would be a better place, but we all know this is the opposite today.

Furthermore, there is the subject of conscience that comes into play and I ask when you over accumulate due to greed and lack of self-control and you see people suffering at your expense, don’t you have any sympathy? Nowadays, there is the publicity stunt of trying to give some large sums of money in “charity” by some very rich people, and many people feel well this has to count for something. Of course it does but it that the solution? Every one of these businessmen knows for a fact that the best way to help a man is to teach him how to “fish” and not to feed him with “fish”; meaning teach people how to fend for themselves. If I constantly give you money instead of teaching you how to make yours then you are unconsciously allowing yourself to be at my mercy for as long as I continue. Is this truly “liberating and philanthropic”?

Well without sounding political and passing across the wrong ideas, the message here is we all have to evaluate our position and stance when it comes to our motives, interests, and reasons for accumulating resources. If we begin to see that these resources have been given to us as a tool for our subsistence on this planet and not as a medium for dominance and oppression then maybe we can begin to redirect our greed and focus on our needs. I was hoping to go deeper into this subject matter and try to link it to the spiritual aspect of greed and our duties as spiritual practitioners; however that would make this lengthy so I guess we have a second part coming next week.

Till then, read, internalize, share, and follow for more.

Cheers

Humans, Elementals, Aliens and Demigods 2

Dear readers,

Welcome to yet another exciting week on your favorite philosophical blog space. I hope you all are faring well. Last week I introduced a rather esoteric topic and in order to keep it relatively readable I had to keep the length in check, thus this week I shall try to elaborate more on the later part of this dissertation.

Last week we look at humans, Elementals and brushed slightly on aliens, in this light we shall elaborate a little more on aliens and then close with demigods. In our planet today we have very little information about other planets and in some cases if there is any information at all, some government agencies secure them as “classified”. This has left many people to either speculate about the existence of other beings on other planets or to think the whole idea is just one big conspiracy theory and that these beings do not exist. However like I mentioned in the first part of this dissertation, it would be funny to think that we are the only planet that is inhabited by living beings in the entire universe. Such a claim would be very unsubstantial. I remember as kid I had to learn the names of the “9 planets” only to learn some years back that the number of planets were no longer 9.

Now science seems to have discovered “more” planets, those who have access to certain information from very old texts knew ever since that there were more than 9 planets and when mentioned many people thought it was folly to even think so. What am I saying in essence? There is a lot unsolved mysteries that science cannot solve, why? Because they are part of a problem they are trying to solve. The existence of aliens or extraterrestrial bodies on other planets is no longer news as there have been many cases of sightings and even abductions by strange beings. Whether we believe it or not these beings exist and in most cases it is not possible to see them just by riding a sputnik to some planet far away from here. One may visit the white house, but that doesn’t guarantee automatic access to see the president. Similarly we may artificially try to visit these planets but that doesn’t guarantee that the beings there will make themselves visible to us.

In the universal geography there are three divisions namely the higher planetary regions, the middle planetary regions and the lower planetary regions. Planet earth is situated in the middle planetary region and thus from here we can either go higher or lower. The ability to visit other planetary systems is not a feat that is managed simply by building space ships, because like we see today even if you manage to get there, you cannot survive there because your present body is not suitable for that environment. Thus it is safe to say that those who want to visit these planets to establish contact with these extraterrestrial beings must go through processes to develop a body suitable for going to and surviving on these planets. The higher planetary systems have the demigods and in some angels, the middle planetary system has humans and other humanoid beings, while the lower planetary systems have beings that are lower that humans is physical structure but more opulent.

The demigods as the name implies are gods in charge of different functions in the universe. Now for those who do not subscribe to a theistic point of view this is not to encroach on your belief but to state things exactly as they are. If we as human beings know that the president runs the country through governors and deputies, as small as the country is as compared to running an entire universe, what makes us think that such intelligence is peculiar to us only. Similarly, the Supreme Being who is above any duty and obligation has his deputies who are demigods who see to the daily running of the universe and other planetary functions. Demigods have many outstanding qualities which make them superior to human beings and thus higher on the hierarchy of living entities. One of such qualities is a very long life span as compared to our short life span of 100 years here on earth; a mark very few people attain. Demigods are also known to have the ability to control matter and thus can preside over a particular material element such as the wind, rain etc.

Life a s a demigod has its perks and unimaginable opulence is one of such attributes, something that becomes an impediment most times in their lives. With an extra ordinary amount of wealth and opulence sometimes these demigods begin to feel and think they are the Supreme Lord himself and as such they become proud of their immense power and opulence. This could lead to a fall down from such an elevated position. For those who are adepts of the Christian faith, the concept of demigods or angels falling from their position is not a new idea. Lucifer was said to have been a highly placed angel who fell from his position due to been inimical to the supreme Lord. There is a glimpse of the presence of demigods in the Bible but not information is given about them. Angels are just one of the many beings who live on the higher planetary systems and there are many more.

There have been cases of people who with the right knowledge and practice can invoke these beings to manifest physically visible to the Man’s naked eyes. As intriguing as such an experience may sound it could be dangerous and have devastating effects if the wrong being is invoked or if the being sees your call as just a trivial waste of time. Some psychics have also been known to communicate with elementals and learn things from them; however in a sad turn of events many have been found dead in their houses with no trace of their killers. This is in no way to scare those who are reading this piece but a sound warning to dabblers or those who feel spirituality is meant for amusement, to desist from practices that are esoteric without proper guidance.

I hope this meets you all well, and do remember to share and follow this blog space.

Imperfection to Perfection

Dear readers,

It is great to be able to once again share with you all these inspiring and informative dissertations. Today I have a special announcement to make on our progress so far as a website and blog space; we have crossed over 1000 unique visitors within a period of 9 months, approximately 111 visitors every month. It is a humble start and I really appreciate your support so far in spreading the word for this webpage, Thank you all so much. There are better days ahead and with your continued effort WE can achieve even more. In fact I say we should double that figure before we hit our first year, what do you think? Definitely! Then we have a huge 1 year anniversary. Yay!
It is in this light that I intend to share something that has to do with moving from a state of “zero” to the level of a “hero”. I must admit that often times in life when we strive to achieve certain heights and goals, the journey could be intimidating if we aren’t well prepared, and even when we are, it is a hurdle to surmount. Our perspective today will be on achieving perfection in our spiritual quest however as usual I shall try to give a very basic example of the same approach using everyday life example. Take for instance this webpage; it is my goal to male this page a leading resource for all those who seek guidance on matters of spirituality. To become an oasis open for all those who thirst in the desert of spirituality, irrespective of religious or social affiliations.
Thus to achieve this I have a part to play by providing you with the necessary information, and you all have a part to play by reading, understanding, inquiring, applying and ultimately sharing this with others. In this way, side by side we can achieve the aforementioned objective. In spirituality it is similar, in that we also must decide what we desire to achieve in our spiritual pursuit. We have to consciously make an effort to achieve this goal while taking as much help as needed from spiritual guides and mentors. This much many of us understand and try to implement, the part that we sometimes have issues with is what I am going to speak about today, and that is the transition period. In between the perfected stage of being a compassionate and seasoned spiritualist, and our current state of imperfection, we all have to go through a lot of hills and valleys. We will fall, stumble, stand, run for a bit and there are times when we feel like we have been knocked down and we can’t stand back on our feet to try again. Our dark night of the soul is so dense that we doubt if the sun shall ever ride again in our spiritual quest.
Rise we must, if we desire to move from imperfection to perfection. There is a saying that every saint has a past and every sinner a future, and holding this in mind we should strive for perfection and criticize others less. The journey int real spirituality is one which is filled with a lot of trials and tests and you can be rest assured that these tests wont stop coming until we reach the stage of real perfection. If we give in to these tests or fail to learn from them, we jeopardize our chances of attaining perfection, if we give in to our old habits that make us focus on our bodies instead of our souls, then we inhibit our chances of attaining perfection, if we lie to ourselves and make a show of advancement even when we are not as advanced as we pose to be, then we also inhibit our chances of attaining perfection.
One other important point to note is the fact that we must push ourselves to attain perfection but we mustn’t push ourselves to self-pity or undue pressure. What do I mean by this? Usually many spiritualists in the process of transitioning from the stage of imperfection to perfection begin to put undue pressure on themselves, trying to move in irregular leaps and bounds instead of sure and steady baby steps. There is nothing wrong with trying to achieve perfection in a timely manner; however it should be at a constant pace of improvement and not haphazardly. We are all different and to compare our progress with others could be positive if we use it as a motivation, but also detrimental if we try to copy out of pride, envy of for the sake of cheap admiration. Our spiritual progress should be filled with both form and substance, not either of. Our cloaks and robes should match our inner mood and our prayers should be from a place of feeling and reflection as opposed to mere parroting of prayers from holy texts.
In addition to all of these points, we must remember to be honest with ourselves in our transition from imperfection to perfection. We must accept our shortcomings and flaws and only them will we be able to fully transcend them. Sometimes certain spiritual practitioners feel it is a sign of weakness to accept one’s flaws, as acceptance means refusing to grow. I find this to be untrue, as one cannot outgrow a flaw he doesn’t admit to have. If we down play the severity of our deviations and shortcomings, then we cannot fully access the required energy we need to surmount them. As spiritual practitioners we must know our level and admit that pending when we attain the level of perfection, there will be some irregularities in our practice and the more we practice fervently the more they dissipate.
As spiritual practitioners our goal is not to become puritans or become “holier than thou”, rather we want to reflect and radiate genuine love and appreciation for the holy scriptures and masters in whatever line we follow. We must also understand that in as much as we are not trying to be puritanical we also should not condone deviation in our spiritual practices. The moment we can hit a right balance between these two principles, then we reach a state of real perfection.
Once again thank you all for the 1000+ visit milestone. You are all awesome and I sincerely appreciate your support. I look forward to sharing another topic with you all next week, till then do read, like and subscribe.

Fate, Destiny and Action

Dear Esteemed readers,

It is an awesome week and I am happy to once again share with you all yet another interesting topic. I hope you are all well and fit despite the low temperatures at this time of the year.

Today I shall endeavor to shed light on a very interesting yet mind racking topic, which leaves many people pondering; fate and work. Many scriptures do tell us that we all have our lives predestined and to a certain extent we get what we deserve according to our karma; pious or impious results of actions. This information has left many people confused and has turned others into wholesome non-believers. I mean can you blame them? If this concept is not properly explained to people, there can be two dangerous consequences it could have on spiritualists. 1. Many people spiritualist end up becoming fatalists; saying that whatever is destined to happen will happen, thus just prepare for the inevitable death. 2. Others become lackadaisical and also say if everything is pre-destined why should I worry myself, all I need to do is sit and wait.

Both of these mindsets can actually mar our progress on the path of spirituality, because as spiritualists we can neither be passive or inactive, nor can we become pessimists. As spiritual seekers we must always be positive and active. So the big question is; how can we allay the fears of those who think spirituality is about these two categories and how can we dispel the ignorance of those in them? First and foremost we must acknowledge the fact that indeed fate is real and to a large extent affects our lives, whether we believe it or not. We must also understand that to a considerable extent something’s in our lives are pre-determined and we cannot change them, they include the family into which we are born and the place etc. (there is an interesting twist to this so do bear this in mind as I shall explain later on). That been said and done, how do we tackle the first misconception? In as much as we all know that we will die anyway, at some point in time, we cannot use this as an excuse to refuse to execute our prescribed duties. As long as we breathe and move about in this physical human body we owe ourselves and all those who are dependent on us the simple execution of our duties.

To refuse to perform our duties on the pretext of waiting for death is to selfishly deny ourselves the opportunity to grow mentally, spiritually, emotionally and otherwise. Thus the real answer to this misconception is that; instead of trying to stop all activities because we “believe that everything is predestined” and we will die anyway, why not try to carry out our duties putting first things first. That is since we do have the understanding that death is inevitable, which in itself is a wonderful realization, we should rather carry out our duties in such a way that we give utmost priority to those things which are most beneficial to our growth in all aspects especially our spiritual growth. When we couple conscious duty to the knowledge of the inevitability of death, then we achieve realized knowledge about the true nature of fate and work.

The second misconception is from those who use destiny and fate as an excuse to become lazy. The first category of people aren’t lazy but they have a care free attitude not holding anything serious, the second category however won’t even do anything because they believe that destiny will bring everything at its own time. Well the sad truth is, even for the maintenance of our body we have to do some sort of work, thus no one can just sit idly without doing something. We should also realize that even if we have some very precise readings about how our future is going to unfold, we must bear it in mind that we have to actually position ourselves in a way that we can always be recipients of our real destiny. A vivid example is someone who consults his astrological chart and gets to know that in this life time he is going to be a famous Doctor and will earn a lot of money from his profession. If he decides to sit back at home and think that nature will magically transform him into a Doctor then he is in illusion. The charts have given him a bearing and thus he has to align himself at all times in strategic positions to be able to receive that which is “predestined” for him.

On the other hand, if he takes this information well and applies to study in a medical school and go on to get an appropriate medical license then he has actually used the knowledge of fate and destiny to his advantage. One major excuse people in the second category give is that, since everything is predestined why should they try to do anything? They believe that working is irrelevant because we only get what we are destined to get and that which is apportioned to us cannot be changed. In my third paragraph I gave a hint which I promised to revert to, and as mentioned there even things which seem fixed can be changed if we really desire to. One would ask but how can one change his country of birth or his family. It is no news that today people hold dual citizenship, and are no longer bound to remain in their country of birth provided they can fulfill the conditions necessary for making the change. We have also seen people born in one country and then adopted into another family in a distant country far away from theirs.

These examples go on to show us that even those things which seem fixed can also be changed if we possess the right leverage. What this leverage is will be a topic for discussion at a later time. I must however state that as enlightening as this information is, one should not blindly think that he can circumvent the laws of destiny and try to change his fate at all times by applying certain keys to life. Those who try to overly re-write their fate usually have a lot of hard time doing so; best is to accept some and learn from them and submit our fate into the hands of the master fate maker, the Supreme Being.

Thank you for your time this week and I hope to connect with you all next week. Do like and subscribe for more informative topics.