Friday, January 20, 2012

Faith... can turn mountains

For a long time I was thinking of writing something on Faith. I tried many times, started many times but could neither think nor write much. Today I didn’t intend to write, but I opened the computer and started writing. This happens normally every time I write anything and each time instils in me the FAITH that I can’t do the simplest of things without the guidance of my Guru. Without the thoughts that He sends across, if I try to write anything, the result is always zilch.

He is there in all of us. He guides and takes care and who knows for whom this post is being written today. Though, thoughts expressed here will interest many in the coming days but the time and date chosen by Him also keep importance. Maybe somewhere, someone needs to read this today itself.

Faith can turn mountains....
Does that mean that you look at a mountain with faith and it will turn?
We have been listening to this phrase since our childhood and for generations. There must be something our elders must have thought while saying this. It practically means the burdens we carry. The heaviness of our problems has been compared to a mountain. Life becomes simpler and happier with faith.

We just have to understand one thing. We are all bound by destiny and things happen in our life at the chosen time and with prepared impact. If we ever feel that our Faith is not leading to positive results, we also have to understand that it is NOT leading to negative results either. And this is only for those who have yet to surrender and feel His presence in their lives because most of His devotees have already felt the positive changes in their lives. If your parents love you but (according to you) do not give you much, they still remain your parents and you love and respect them. Try the same equation with your Guru. Faith together with Patience will ultimately and definitely lead you to your goals. When you are through with your worldly demands and achievements, start thinking about your journey as a soul as well. That is the real importance of a Guru in your life. To take you through this journey and beyond.

Now coming back to where we started. Faith. Unsurmounted, unadulterated, simple, honest Faith.
This reminds me of a very recent incident (December 2011). A person admitted to a hospital in Delhi was administered an injection which reacted and his situation worsened. The family members (who come to Sthaan regularly) immediately went to Sthaan and prayed to Guruji. Remember, that the time was 2:30 a.m. and they just prayed silently in their minds while standing outside the Sthaan. When they went back, the doctor had an amazing tale to tell. He said that while he was sitting upset with the condition of their patient, someone came, tapped on his shoulder and told him to administer a particular injection. The doctor immediately rushed to do the same and the patient started recovering. Who was He and where He came from was unknown to the doctor. This is faith. This is the power of faith. For that family, a mountain had just turned.

When you leave everything in the hands of master, He takes care. And again, He is not giving you anything less than what you deserve. How much more He chooses to give depends on Him and on your _________....... yes, on your Faith.

One of my wife’s favourite uncles was recently in a hospital and I narrated this incident to him. He also keeps total faith but was disturbed with his recent condition. It does happen to the best of us. We tend to lose focus in the trying times of our life. After he heard the above incident, his entire focus remained around it (what he later told me). He also told me that he started removing the negative and depressive feelings that had cropped up and regenerated his faith with more energy and started praying to Guruji for similar support. Since that day, whenever he woke up he saw someone sitting in his room in the hospital. Some image that used to vanish as soon as he woke up.

A canula had been attached on his hand. (A canula is a narrow tube inserted into the vein of the hand for draining of fluid / introduction of medicine etc – normally called ‘drip’). The needle of the canula is about two inches long and remains inside the vein of the hand. When it is removed it causes considerable pain and bleeding. One morning when he woke up he found that the canula was removed from his hand. He neither felt any pain nor was a single drop of blood there. (If the canula ever comes off on its own, it can cause heavy bleeding due to the open pore of the vein). When he told this to the visiting doctor in the morning, he couldn’t believe it. He said, “it never happens like this and it could only be by grace of God”. The doctor didn’t know, how it had happened and who made it possible but uncle just told the doctor that he has got the indication and wants to go back home. He immediately started the process of getting discharged. One more thing, during his entire stay in the hospital which extended to almost a month, his children took turns to go to ‘Dham’ and get ‘Jal’ for him from there EVERY DAY.
Collectively, their faith turned a mountain for them.

Who is the greatest ‘Shishya of all times?
Eklavya can be considered one of the greatest Shishya of all times. Why? There have been huge names in that era and beyond where great Guru-shishyas have been around. Arjun and Karn, both great Guru-shishyas belong to that era. How come the son of a tribal is considered to be such a great shishya? He was turned away from the Ashram of Guru Dronacharya but yet considered him as his Guru. He made a statue of his Guru and practised archery and just by his faith in his Guru became the finest archer who shot 3 arrows in a dog’s mouth to prevent it from barking without hurting it. And then when Guru Dronacharya approached the boy Himself, he gave away his thumb as Guru-Dakshina without hesitating or thinking even for a second. Such was his Guru-bhakti and such was his faith. Such was his Guru-bhakti that after accepting the desired Guru-dakshina, the great Guru Dronacharya also asked for divine forgiveness (even though the Guru was aware that this was BOUND to happen and was part of Eklavya’s destiny – yet he felt saddened because the Guru’s heart always beats for His children) and blessed Eklavya that he will still become the finest archer and will be able to shoot arrows with the same accuracy even without his thumb. History remembers Eklavya as the most loyal and brave student. His faith turned his mountain.
We all follow certain religions because our parents told us to follow them. This is faith in our parents. Had we been born in a different family, our beliefs would have been different. The common factor thus is not the religion, but the faith.
Many people confuse faith with religion where as faith has a much wider meaning. We need faith for the most basic things in life.
For example, if we are driving on a two way street with just a white line in between, we need to have faith that the person coming from the other side will not cross the line and hit us head on. Not that people don’t do it. Not that accidents don’t happen, but everyone does not drive on the opposite carriageway and in the absence of this faith, no one can drive on a two way street. So, even though accidents happen we still keep the faith strong enough to drive on the same road. The same person who had encountered an accident would go out and drive again on the same street as soon as he gets fit with the same faith that it won’t happen to him again.
Take another example, we all know that food poisoning can turn fatal to an extent that it can result in death also. Does that mean that we stop eating. If the person who contracted food poisoning had known that the food they are about to consume will lead to their death, would they have eaten it? And, can we stop eating after listening to such incidents? No. We keep the faith that the food that we are eating will make us healthy and keep us alive. Any person who survived a case of food poisoning would consume the same products he used to eat before with the same faith that it won’t happen to him again.
But when it comes to keeping the faith while encountering the problems in life we forget this logic which we ourselves apply everyday in our life in the smallest of things. The fact is that faith is an inborn quality in us and we can’t survive without it. We just have to take care that it doesn’t get selective as we grow up, which remains intact in the good times and starts vanishing in the bad ones.
There is no such thing as lack of faith, we all have plenty of it. It’s just that we get selective and start keeping faith in the wrong things. If we ever feel that our work can’t be done, that is also a faith. A faith in what can’t be done rather than in what CAN be done. In this case we have faith in the lack rather than in abundance, but there is no lack of faith. Faith is like a law. It is there and existent.

The highest form of faith is the faith in Guru. Because destiny can be turned around, as long as we are under Him – with faith. Don’t worry..... Everything will be all right. Just KEEP THE FAITH.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bhakti - Shraddha – Devotion.......... Honesty

What is the most important thing to have... in ‘Bhakti’ which leads a person to higher spiritual levels? Is it faith, devotion, ‘shradhha’, patience, Sewa, or all of them?

The answer is simple. It is HONESTY. Everything that you do... just do it with Honesty.

Honesty is that lone ingredient which if missing renders everything else useless... and if present compensates for all shortcomings. What is honesty? Is it just speaking the truth?

Well, honesty here refers to your actions. If you are doing Bhakti, do it with honesty. If you feel devoted, feel it with honesty. If you have faith, have it with honesty. If you are doing Sewa, do it with honesty. What does that mean? Simply that; nothing needs to be done, just for the sake of doing it. Or for the sake of showing it to others. Such actions, if not futile altogether are largely meaningless.

Remember... Your Guru can always read your intentions. He chooses whether to disclose them to you or not. Sewa, Bhakti, and other actions are the means of reaching to your goal... and Honesty is the path on which they are driven. What is the point of driving in an expensive car, if you are going the wrong way? Can you ever reach your destination? Elaborate Sewa might be rendered useless in the absence of honesty in performing it.

Let us try and understand by way of an example. If a person is doing Sewa in presence of his Guru and executing it very politely and properly, it is good. But if the same person starts behaving differently when his Guru is not physically present, gets rude and improper then the act of doing the Sewa starts becoming meaningless. To be honest with Sewa is to perform it in the same way in both cases. It is to believe that your Guru is watching over you whether or not He is physically present... and the next stage is to just perform your Sewa in the way your Guru would want you to, not because of His fear (that He is watching), but because of Love.... for the Sewa and for your Guru.

Love. It is the natural progression of emotion when you do your Bhakti with honesty. Honesty is the harbinger of unconditional love for your Guru which in turn automatically leads to ‘Shraddha’, devotion and faith. All these are the vital ingredients of your Bhakti which ultimately leads a person to his final goals in life. All transcendental experiences start from this simple rule of being honest.

In the previous post, we talked about being passive in approach and to be a good listener. Whom to listen to, was a question put up then and it was mentioned that we talk about that later. Listen to your Guru, is the correct answer given by all of you. But what to do when you are not physically present in front of your Guru? Does the process of achievement stop during that time? No, it is a never ending task and process. Once initiated, it should only go forward. Then? Whom to listen to? Is a question that remains un-answered. Well, the answer lies in the root of faith and that is honesty. Listen to your Conscience... because when your Guru is not present in front of you physically, He talks to you through your conscience. And believe it... He ALWAYS guides. Receptiveness is what is needed.

This receptiveness comes from the unconditional love for your Guru which is possible to achieve only when you bring this factor of honesty in your Bhakti, in your faith and thus in your life. You become loving. Spread this love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier. This is the mantra of progressing on your path to realization. Shun your ego to love your Guru. Become a nobody. Only those who are ready to become nobodies are able to love.

One more thing. We have to achieve our goals while leading the life we were put into. We are... where we are for a reason and we must respect that. In our personal life we do face situations where speaking the truth is not an option, especially when it can damage someone. Suppression of facts in those times is what? This question might arise in the minds of many of you. Well, here again apply the rule of listening. If your conscience exists and allows it, then it is right.

As fragrance abides in the flower 
As reflection is within the mirror, 
So does your Lord abide within you, 
Why search for him without?

No need for elaborate words or fancy dialogues. They are not needed either impress your Guru or to showcase your feelings. Your feelings will always be understood in simplicity. Always. We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far. Even Kings and emperors with heaps of wealth and vast dominion cannot compare with an ant filled with the love of Guru.
Be simple. Totally simple. Simply bring Honesty in your Bhakti and everything else will fall into place for you. This is the first step to reach your destination..... and the journey would be a far more pleasurable experience.