Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Gurupurnima 2020

Gurupurnima is our traditional festival since thousands of years. It is celebrated on Jayanti of Bhagwan Vedvyasa i.e. on Ashadh Purnima. He was the son of the sage Parashar and the fisherwoman Satyavati. He was born on an island and that is why he is also known as  Davaipayana Krishna. Vedas are not the books written by any one. The rishis who did penance saw the truths of existence. They are seers of Truth. These Mantras are seen and heard by them and are passed on to their disciples. These Mantras are called  "Vedas". The gravitational force was in existence even before Newton discovered it. And it would continue even after we forget about it. Thus, Vedas were always there. The Rishis saw it and then passed it on to their disciples. Vedas are Apaurusheya. i.e. they are not man-made. 

Many rishis had received these Mantras. Vedavyasa collected all these Richas (Mantras) called as Samhitas and edited them in four Vedas with various branches. The four Vedas are Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda, Atharvaveda. Each Veda is again classified in to four parts – Mantra or Samhita, Brahmana, Aaranyaka and Upanishad. He not only edited Vedas he also made the arrangements to protect the Vedas by allotting each branch to few families. Those families had to protect that branch of Vedas. He also allotted other various branches of knowledge like surgery, Ayurveda, architecture etc. to families belonging to various communities. Thus, each family, community became the custodian of protection of Vedas - knowledge making our country the Jnanbhoomi. 

The imparting of this knowledge was done by father to the son, by Guru to the disciple thus our Bharat, in spite of so many invasions, could remain the land of knowledge for thousands of years. Committing to protect some branch of knowledge, spiritual Vidyas and learning it from Guru and passing it on to the coming generation became the sacred duty of each family. It was Vyasa who devised this Guru tradition to protect the knowledge required for living in this world and for realizing Ishvara. Therefore, his Jayanti is celebrated as Gurupurnima. 

This festival is to remind us to be grateful to all the Gurus and to revere them who have taught us something or other of value in our life. This festival is to remind us that our family also should protect at least some knowledge, tradition, Vidya etc. This festival is also to see the good, divine in others and learn from them. 

All the problems in life come because we limit our sense of ‘I’ to our body-mind complex.  Body and mind are our instruments to know our real nature. If we see the first five shlokas of the Gurustotra, these are telling that my prostrations to that Guru who showed me my real state of being – Tat Padam Darshitam yen tasmai Shri Guruve namah.  Man considers he is a body-mind complex. But gradually the Guru makes him realize that he is the expanding circle of consciousness which pervades the Charachara - everything in this universe. What are those expanding circles of consciousness? 

Chaitanya - Consciousness expresses as various Samashtis. Thus, the expanding form of an individual is family. Do not think that the family is collection of few people. It is the consciousness which has manifested as family members.  The expanding form of family is society, the expanding form of a society is nation, the expanding form of nation is the whole existence. 

Thus, we are all interconnected interrelated and interdependent. Atman is same for all of us. We come across Gurus – some just indicate this fact. Some explain it. Some motivate us to live accordingly. Some Gurus can even guide us to realize it. Since birth our parents, grand-parents, teachers, saints, etc. are indicating this grand truth to us through simple practices in our homes, or through literature. For example, mother teaches the child to do namaskar to elders, teachers, cow, trees, etc. that is the living beings. She also teaches the child to bow down to inanimate things like books, food, equipments etc. What are such practices in our homes which indicate to the child that this charachar (animate and inanimate) is divine? 

Many a times we are caught up in the darkness of depression, self-pity, ignorance, selfishness, Dehabuddhi, ego etc. At such times whosoever helps us and guides us to be out of it and opens our eyes to the reality, that Guru could be either parents, grandparents, friends, siblings, teachers, neighbours etc. They are our Gurus. If we are haughty then we do not learn even if Narayana himself comes to teach us. What are such occasions in our life that someone guided us very well and opened our eyes. Let us share those experiences and pay our homage to them. 

The shloka gururbrhama, gururvishnu…. means both ways i.e. Guru is Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh. Guru guides us to God, thus Guru is God. But it also means that God is our guru. In this Ishvariya Karya – the nation-building work that we have undertaken, God guides us. Thus, in Vivekananda Kendra, Ishvara is chosen as Guru and not any human being. Pranav is considered as the best expression for Ishvara. All the Hindus can come to Omkara. Therefore, Omkara which is considered as the best name for Ishvara by Patanjali (tasya vachak: pranav:) is Guru is Vivekananda Kendra. It means what this whole divine tradition of our Gurus, Acharyas, saints is remembered, revered and given respect all through the year and we work to take ahead their work. On the day of Gurupurnima, we remind ourselves that Ishvara who pervades the Charaachar teaches us through all those around us. We can share that what all we learn from those around us. It can be human beings, it can be animals, birds, trees and even inanimate things. 

Gurupurnima is a day when we tune ourselves to receive the teachings of the Guru – Ishvara – from the whole universe. This humility to learn from others, this readiness to learns from others purifies our mind to see Ishvara everywhere. It also inspires us to work as the instrument of Ishvara for raising the humanity. The service, fulfilling of Dayitvas thus become the pooja and Aaradhana of Ishvara – Vibho Tav Aaradhanam Asmadiyam. 

This charachar which is imbued by Ishvara can teach us many things. Let us take a Sankalpa that from Charachar, I shall everyday learn something.

Nivedita Raghunath Bhide

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Yoga, the way out…

Yuva Bharati June 2020
The priorities of a society changes through different periods. The matrimonialcolumns in the newspapers act as mirror to show us what the society of that period aspired for. During the 60s ,70s and well into the 80s, the sole aim was to get into a bank or a public sector undertaking. During the 90s and afterwards, due to the IT revolution, people started shunning the aspirations of government jobs and were looking for greener pastures outside the country. With Wealth taking the predominance in their choice health has always been neglected by our people. People have always thought that they can take care of their health once they are financially settled in their life. This normally ends up in postponing their Health options indefinitely. Looking after ourselves inside and out is a fundamental part of living a happy, fulfilled life. Without good health it may be very difficult to do all the things one wants to do and to enjoy life to the fullest. No matter how rich you are, if you are sick, your money cannot give you a good sense of life. But many of us are neglecting our own wellbeing. Quite contrary to this new age life style, our tradition has always given much importance to the Physical as well as Mental Health. Shariramadyam khalu dharmasadhanam, this body is surely the foremost instrument of doing good deeds said Kalidasa in his renowned work kumarasambhavam [5.33].

You may very well remember that the present Indian Government’s endeavor to popularize Yoga, is also a step towards achieving this goal of keeping our Body and Mind Healthy. Nature has time and again reminded Humanity about the priorities in Life. This time in the form of the Pandemic COVID 19, it has once again reset the priorities of people. Man is left with Saucha, external cleanliness and Yoga, self disciplining our Body and Mind, being the only tools with which he can protect himself. It’s time for us to take up Yoga Asanas and Pranayama as a regular and serious activity in our life. June 21st, the International day of Yoga, is more pertinent this year to the Humanity than it was in the previous years. It is a reminder to go back to our roots.
V.V. Balasubramanian

Monday, 18 May 2020

Wake Up

On 16th of April Two Juna Akhara Sadhus Chikne Maharaj Kalpavrukshagiri (70 years old) and Sushilgiri Maharaj (35 years old) along with their 30-year-old driver Nilesh Telgade were Lynched to death by a frenzied mob at Palghar District, Maharashtra. This incident was not immediately reported by the Main stream media. But when they were constrained to report because of the Video of lynching which spread virally through Social media, they did report after a couple of days. 

The pre meditated attack was reported as an attack which happened because of mistaken identity. The main stream media is hoping that the short term memory of the Public coupled with its ‘Ostrich Syndrome’, will make this issue go into oblivion as soon as possible. This living in denial is what has made the life easy not just for the enemies of our state but also the media crooks who back them in all possible ways. 

The way this outrageous act has been reported by main stream media goes to prove that they are the benumbing agents for these attackers. If we believe the version of the media and believe that the lynching is a case of mistaken identity by the villagers, then we are the very embodiment of this ‘Ostrich syndrome’.

There is an unholy nexus between the Church and the naxal outfits, which targets the sadhus who work among the Tribals, to improve their social conditions. If we remember the gruesome killing of Swami lakshmananda Saraswati a few years ago, then we can see how this nexus works. During lockdown, how such a huge number of people assembled there, is a question which begs an answer. For the average Hindu this is just another news of violence. Every time when such a violence is reported we tend to think it is something happening in a faraway place and we are in no way impacted by this. Many among us are beset with this ‘Ostrich Syndrome’, which is nothing but trying to live in an imaginary world,not bothering to know about the imminent threats to our existence. Hindus will be shocked to know that most off the one off incidents are actually orchestrated attacks. 

It’s time for Hindus to wake up from this slumber and get our acts right. Putting a sad emoji or forwarding the news to others, alone will not suffice. We have to get organized. We have to make the dormant majority aware of this existential threat. We are in the midst of a civilisational war. A war between the exclusive fundamentalist religious ideologies and the inclusive Dharmic Ideology. A war which started several centuries ago. A war which we believe will not happen. A war in which we are yet to equip ourselves. A war which will define the destiny of the mankind. 

Wake Up.
V.V. Balasubramanian

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Thursday, 9 April 2020

Building trust and harmony through Diyas

Human being is a social animal. Social behavior is dependent on trust. Trust is built by arriving at common values and mutually accepting to adhere to them voluntarily.

There are two dimensions in this:
1. Human mind seeks regular reassurance that the trusted societies continue to remain social by examining and maintaining the trust already developed.
2. Solitude is di!erent from isolation. Solitude is what the yogis seek to remain una!ected by external social disturbances. The deeper a Yogi goes into solitude, the more ful"lled he becomes. But isolation is just the opposite. For normal humans, the deeper one goes into isolation from the adapted social groups, the more one develops negative emotions such as anger, frustration, loss of trust etc.

Based on the above factors, if a social reassurance is not provided at regular intervals, the individuals will tend to break the trust and thereby #out the agreed social norms.

Even in residential camps organized by scouts, NSS, RSS, Vivekananda Kendra or any other organization, mid-way through the camp, it is usual to go out for a "eld trip to reinvigorate the mind.

In this context, if a reassurance that we are not alone is not given to people sitting at homes, there is high possibility that the frustrated ones will start coming out of isolation, social distancing and defeat the purpose.

YB whole heartedly supports the lighting of lamps exercise. Being a PM is not just about providing "nancial packages. This is master social engineering.

A. Sudarsan

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Friday, 6 March 2020

Shraddhanjali to Ma. P. Parameswaranji

Kerala, Gods own land, has produced great many spiritual luminaries who lived like Maharishis of our yore.  Kerala, has given birth to such great people like Adi Sankaracharya, Sree Chattambi Swami, Sri Narayana Gurudev, Swami Ranganathanandaji, Swami Chinmayanandaji, Sri Ayyankali and many great spiritual and religious luminaries and social reformers.  They have all contributed for the spiritual, religious and social growth of the Hindus of Kerala.  Whatever good you find today in this God’s own country, they are all because of the sustained contribution made by those great eminent personalities, who though gave up their lives, but their Atma still guiding and inspiring millions of people not only in Kerala but also in other parts of the world.

Late P. Parameswaran, who was the President of Kendra from 1995 till his last breath, was a person who rank amongst those whose names were mentioned above.  He was a multi-splendored personality; a great scholar, and thinker, an ideologue, poet, writer, organiser par excellence, orator, selfless worker, guide and philosopher for many, all rolled in one body, mind and intellect complex.

A humanist of high purity, selflessness, patriot of highest order, who created around him, a grand group of co-workers to serve selflessly the mother Bharat and its children.

Parameswaranji was a great institution builder to propagate the Sanatana Dharmic values.  He served as the Director of Deen Dayal Research Institute, Delhi.  He created Bharateeya Vichara Kendra in Kerala and guided the workers as its Director.

He became the Vice-President of Vivekananda Kendra in 1984.  He was elected as the President of Kendra in the year 1995.  He continued to head Kendra till his last breath.  Kendra Jeevan Vratis benefited from his immaculate and purity personified life.  He was an authority on the Life and message of Sri Ramakrishna, Sarada Maa and Swami Vivekananda.  His lectures and writings always motivated Kendra workers in disseminating Swami Vivekananda’s message of Man making and Nation building.

Though, Parameswaranji is not with us physically, his Soul will be the guiding star for all the Kendra workers who came in contact with him.

In one line I describe Sri Parameswaranji like this:

“Ya Easwareshu samartheshu
 parama sreshtaha sa parameswaraha” 

He is Parameswara in whom vested undescribable Glory, God ordained capability to achieve Excellence, a personality uncomparable with anything existing and an Ajatha Shatru for ever.

Vice President
Vivekananda Kendra

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