Monday, January 25, 2010




In the Bible, Paul recommends that we make known our requests with praise and thank giving. Some extraordinary results follow the simple method of prayer.


The thankful heart is always close to the creative forces of the universe, causing countless blessings to flow towards it by law of reciprocal relationship, based on a cosmic law of action and reaction.


For instance, a father promises his son a car for graduation; the boy has not yet received the car, but he is very thankful and happy, and is as joyous as though he had actually received the car. He knows his father will fulfill his promise, and he is full of gratitude and joy even though he has not yet received the car, objectively speaking. He has, however, received it with joy and thankfulness in his mind.


I shall illustrate how Mr. Broke applies this technique with excellent results. He said, “Bills are pilling up, I am out of work, I have three children and no money. What shall I do?”


Regularly every night and morning for a period of about three weeks, he repeated the words, “Thank you, Father, for my wealth,” in a relaxed, peaceful manner until the feeling or mood of thankfulness dominated his mind. He imagined he was addressing the infinite power and intelligent within him knowing of course, that he could not see the creative intelligence or infinite mind. He was seeing with the inner eye of spiritual perception, realizing that his thought-image of wealth was the first cause, relative to the money, position, and food he needed. His thought-feeling was the substance of wealth untrammeled by antecedent conditions of any kind. By repeating, “Thank you Father,” over and over again, his mind and heart were lifted p to the point of acceptance, and when fear, thoughts of lack, poverty, and distress came into his mind, he would say, “Thank you, Father,” as often as necessary. He knew that as he kept up the thankful attitude he would recondition his mind to the idea of wealth, which is what happened.


The sequel of his prayer is very interesting. After praying in the above manner, he met a former employer of his on the street whom he had not seen for twenty years. The man offered him a very lucrative position and advanced him $500 on a temporary loan. Today, Mr. Broke is vice-president of the company for which he works. His recent remark to me was, “I shall never forget the wonders of ‘Thank you, Father.’ It has worked wonders for me


(Author: Dr. Joseph Murphy)



Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What is Special about Hinduism?

What is Special about Hinduism?

Hinduism is found in nearly every corner of the globe. Hindus are estimated at 500,000,000 worldwide. According to the CIA, the largest concentration of Hindus are in India (81% of population) and Nepal (86%). Countries with the fewest Hindus include Thailand (95% Buddhist), Malaysia, Singapore, Oman, Yemen, Pakistan (mainly Islamic). Nepal is the only state in the world that is officially Hindu.

A large number of Hindus also reside in South America and the Caribbean, including in the countries of Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago. The small island of Mauritius off the coast of South Africa (near Madagascar) is 54% Hindu. Britain and the United States have significant, but relatively small, Hindu populations.

I.: What is Special in Hinduism?

1. Hindu Religion is the world's oldest faith. It was followed by the ancient civilization of the Indus valley, Ganges valley, Deccan and Cauveri delta, as well as other parts of India all over the Indian peninsula and surrounding areas of Asia. Hinduism, is as much a "way of life" as a religion and affects every aspect of life for Hindus from birth throughout their life. It is followed by the devout Hindu in every aspect of life and activity, and not just in a prayer only.

2. With Hinduism you can have whatever you want. If you want to live a hedonistic lifestyle Hinduism will show you a way to live it without hurting yourself or others.

3. If you want to dedicate your life to worldly successes Hinduism will show you the way to do so within limitations. If all you want to do is your responsible duty to your neighbors, go ahead and do it. If what you want is liberation you can be shown the way.

4. Hinduism is a very philosophically thought out religion that essentially gives an answer for any question that you might have about your life. With each answer Hinduism gives a reason and a possibility of strengthening your understanding of the answer.

5. Hinduism is guided by the teachings of the Vedas, also believed to be the Revealed words by the Divine Powers. The Vedas are said to be older than the creation of the Universe and were given to the Ancient Sages by God as their intuition during their meditation. The Great Seers and Rishis of ancient times recited these Vedas, obtained by their meditative powers, as the teachings of God. These teaching are very ancient and were memorized and recited by generations of Sages, Teachers and their disciples until they were written down as texts and codified as the Four Vedas by Sage Vyasa. It is further explained by subsequent texts written by Seers and religious leaders based on these Vedas. Hinduism is also guided by these Upa-Vedas, Vedangas, Upanishads, Ithihasas and Puranas, which contain the prayers, Philosophy, rituals and mythology, all in one, to suit everyone's cultural and mental development. While the learned person reads about the qualities of the all-powerful Brahman, the illiterate one is taught the same principle by mythological stories and simple forms of prayers to His manifestations.

6. The philosophy of Hinduism, as Divine revelations, is for all times, as old as creation and as modern as tomorrow. The Vedas have given us the rituals in various forms as a ladder to raise our faith and understanding. The Agamas and Puranas give us the incarnations and manifestations of 'God' in popular forms to condition our thoughts to the faith. It allows and accepts varying forms of worship with a tremendous tolerance of other religious faiths and beliefs. Though one may not agree that the other paths are better or perfect, every one is allowed to follow his own path. Often a devotee is urged to study all the paths and variations to fully understand his own faith.

7. This is the most important and valuable specialty of Hinduism that it has not closed itself inside any contours, but is the realistic representation of the limitlessness of knowledge and experience. It is absolutely open minded. This is the religion that calls Let the good things come from all the directions of the world (aa no bhadrAH kratavo yantu vishvataH). Thus this religion nurtured the good concepts with a neutral mindset. Hinduism is a dharma (discipline) than a religion. Various religions stand over this dharma. In general this is not the religion of just postulations.

8. Very naturally this religion does not force even the acceptance of God to the followers. The Hindus are not threatened that they would be punished for not praying/believing the God, whereas the major scriptures advice the followers to hold to the God in order to get liberated from the rough road of pleasures and pains! Even those things undergo a very healthy debate. Nothing is unquestionable. The Hindu scriptures instead of defining the way, in which the Hindus should live, in a better way, act as supporting material for the individual to decide the course of life and stand by that

9. Hinduism, unlike most religions, has no founder and no one scripture. Hindus do not have one "Holy Book" like many other religions, but many texts including the four Vedas along with their Upanishads, called the "Sruti", several Dharma Sasthras or Smrutis, Ithihasas and Puranas including the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. The Bhagavad Gita, or "Song of God", comes as part of Mahabaratha, is an essence of the message of the Upanishads and Hindu Philosophy and is considered to be a guide on how we should live as told by Lord Krishna to Arjuna.

10. Hindus believe that as all streams and rivers lead to the same ocean, all genuine religious (spiritual) paths lead to the same goal; worship of every form of "GOD" and celestial forces leads to the same good. So we do not try to convert others to our religion. (Another example-path to top of mountain may differ but the view from the top of the mountain will be the same.)

11. Hindus believe in one God, beyond form, space and time and beyond human comprehension. They believe that God is Transcendant and Immanent at the same time and will create Itself according to everyones desire and needs to protect the pious, to detroy the evil and establish the Divine Rule of Law and Justice.

12. Most Hindus, needing a form on which to concentrate, worship that one God in different forms, worshiping one aspect of that One Divine Supreme Truth. -- Hindus see God in masculine as well as in feminine forms and also like a family. At the same time, they all understand the True nature of the Supreme.

13. In the masculine forms, Hindus see that One God as Brahma - the creator, Vishnu - the protector and maintainer, and Shiva as Siva-Nataraja - the destroyer and recreator. -- In the female forms, Hindus see that One God as Sakthi or Durga, - provider of energy and power, as Lakshmi, - provider of prosperity and wealth and as Saraswathi, - provider of knowledge and intelligence.

14. These are the major forms of Hindu "Gods" worshipped, which takes the form as created by the supreme God Paramathma for the benefit of the Human creations to easily comprehend Him as He is. Please understand that many of the sects of Hindus following the various forms of philosophy and worship, visualise this same Paramathma - the Supreme God – as Narayana [Vishu], or as Paramasiva [Siva] and Paraasakthi [Sakthi or Durga].

15. Here please note that unlike the other major world religions, Hindus also see the Supreme as Mother, including as Sri Meenakshi, as Visalakshi, as Kamakshi and as many other names of Sakthi. He is also seen as Father as in Siva in various forms in several Hindu Temples. -- The Temple in which they are worshipped is not just a congregation hall but a palace of the
Supreme God [as the Queen or King].

16. Hindu Rituals and Worship take into account the capacities and inclinations of different individuals. --Types of worship include Ritualistic worship (temple or home), offering (directly or through the priest) flowers, coconut, fruits, incense, flames of oil lamps and camphor, chanting of prayers in Sanskrit (or their mother tongue), etc.

17. Also Hindu religion advocates Worship through service of one's fellow man (charity) and by one's activity; -- Worship through the service to fellow human and devotion to the Supreme; --Worship through meditation with physical and mental discipline and through understanding first the inner self then the divine that is everywhere.

18. Hinduism has also defined concept of Yogas. Jnana yoga is for people who are reflective and seek knowledge find their divinity through rationality and spirituality. Bhakti yoga is the path to God through love and devoted service. It insists on God's otherness and teaches love of God through adoration. Karma yoga is the path to God through work. Be productive and strive to work towards high rewards and work unselfishly.Raja yoga is known as the path to reintegration, a way to God through psychophysical experiments. Self-searching could be one way of describing Raja Yoga. Looking inward to discern the humanness from the Godness and bringing them together. It involves meditation and self discipline.

These and many more specialties of Hinduism make it a harmonious and worth religion, which is suitable for any time in present or future, for any land or creed.

Some Thoughts Hindus Gave the World

Brahman, the eternal Trimutri, or Three-in-One God:

Brahma, the Creator; Vishnu, the Preserver; and Shiva, the Destroyer;

Submission to Fate, since man is not outside, but part of Brahman;

The Caste System, determined by the laws of Manu;

The Law of Karma, that from good must come good, and from evil must come evil;

Reincarnation, as a chain of rebirths in which each soul, through virtuous living, can rise to a higher state;

Nirvana, the final stage reached upon the emancipation of the soul from the chain of rebirths; Yogas, the disciplines which enable the individual to control the body and the emotions; and

Dharma, the Law of Moral Order, which each individual must find and follow to reach nirvana.

Vegetarianism (vegan lifestyle)

Ahimsa ("no injury", avoidance of all animal products)

Yoga exercise

Astrology and horoscopes

Gurus and swamis (monks and spiritual leaders)

Shanti Paath (Prayer for Peace)

AUM dyauh shantir antarikshagwam,
shanti Prithivi shanti rapah,
shanti roshadaya shanti vanapastayah shantir,
vishwe devah shantih,
brahma shantih
sarvagwang shantih
shantireva sama shanti redhi.


May there be peace in Heaven
Peace in the Atmosphere
Peace across the waters
May there be peace on Earth
May peace flow from herbs, plants and trees
May all the celestial beings pervade peace
May peace pervade all quarters
May that peace come to me too







Monday, January 11, 2010




(How do Saints or Samarthas help humanity? This interesting question is answered in the following statement prepared jointly by HH Pujyasri B V Narasimha Swamiji and Bharatananda.)

The Supreme Being id thought of as having five aspects of functions with names appropriate to each:

Creation: Brahma in conjunction with Saraswathi.

Maintenance: Vishnu or Narayana in conjunction with Laxmi.

Destruction: Rudra in conduction with Kali.

Protection or Ruling: Ishwar in conjunction with Maheshwari.

Redemption: Sadashiv in conjunction with Kripa.

There are avatars combining often several of these elements. The life work of a Samartha Sadguru leads one to identify him with the Redemption aspect of the Supreme Being.

Jivas, like us, are going on from birth to birth. They are the Supreme Being, but shot out of Him by an initial act of Maya. Then the initial ignorance developed by a series of their Karmas, whirls them at a terrific velocity in the circle of Samsara. The Jivas feel powerless to get out of it. They are moved by desire (Vaasana) to acts (Karma), which in turn strengthen desire. So the vicious circle of Karma and Vaasana catches the Jivas in its powerful grip; and unaided they feel they cannot wriggle out. If they try to do so, they only get more and more entangled – more and more involved in Samsara. How are these Jivas then to be helped out of this involution in evolution, so that they may evolve themselves back into the state of the Supreme Being?


At special times Avatars of the Supreme Being come down to raise humanity in masses. The Avatars do not as a rule set to themselves the task of caring for particular Jivas, spiritual advance. So the work of the Avatars finds its supplement and fulfillment in the work of the Samartha Sadgurus. These with the vast powers, knowledge and bliss of the Supreme proceed to deal with individual Jivas and help them out of their involution to evolve into the Supreme Being. Samarthas like Sri Sai Baba are called Samartha because of their vast – nay unlimited power, wisdom and bliss and they are called Sadgurus, because they appear on order to act as the Guru for individual Jivas to lead them into the Sat or Supreme.

The powers of Samarthas may, to a superficial view appear like the feats of a thought-reader, magician or necromancer. But there are unmistakable differences between these two sets of powers in respect of their origin, their nature or limits, the manner of exercise and the purpose or motive of such exercise. The magician and others of his like acquire their power and exercise it with great effort; and its exercise is within definite limits of time, space, etc., and the purpose of the exercise may be either sordid or at any rate clearly personal. The Samartha, on the other hand, has not to work for the powers; the powers come as part of his realization and perfection; and exercise of his powers is not the result of effort. These powers are not limited to any particular sort or class, as even Ashta Siddhis are limited in comparison with the Samarthas. The purpose of the Samarthas, exercise is pure mercy for the Jiva, whose spiritual advance is distinctly furthered thereby.

HOW THEY WORK: We may proceed to examine the main feature of the work of the Samartha Sadguru.

The point at which a Jiva’s involution or Samsara life turns to evolution or the Path of Redemption is the appearance of the Sadguru to that Jiva. How did the Jiva start his Jivahood? By forgetting its original, its real, nature as Brahman and thus disturbing the harmony of the Gunas that prevailed in Brahman till the forgetting. At that moment, a disturbance in the Gunas took place and the Jiva started its samsara career. The original Brahmic state was the clear unruffled waters of the ocean. The disturbance caused in it a small whirl. This whirl is the Jiva; and it fancied itself (and this is the primary ignorance) different from the waters of the ocean, by reason of its being a whirl. The Sadguru comes and restores the harmony that prevailed before the Jiva started this whirling. The Sadguru shows the whirl that it is water after all; the Jiva realizing that truth sinks into peace as part of the ocean; and thus the Sadguru restores primal harmony. This is the essence of Sad guru’s work. But the general lines of his work we shall next consider.


First the Jiva is under a heavy load of past Karma, which weighs him down and pins him to Samsara. He has to reap the pains and pleasures he has sown. If he tries to remove one item of load he does two more acts and thereby increases the load. This is because of his weakness, and went of clear vision, and of ability to know and direct himself all right. He requires, therefore, the help of one who knows the situation exactly and what will meet it in the individuals’ special circumstances. Such a guide and director is the Sadguru. So the Jiva has to go to a Sadguru. But unfortunately even the desire to approach a Sadguru and the idea of how to approach him properly are foreign to the Karma-bound Jiva. So taking advantage of a little Punya (merit) acquired by the Jiva by means of previous contact (however remote) with the Sadguru or any other holy person, the Sadguru mercifully makes the approach easier for the Jiva. By his vast powers, the Sadguru helps the poor. Jiva, even temporally – in a way under such marvelous circumstances that the Jiva is pulled out of his vicious circle, and roused to a sense of admiration, gratitude and reverence to the Samartha, noting especially how divine the Sadguru is contrasted with the earthly Jiva.


Thus the Jiva gets prepared to and does attach himself by love to the Samartha Sadguru and the latter increases his faith by showing him more and more of his vast knowledge, vast power, vast kindness and love – all exercised on behalf of the devotees out of pure mercy. As a part of this same mercy, the Guru directs the devotee to do some acts, which will increase the Punya or good Karma and reduce the papa or bad Karma of the devotee. The more good Karma is done, the more is the doer reducing his heavy load of past bad Karma, without committing fresh bad Karma. Results of the previous Karmas are even advanced and regulated by the Samartha’s omniscience and omnipotence to help his dependent reap his harvest more quickly. But in the process the Jiva is apt to get attached to the doing of Punya or meritorious work. Though they enable him to get over Rajas and Tamas, they still bind him through Satva, as they will carry him to repeated births in nice words i.e., of the Gods. Even this Satwic bondage must be rent as under.

So the Guru next weans the devotee even from good works. For the purpose, the devotee must have an attachment higher and stronger than good works. That is the attachment to, and love for the Guru, ending in surrender to the Guru. Attachment to the Guru is useful no doubt. But its early stages leave in the mind of the devotee the idea that he is still the person directing his affection to the Guru, and doing the appropriate service therefor and that he is doing something worthy and meritorious. It nearly approaches detachment by reason of absence of personal motive but is still tainted with Egoism, i.e., with the sense of the devotee being an agent, a voluntary performer of action. This sense also must be knocked on the head or banished. Its absence is surrender to or identification with the Guru. Identification and surrender are almost the same, with a slight difference. In surrender, the process is marked by humility and a desire to end the self, which need not be distinctly present in identification with the Guru. Identification may be the result of surrender but is seldom its cause. The fruit of identification is the destruction of the primal Maya or nescience under which the Jiva started its separate existence. Surrender restores the balance (or harmony) of gunas that was upset when the separate existence of the Jiva commenced.


This surrender is brought about when the feeling of the devotee towards his Guru gets intensified. Such intensification is comparable to a huge worldwide dynamo attracting an electrified atom. The devotee, the atom, may however still be feeling or fancying that it is moving of its own accord to the huge dynamo, the Guru and then the devotee may even raise the question how this surrender is to be effected and accelerated.

In this connection, we may consider another line on which the devotee Jiva’s progress is proceeding. The devotee starts with devotion to his Guru or God, who is felt to be entirely outside him, i.e., outside the devotee’s body. The devotee is then under the influence of Rajas and Tamas and identifies himself almost entirely with the body. But increasing contact with the Sad-Guru and increasing faith in him, with good works, especially selfless, meritorious works reduce the Rajasic and Tamasic elements of the devotee and wear off his Dehatmabuddhi, i.e., the idea that he is body.

His ideas of God get broader and finer; and more emphasis is laid on God’s and Guru’s spiritual nature, which bursts the shackles of finite space limits. The Guru God is not confined to the small human body but extends far beyond – covering the entire universe on one side, and, on the other, is very subtle and therefore enters as Sarva Antaryami into all hearts. The devotee begins to feel that that the Guru-God is his own Antaryami, i.e., he sees him within himself. The Samartha’s vast powers enable the devotee to obtain the finer sight actually to see the Guru within his own heart. The inner presence of God-Guru can never be inactive. His real living presence within asserts itself and more and more and swallows up the Jivahood of the Jiva. This is self-surrender of the Jiva when viewed from the latter’s stand – point. With this swallowing up or surrender, all old Karmas, good and bad, are swallowed up.


The Vaasanas or tendencies to do fresh Karma have also to be destroyed in the Jiva’s progress. Vaasanas are desires or desire tendencies directed to lower objects (whether earthly or otherworldly objects). These have to be swallowed up only by a stronger and purer desire or affection, by something more exacting than earthly love. As stated already, such stronger passion is the devotee’s love for the Guru, and it is that blossoms into complete self-surrender. This surrender alone totally extinguishes Vaasanas. Once Vaasanas are destroyed, there is no more ego, no more of vicious circle of Samsara, and the Evolution of the Jiva into the Supreme is complete. Then the Jiva sees that the Samartha Sadguru has all along been with him, inside and outside, and that the Jiva the Sadguru and the Supreme Being are and always have been one and the same Real.

(Courtesy: HH Pujyasri B V Narasimha Swamiji)