Friday, April 27, 2012

I found God today...

I found God today…
I found God this morning, I found him in the kiss of the sunshine
In my daughter’s sweet smile and my wife’s cuddly hug
I found him in my parent’s words of wisdom
 In that age when you’re so close to divine

I found God this morning, no; he wasn’t in temple with bells clanging
He wasn’t in the church where candles burnt and hands in prayers folding
But somewhere deep within, I felt the gentle nudge
That assured his presence simply overwhelming so charming.

I found God this morning in wind that blew over my face while riding
I found him in the hitchhikers on the road their thumbs waving
I found him in the farmer so busy with his land tilling
I found God today in the school buses and all those little faces shinning

I found God today within me taking challenges
I found him in the days work with me rejoicing
I found God today in the words that in my ears kept ringing
“All the search for truth starts without and ends within.”


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Advaita- Non-Dualism

A small boy accompanied by his father is on a hiking trip. As they approach a cliff, the boy suddenly trips a stone and falls down and is hurt. He shouts, ‘Ahh!’ Out of nowhere the same words are heard, ‘Ahh!’ The boy is perplexed, he shouts, ‘Who is it?’ Back come the same words, ‘Who is it?’ The boy is angry, he shouts, ‘You fool!’ The voice responds in the same words, ‘You fool!’ The father who is witnessing this tells his son, that it is his own echo that he is hearing. He asks his son, to say, ‘I love you!’ The boy does so and back comes, ‘I love you!’ The boy is surprised at this marvelous phenomenon of echo. The father explains, ‘That’s life in real, what you give out will always return to you in same measure, when you give out hate, anger, jealousy, you will be returned with same. When you give out love, joy, enthusiasm you will experience the world to be a beautiful place.’
The above story reminds me of Jesus’ words in the New Testament, “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.” That verse is known as the golden verse. It almost sums up the message of all religious texts and teachings. When I start treating others as I treat myself, the world will be a better place. Imagine everyone living with that philosophy! Won’t we experience Utopian dream on this earth! This brings to the question why do human beings fail to follow this? Why do I hate others, have jealousy for someone or abuse and mistreat somebody? Is it not because of the illusion of Dualism? In simple words, our minds trick us into telling that the other person is different from me. It will go on to add physical evidences of color, caste, creed, culture, habits and so on and so forth. At physical level this may seem to be true. But truth many times eludes us when our perspective is limited to the physical. Let’s take the example of the horizon where you see the sky kissing the earth. Is it really so? When you go further the horizon runs farther. If you are travelling in the desert, you may notice a place of cool water few feet away from you, but as you go near you know it’s a mirage! So what I am advocating here is that we should not limit our perspective in life to the physical but graduate to the meta-physical, the spiritual to see the truth of life.
At the spiritual level we know that we come from the same source we all dearly refer to as God. God created this universe and everything in it, so the universe is not separate entity from God, nor are human beings who are the created ones! When you know that we all come from the same source and identify each other as brothers and sisters, we understand that harming anyone is, harming ourselves and loving others is, loving ourselves. Like the story above, it echoes back to us. What I do unto others comes back to me. I am reminded of another quote by Rabbi Hillel, he said, “Do not unto others what is hateful to thyself this is the whole of Torah the rest is commentary.”
In the world of today, we are so busy in segregating things, people, communities, nations. Our minds make us believe that the differences we see at the physical level should be the basis on which we separate one from the other. So we distinguish between  the rich and poor, the fair and the dark skinned, the intelligent from the average, the male child from the female, one race from the other, one nation from another and the list is endless. We separate God as a different being than we are. We put him in the holy of holies and fear to approach his presence. We have religious leaders who make a fortune in making us feel miserable about how separate we are from God and other fellow beings because they do not follow our religion or sects. What’s the result? We have hate, jealousy, wars, crimes, acts of terrorism all done all in the name of religion! At the time of this writing India is shocked by a father killing his own infant daughter because she was a born a girl and not a boy! Aren’t we fooling ourselves?
Some may object to my proposition by saying that this is blasphemy. We do need dualism when we separate the good from the bad, the evil form the righteous, the sinners from the holy and God from the human. My question is, are we by separating the above entities really hitting at the root of the problem or just hacking at the leaves? Why do people exist whom we are compelled to label as bad, evil, unrighteous and so on and so forth? Is it not because the crimes that these people committed were because of the illusion of duality? I mistreat others and commit crimes of hate because I am bent on believing that in some way he or she is separate from me and by harming him or her, I will be promoted in my ulterior motives. Is this not an illusion? Many of us regrettably realize of late that by harming others we have harmed ourselves.
So finally friends, it is time that we understand the importance of adhering to Advaita or Non-dualism. I am not advocating a religious philosophy. But being a student of philosophy and religion, I am using this philosophy to understand the truth. For ‘you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.’ Let us be in the driver’s seat and not run by the whims and fancies of our mind. Let us go beyond dualism and our habits and culture of segregation to understand the basic inherent unity in all. Dear God, ‘Lead us from darkness to light, from untruth to truth, from death to eternal life and from dualism to non-dualism! 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Celebrate Today- Celebrate your Resurrection!

Christ was called by two titles, Son of Man and Son of God. It tells us that he had the perfect combination of the human and the divine. When he was crucified on the cross, it refers to his humanity (the divine can never cease to be). His physical body died but then on the 3rd day the Bible says he was resurrected! Now watch, his physical body was transformed, it could transcend the limits of the physical, tangible world, it was not the same. What does this signify?
We all need to die to our tangible, physical realities (which are limited to 5 senses) and be resurrected to the awareness that we are divine, when we realize this we know we have a resurrection, a transformation from the limited to the unlimited, from the human to divine, from death to life eternal. That encourages us to celebrate Easter or the Resurrection in its true sense, Christ was our prototype in that sense. When you face some adverse condition today, remember don't limit your identity to only what is physical and tangible reality, proclaim your I am, you are divine being, realize this and once you realize this you can overcome any obstacle that you face now, that's resurrection in true sense! 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Celebrate Today- Facing Adversity

Turbulent times bring the best in great people. What is inside is given a way to come out when we face adversity. Good Friday commemorates the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. When the world around him was  at their worst, Christ was at his best even when he hung on nails on the cross! Look at his words, "Father forgive them...", "Today you shall be with me in paradise", "Father into thy hands..."
Why couldn't adversity shake Jesus? The truth is Christ's perspective was subjective rather than objective. In simple words, he was more focused on working inside rather than looking what he faced outside. That's the hallmark of all great people of the world. The inner re-engineering is more important than complaining and whining and hitting out at the situations outside. Work on the inside first and you will find that you will emerge better and stronger person which will in turn have repercussions outside. Let me end with the very wise words of Stephen Covey, "Anytime you think the problem is outside; the thought is the problem."