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Archive for August, 2009

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Times Of India / 19th AUGUST ’09 / PAGE 18/ THE SPEAKING TREE

Contradictions In The Gita Help One To Think   …Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
gu16Truth is contradictory; if it is not contradictory, then it is not truth! The Bhagavad Gita is full of contradictions. You can understand it only if you see it in totality.

At one point, Krishna tells Arjuna that action is the most important thing and without action one will be nowhere. But after that, He tells him that action is all right but knowledge is better! Then Krishna says, ‘‘You must become a yogi and drop everything around you.’’

Krishna tells Arjuna in Chapter Six that since he is confused, there is no use talking. He asks him to meditate. Finally, He says, ‘‘He is the greatest amongst yogis who keeps Me in his heart whether he meditates or not. He is the real yogi, because I am with him in whatever he is doing.’’

At one juncture, Krishna says, ‘‘Arjuna, there is nobody dear to me, nobody whom I love.’’ And then gives a whole list of qualifications for those He really loves!

In another instance, Krishna tells Arjuna to act without looking for the fruit of action. Later, He asks Arjuna to act properly, according to natural law. Then He tells him that he ought to fight if he wants to win the war. So, at this point He is bringing Arjuna’s attention to the fruit of action, but then He also tells him not to worry about the fruit of action.

Krishna was like a dear friend to Arjuna. In the Bhagavatam, except for Vidura and Udhava, nobody even thought he was enlightened; they all thought that he was just very smart. The Pandavas and the gopis knew who Krishna was and how complete He was from all angles. But many of them, including Arjuna, did not see him that way. Krishna, however, shows him that He is infinite.

Krishna tells Arjuna, ‘‘I will give you a special eye of knowledge, which I haven’t given anybody in ages. I am giving it to you now because it is time.’’ With that, He gives him a vision. For that one moment the universe appears as a manifestation of Krishna to Arjuna.

Arjuna sees all of creation, everything – the mountains and the rivers, the past, the present and the future – dissolving in Krishna. For an instant, the whole of life, the universe, all memories play out like a movie and it frightens Arjuna. Then Arjuna pleads, ‘‘Oh! Please show me your simple,  natural and friendly face. I like your simple smile and I want to see my friend. I don’t want to see anything beyond. It is too much for me.’’

This is called Vishva Roopa Darshana – the vision of the universal. Thereafter, Krishna tells Arjuna about the yagyas, principles and laws of the universe. Then He talks about sanyasa and how to be centred. Arjuna tells Krishna that what he says is not easy to follow. Krishna says, ‘‘I agree… It is difficult but not impossible. With practice, dispassion and by getting to the centre again, you will succeed.’’  Krishna tried everything. Finally, it was the display of the universal vision that worked on Arjuna. When Arjuna says, ‘‘I give up,’’ Krishna says, ‘‘Think and do whatever is best for you after pondering over what I have said.” And then Arjuna says his mind is now clear. Krishna had to speak through 18 chapters to get him to that point. He could have done it at the very first chapter. But the way this knowledge flows is really beautiful.

Everything may appear to be all contradictory from all angles. But that is reality!

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Q. How to be an instrument of the grace of the Guru (Gurukripa)?
Sri Sri: By being more grateful. The one who is always complaining gets a little away from the Grace. When we are grateful for whatever God has given us, then we never lack anything and the grace continues forever.
Q. I made a promise to someone but now I know that it was not right. How do I get out of my promise?
Sri Sri: If the promise you made gives peace to someone then you must fulfil it. If it causes pain both, to you and the other person then just move on. A promise made in ignorance has no importance.

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Q. How to be an instrument of the grace of the Guru (Gurukripa)?

Sri Sri: By being more grateful. The one who is always complaining gets a little away from the Grace. When we are grateful for whatever God has given us, then we never lack anything and the grace continues forever.

Q. I made a promise to someone but now I know that it was not right. How do I get out of my promise?

Sri Sri: If the promise you made gives peace to someone then you must fulfil it. If it causes pain both, to you and the other person then just move on. A promise made in ignorance has no importance.

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This knowledge sheet was given on the occasion of Janmashtami (Festival celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna)

We are celebrating lord Krishna’s 5139st birthday. He lived for 125 years. Krishna is not a vyakti (person) but shakti (energy). Krishna says: ‘People think I am in the human form, but I am ananta shakti (that energy which has no end). Those who see Me in others and others in Me are never far away from me. I will be with them always.’
All navarasas were present in Krishna. Krishna was poorna kala avataran (a complete incarnation).
Krishna is consciousness. The purpose of celebration is to realize that Krishna is in me and not different.
In the Bhagwat Geeta, Lord Krishna says, “One who sees everyone in Me and sees Me in everyone, for such a person, I shall never remain hidden and he shall never be far from me.”
Lord Krishna’s life has all the nine rasas (flavors). For instance, he was naughty like a child, a warrior, joy personified and a source of knowledge.
He was a perfect friend and guru. There never was and never will be a friend like Krishna.
To awaken the Krishna in our consciousness is the right way of celebrating Janmashtami.
‘Krishna is not far from me, not separate from me, he is within me’: this feeling will fill your life with Krishna.
To understand Krishna become Radha or Arjuna or Uddhava.
Three kinds of people seek refuge in God. The lover, the miserable and the wise. Uddhava was wise, Arjuna was miserable and Radha was love. So all are good. Arjuna was not saddened for himself but for the whole world. To be saddened for humanity is the dharma (duty) of a human. So when this pain for humanity is awakened in the heart and you don’t know what to do and what not to – then your life is filled with Krishna.
On the battlefield, Krishna tells Arjuna to become a Yogi. Krishna is also addressed as Yogeshwar (God of Yoga).
Follow what Krishna said, “See everyone in Me and see Me in everyone” and become a yogi.
Don’t be afraid of anything, be useful for everyone.
Krishna never scolded Arjuna, he did not let him feel guilty at all. He always uplifted Arjuna.
He reminded Arjuna that all the virtues are within him already. He did not need to work towards achieving them.
Krishna was born at midnight, when everyone was sleeping. When all the senses sleep, then the knowledge of the self is awakened. This can be interpreted spiritually. Deh (body) is Devaki*, Prana (life energy) is Vasudev*. When body and life energy unite, then the bliss that is born out of the union is called Nandlala**.
When Krishna was born, all the guards fell asleep. Guards represent the senses and bliss is beyond the senses. The jail represents the body and the river Yamuna, love. It rose to touch the feet of the little Krishna. This means that the love was so intense it could not refrain itself from touching the feet of the Lord.
Till love gets transformed into devotion, there is no satisfaction. So when love happens with a thing, person or situation – it is not fulfilling. However, love reaches its peak when it experiences the touch of the Divine.
The story has an amazing meaning behind it. That’s why our ancestors did not restrict a story to time and place- this is a forever continuing to flow, its happening everyday.
This is the essence of the Bhagwat.
*Devaki, Vasudev – Krishna’s parents
**Nandlala – another name for Krishna
(From the Office of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar)

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Urging people not to panic, His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living said in a press release, “India has a wealth of knowledge from Ayurveda to counter swine flu”.
Elaborating on this, Dr. Manikantan and Dr. Nisha Manikantan, senior ayurvedic doctors at Sri Sri Ayurveda centre said, “Swine flu invades the body because of a breakdown in immunity. And Ayurveda offers simple & effective remedies to boost immunity & build resistance. Tea made from Laxmi Taru (botanical name: Simarouba)leaves, Tulsi, Amla and Amrut (Giloy) acts as an immunity enhancer. Alternatively & additionally, Ginger and Turmeric (haldi) powder mixed with either lime juice or honey can also be taken twice a day.”
“To counter air-borne swine flu viruses, Sambarani dhoop (loban stems) should be burnt in the house twice a day. Sambarani is a very potent atmospheric sterilser”, the doctors added.
Sri Sri also said, “In addition, our mind also plays an important role in our immunity. Whenever we panic and have fear, our immunity level goes down. Practices like
pranayama and meditation play a vital role in reducing panic / fear and keeping ourselves calm. Independent studies conducted at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi (AIIMS) and National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru (NIMHANS) have empirically proved that practices such as pranayama and meditation boosts immunity at least three-fold. If we can integrate these practices in our daily lives along with the simple Ayurvedic remedies, we can effectively counter swine flu”.
Dr. Manikantan & Dr. Nisha Manikantan from Sri Sri Ayurveda can be contacted on : info@ssapd.org

Urging people not to panic, His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living said in a press release, “India has a wealth of knowledge from Ayurveda to counter swine flu”.

Elaborating on this, Dr. Manikantan and Dr. Nisha Manikantan, senior ayurvedic doctors at Sri Sri Ayurveda centre said, “Swine flu invades the body because of a breakdown in immunity. And Ayurveda offers simple & effective remedies to boost immunity & build resistance. Tea made from Laxmi Taru (botanical name: Simarouba)leaves, Tulsi, Amla and Amrut (Giloy) acts as an immunity enhancer. Alternatively & additionally, Ginger and Turmeric (haldi) powder mixed with either lime juice or honey can also be taken twice a day.”

“To counter air-borne swine flu viruses, Sambarani dhoop (loban stems) should be burnt in the house twice a day. Sambarani is a very potent atmospheric sterilser”, the doctors added.

Sri Sri also said, “In addition, our mind also plays an important role in our immunity. Whenever we panic and have fear, our immunity level goes down. Practices like pranayama and meditation play a vital role in reducing panic / fear and keeping ourselves calm. Independent studies conducted at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi (AIIMS) and National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru (NIMHANS) have empirically proved that practices such as pranayama and meditation boosts immunity at least three-fold. If we can integrate these practices in our daily lives along with the simple Ayurvedic remedies, we can effectively counter swine flu”.

Dr. Manikantan & Dr. Nisha Manikantan from Sri Sri Ayurveda can be contacted on : info@ssapd.org

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