The Forum dedicated to Arunachala and Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

Ramana Maharshi => General topics => Topic started by: Nagaraj on April 21, 2012, 04:13:34 PM

Title: Making a Difference
Post by: Nagaraj on April 21, 2012, 04:13:34 PM
Dear Friends,

I am opening this thread, where we all can get inspired and share among-st, ourselves, and and others, by making some difference in the environment that we live in. Let our spiritual quest not be an inert one. Let our quest be inclusive of our responsibilities towards the nature and all human beings around us.

Let us share here, our good stories in our lives. I sincerely hope, each one would take initiative to make this thread successful and the beautiful words, just don't remain as words, beautiful words become beautiful when it becomes our beautiful actions.

Gratitude to the Mother Nature.

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Nagaraj on April 21, 2012, 04:35:34 PM
Dear i,

It has always pained me much for many years, losing connectivity with the nature. We have all become inert and everybody just concerned about themselves and at most their families and loved ones.

I am an animal lover. i see so many dogs and cows move around in the roads. The summer peaking, this time very badly, THANKS TO OURSELVES (HUMAN SPECIES)

The animals too are disturbed, because of the ecological imbalance, if it had mouth, they would have gone and complained in world court against us humans. Bhagavan was a great animal lover. more than atma jnanam and the literatures, i always enjoyed reading Bhagavan's love and incidents towards the animals. Once when some attendant got angry at some monkeys, and when he tried to push the monkeys off by throwing some stones, Bhagavan got angry and said, these lands were originally belonged to them, only we have occupied and claims all these as ours. If they too had voice, they would put their claim as well.

He used to address the monkeys as "Pasangala" (kids) the cow as "amma" (mother, a way of addressing all women in India) the squirrels as "kuttigala" (?) etc...

seeing so many animals thirsty, going  around looking for water here and there, and not finding, used to just sit down and rest, what other option does it have, can it order water for money? Who does it have to complain or ask for water? who is there to listen for it? i felt strongly felt, i could do something.

I placed this small bucket under the tree next to my house. Within a day, the crows, dogs, rats, and many other unknown animals have been drinking it. It gave me such immense bliss. hence I wondered, how nice it would be, if many other too, could do the same in their place, which is why i am sharing it here with you all here. It would be great if you could also do something to our other friends in the nature.

Also, other thing that I do is put raw rice, dal, wheat seeds, on my windows, many pigeons, crows, etc... are now regular visitors for their lunch :)

By this way, it indirectly helps in our Sadhana too, instead of just thinking about ourselves, our family, we begin to think about the animals as well. Just do it, you will enjoy :)

Salutations to Bhagavan
(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-DxxHt6mE1vs/T5KObdYuTDI/AAAAAAAABwE/11UX9ze68n4/s512/Water%2520for%2520Animals.jpg)
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Nagaraj on April 21, 2012, 04:51:20 PM
Dear i,

as i was writing here, a thirsty cow was walking, along with her caretaker, he was frantically looking for water to feed his cow, God blessing, i got an opportunity to call him, and filled a huge bucket of water, within no time, the cow gulped the whole bucket of of water and walked ahead, it was contended. No thanks asked, no thanks given! I remember Cow Lakshmi.

Bliss. Bliss.

just do it, once, you will enjoy, you will like it.

The advantage of helping animals automatically comes with a baggage of not being helped by it, unlike helping humans, so it is a great feeling.

:)

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Ravi.N on April 21, 2012, 10:04:40 PM
Nagaraj,
Wonderful to read your posts.Reminds me about the practice of feeding crows first thing after cooking food.What a joy to hear the crows caw and invite other crows for the feast.Offering water to thirsty animals and birds is an immensely satisfying experience.
Swamiji used to say:They only live who live for others;others are more dead than alive!
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: sanjaya_ganesh on April 24, 2012, 03:29:22 PM
Very true. But I always ask myself : "Who is becoming happy with any charity that I do?". Is it not my ego? Since what I am is same as what any other animal or human is - it must be that entity which feels like doing something good - who is feeling happy with any goodness I do. Is it not the gold chain / iron chain principle?

Sorry - I am not saying we should not do these. But feeling happy about any charity does not sound good for me. Because that is the gold chain part of egoic mind.
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: ramana_maharshi on April 24, 2012, 05:24:49 PM
yes well said ganesh garu. I agree with you.

Charity to satisfy ego or for fame,pride does not do good..

As bhagavad gita says though mode of goodness is appreciable but it conditions one to happiness.

So we need to raise above the 3 gunas else we may end up as another social worker who will be working for welfare of other humans,plants,animals..

But because we are born human and because emotion called "compassion" is necessary even in the case of bhagavan who fed many plants,animals i.e treated all as brahman so charity is necessary though it should be done thinking we are not the doer which can be achieved by our daily self enquiry sadhana.

Getting rid of pride,ego,anger totally is not possible for humans is my personal opinion and we can only try our level best.

take for example udai garu of our forum. He has been associated with this forum and bhagavan teachings for many years and all of a sudden one day he leaves saying people are misunderstanding him. Now the question is why did not he apply self enquiry formula here and asked himself "to whom ...." ? 

As bhagavan once said

Quote
When I was staying in the Skandasramam I sometimes used to go out and sit on a rock. On one such occasion there were two or three others with me including Rangaswami Iyengar. Suddenly we noticed some small moth-like insect shooting up like a rocket into the air from a crevice in the rock. Within the twinkling of an eye it had multiplied itself into millions of moths which formed a cloud and hid the sky from view. We wondered at it and examined the place from which it shot up. We found that it was only a pinhole and knew that so many insects could not have issued from it in such a short time. That is how ahankara (ego) shoots up like a rocket and instantaneously spreads out as the Universe.
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Subramanian.R on April 24, 2012, 06:19:16 PM
Dear all,

All charities are good provided such acts do not bloat one's ego. Tirumular says that its is possible for everyone to give a fistful grass
to cows. The crow is one bird which calls other crows to share the food.

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Ravi.N on April 24, 2012, 06:42:09 PM
Friends,
What is wrong about  feeling happy in seeing that the needs of other beings are met?He who finds happiness in other's happiness is doing genuine Sadhana even if he is not conscious of doing Sadhana!Where did 'Charity' come in?Why are we equating happiness and satisfaction  with Pride?Why shy away from 'Doing Good' out of a  False Fear of courting Pride?Are we better off by avoiding these things(seems to be a convenient option!)?
Why do we do Self enquiry?What is the need?
Happiness is the very reason why we do sadhana.This is what sri Bhagavan clearly says in his very opening Paragraph of 'naan yaar'(Who am I)that all beings are after 'Sukam' only.

Namaskar.

Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Subramanian.R on April 24, 2012, 06:48:12 PM
Dear Ravi,

I shall give you one simple example how charity bloats the ego. In some temples, including Big Temple, Tiruvannamalai, on the
mercury tube light, there is an inscription that so and so Mudlaiar or so and so Chettiar or so and so Iyer had donated the tube
light. This inscription hides half of the light from that mercury tube light.

Arunachala Siva.         
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: sanjaya_ganesh on April 24, 2012, 07:26:30 PM
Dear Ravi sir

Quote
What is wrong about  feeling happy in seeing that the needs of other beings are met?

Nothing wrong. But any Karma breeds attachment - be it good karma or bad karma. Attachment to good karma for gaining happiness is gold chain to samsara. Attachment to bad karma for gaining happiness is iron chain. Anyone can choose which chain they want - but gold chain is much stronger as a great enlightened guru "Poonthanam Namboothiri" in Kerala says. Gold chains will cause many more rebirths he says in a poem than iron chain. As you are saying "the need to make others happy for deriving one's happiness" is gold chain. Bhagawan himself gives a classic answer to this when a group of social workers met him to invite him to do good work and charity.
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Ravi.N on April 24, 2012, 08:16:20 PM
Sanjaya,
Quote
"As you are saying "the need to make others happy for deriving one's happiness" is gold chain."
We have to find the truth for ourselves.We cannot live on borrowed thoughts that this is 'Gold Chain' or this is 'Iron Chain',etc.Karma need not bind.Do we mean to say that we can  do away with Karma?Can Karma be avoided?Does it mean that all we are doing otherwise do not bind?Which category do they belong to?
I am not saying that one's happiness has to 'depend' on making others happy.I am saying that taking happiness in other's happiness is an unparalleled sadhana.In fact true happiness is only this.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Ravi.N on April 24, 2012, 08:31:24 PM
Friends,

They alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive.-Swami Vivekananda

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Ravi.N on April 24, 2012, 09:05:24 PM
Friends,
Verses from the Great tamizh Sage thAyumAnavar's parAprak kanni:

Quote
எவ்வுயிரும் என்னுயிர்போல் எண்ணி யிரங்கவும்நின்
தெய்வ அருட்கருணை செய்யாய் பராபரமே

Grant me Thy Divine Grace To consider all life as my life
And so commiserate in sympathy, Oh Para Param!

எல்லாரும் இன்புற் றிருக்க நினைப்பதுவே
அல்லாமல் வேறொன் றறியேன் பராபரமே

All that I wish is All should in bliss be.
Nothing else do I know,Oh Para Param!

It is a sure sign of spiritual  progress that we are sensitive to the needs of others and take delight in other's happiness.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: latha on April 24, 2012, 09:20:56 PM
Sanjaya ji, Friends,

My limited understanding is, what binds one is not the karma but the bhava of doership. There is no bondage if one realizes that "doing" something is only possible with the grace of God. An example given to me by a Swamiji is, we think we cook - did we make the rice grains, vegetables etc.,? did we become fire and cook the food? all that we did is put some things together and feel we have done this big task of cooking and making food. If we think on this vein, are we really raising our children by ourselves? can we be productive at home or work by ourselves? If we can work with this correct understanding then the Self/Bhagavan will guide us in the right path without any conflict. How can I  fix the world when I am operating as my ego? Bhagavan Ramana, by living his teachings is helping so many to achieve the highest goal of realizing the Self.

Thank you for the satsangha and an opportunity to learn from all your experiences.

Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Hari on April 24, 2012, 09:28:01 PM
Exceptional topic, Sri Nagarajji! ! !
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: latha on April 24, 2012, 09:34:46 PM
Raviji,

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful verse by Sage thAyumAnavar. It is so simple and truly reflects his state of devotion.
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Nagaraj on April 24, 2012, 10:45:35 PM
Friends,

In the name and fear of ego, if one stays back, and not aspire to help others, then how can oneself evolve and purify?

One should be optimistic and not buckle down to kneels on the face of ego like this.

This should not be the right spirit, doing charity may boost my ego, so, it is better to be normal etc... this could only stagnate one.

March one, march ahead, face the ego where ever it you. For, if we don't march on, one can never know ones ego.

Let it be ego, atleast let us start doing something, for, fear of ego ought not to be a stumbling block. The very act of charity, though provoked by ego, itself would purify one, like the camphor, the one who does charity with ego, will himself burn out soon.

So, i feel, friends, keep off your fears of ego, on this regard! It is ok, let us keep this uncomplicated, plain and simple, :) it is a beautiful feeling to to help. is my humble view.

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Nagaraj on April 24, 2012, 10:51:29 PM
Our fears are like this, "it may rain, so, let me stay back"

The true spirit should be "yes, it may rain, but let me take with me an umbrella (faith in ones Guru)"

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: ramana_maharshi on April 25, 2012, 01:02:04 AM
Nagaraj garu,

If we were to understand deeply about bhagavan's way of life it is clear that he does not want to involve in outside matters to whatever extent it is possible as it is always to satisfy ego we may want to do things like charity..

So minimising these good works is suggested..

Bhagavan was only compassionate to fellow humans,animals,plants who are close to him i.e his teachings. He did not travel to north india and fed plants,animals ...

I think nagaraj garu and ravi thought may mean mahatma gandhiji is better than bhagavan ramana as the former brought more smiles in indians ?

I will second subramanian garu in this regard.
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Ravi.N on April 25, 2012, 06:51:32 AM
Prasanth,

Quote
"Bhagavan was only compassionate to fellow humans,animals,plants who are close to him i.e his teachings. He did not travel to north india and fed plants,animals ...

I think nagaraj garu and ravi thought may mean mahatma gandhiji is better than bhagavan ramana as the former brought more smiles in indians ?"

How thoughts constantly mislead us;how difficult to be utterly simple.To be in one place  or to be moving around depends on the prarabda of the jnAni.Sri Sankara went all over india,whereas sri Bhagavan stayed put in one place.What should be seen is how compassionate they were and what advice they gave.
There is a place for everything in this world and this is the reason,each teacher or Guru emphasizes different aspect of the teachings.
If we internalize these teachings,then the Heart and not the Head will become our guide and will lead us onwards.Then we do not have to think-'What does so and so say','Is it the Right thing to do',etc ,etc.How long we propose to be just 'Followers'  of our borrowed thoughts?
If we can work in an office and earn money and accept transfers to go to other places,where is the difficulty in being compassionate to other living beings wherever they happen to be?Where is the difficulty in doing 'Good' and why examine if 'good' is good enough!Why this double standard.All that is said is what Jesus also said:'Love your neighbor as yourself'
As Holy Mother Sri sarada Devi said just before her passing away:"But I tell you one thing—if you want peace of mind, do not find fault with others. Rather see your own faults. Learn to make the whole world your own. No one is a stranger my child: this whole world is your own!"
This has been the true teaching of all religions and the essence behind sanatana dharma-'Sarve janah sukhino bhavanthu'.These are not just meant to be uttered as pious platitudes but each one has to make it part and parcel of one's life.
The Sage of Kanchi has brought out wonderfully simple schemes where everyone can contribute in some small way,according to one's capacity.He brought out a beautiful schemme wherein one can set aside a 'Fistful of Plain Rice' aside everyday and this gets collected and the food made out of it to be distributed to the poor and needy.What a wonderfully simple way that allows partcipation by one and all.This system is again getting  revived and the Kanchi Mutt is encouraging devotees to participate in such simple schemes.As everyone rich or poor can contribute to this schemme,all are equal and no room for any pride to creep in-at the same time,the poor and needy can have their hunger satiated.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: sanjaya_ganesh on April 25, 2012, 07:03:26 AM
Friends,

Bhagawan's message is very clear with confusion in this matter. He never "reached out" to help and socially reform. At the same time, what comes in his way he helped like any Satwic person will do. He never blocked the flow of Karma through his body - but neither derived happiness nor hated any karma. Again - my point - is reaching out to create charity opportunities will fail. Swami Vivekananda was very sad towards his last days for what all he did. He has made it very clear in his study books. He said once towards his last days - which I recall from his 8 volume studies clearly : "You all pulled me into your ditch. If I had another chance, I would have never done what I did".

Dont you think Bhagawan could have easily created a Ramana mission. Why did he not do it?? So let us do good deeds on the Karma path that we walk without trying to create opportunities for it. For example, I believe in helping people around me like house maids etc with all help rather than reaching out working for a larger organization helping groups of people.

So there is no confusion in Bhagawan's message - according to me.

-Sanjay
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Ravi.N on April 25, 2012, 07:04:07 AM
Lata,

Quote
"we think we cook - did we make the rice grains, vegetables etc.,? did we become fire and cook the food? all that we did is put some things together and feel we have done this big task of cooking and making food."

Very correct and simple,effective example. sri Ramakrishna gives a different flavour to this example:
"As long as God keeps the awareness of 'I' in us, so long do sense-objects exist; and we
cannot very well speak of the world as a dream. There is fire in the hearth; therefore the
rice and pulse and potatoes and the other vegetables jump about in the pot. They jump
about as if to say: 'We are here! We are jumping!' This body is the pot. The mind and
intelligence are the water. The objects of the senses are the rice, potatoes, and other
vegetables. The 'I-consciousness' identified with the senses says, 'I am jumping about.' And
Satchidananda is the fire
."

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Ravi.N on April 25, 2012, 07:11:25 AM
Sanjaya,
What makes you think that vivekananda was sad!What a myth!Swamiji was a multisided personality.No one can try to fathom him.Forget what he said and you need not take him as a a right example.I will post in the Rough-notebook regarding this aspect.
All the other Great ones have said this-Please do not mistake what is said-We are not to start a mission!Whoever told you this.Great ones like Sankara ,Swami Vivekananda had come to fulfill a mission that is divinely ordained-not something of the 'Ego's ' making!Please read again what Nagaraj has started this topic .See if there is any missionary zeal there!
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: sanjaya_ganesh on April 25, 2012, 07:23:39 AM
Quote
What makes you think that vivekananda was sad!What a myth!Swamiji was a multisided personality.No one can try to fathom him.

Apologies if it hurt anyone.

Quote
All the other Great ones have said this-Please do not mistake what is said-We are not to start a mission!Whoever told you this.Great ones like Sankara ,Swami Vivekananda had come to fulfill a mission that is divinely ordained-not something of the 'Ego's ' making!Please read again what Nagaraj has started this topic .See if there is any missionary zeal there!

Agree.
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Ravi.N on April 25, 2012, 07:29:54 AM
Sanjaya,

Quote
"So let us do good deeds on the Karma path that we walk without trying to create opportunities for it"

How do we propose to do it?Are we in a job?Did it come our way without working for it?Does this mean sharing with people in one's apartment complex  only or with one's office colleagues only?How do' we stop trying  to create opportunity' and yet do 'good deeds on the Karma path as you say'?Please ,can you be more tangible?

I will post what Swami Vivekananda says in 'My Master' here:
" If you wish to be a true reformer, three things are necessary. The first is to feel. Do you really feel that there is so much misery in the world, so much ignorance and superstition? Do you really feel that men are your brothers? Does this idea come into your whole being? Does it run with your blood? Does it tingle in your veins? Does it course through every nerve and filament of your body? Are you full of that idea of sympathy? If you are, that is only the first step. You must think next if you have found any remedy. The old ideas may be all superstition, but in and around these masses of superstition are nuggets of gold and truth. Have you discovered means by which to keep that gold alone, without any of the dross? If you have done that, that is only the second step; one more thing is necessary. What is your motive? Are you sure that you are not actuated by greed of gold, by thirst for fame or power? Are you really sure that you can stand to your ideals and work on, even if the whole world wants to crush you down? Are you sure you know what you want and will perform your duty, and that alone, even if your life is at stake? Are you sure that you will persevere so long as life endures, so long as there is one pulsation left in the heart? Then you are a real reformer, you are a teacher, a Master, a blessing to mankind. "

We are not to be 'Reformers',but service and love for other Living beings is part and parcel of Good Sadhana-any sadhana devoid of this element is only self centred activity-it is a sort of opium eating only.Mission is for the Great ones like Swamiji or Sri Sanakara or jnAna sambandha,Jesus ,the Christ.
We can be Ravi,sanjaya and practice sadhana on a sure footing with this element of Love and service to other beings.As mahAkavi bhArati said:'kAkai kuruviyum engaL jAthi'-meaning :The Crows and sparrows belong to our clan.Without this element of Love and service,the so called spiritual seeking is just sheer escapism only-escape from the demands of the work-a -day world that everyone has to grudgingly endure!

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: sanjaya_ganesh on April 25, 2012, 08:16:53 AM
Quote
Quote
How do we propose to do it?Are we in a job?Did it come our way without working for it?quote]
Dear Ravi sir,

Let me try to answer. It is about NOT standing in the way of the Karma taht was destined for you to get a job. I know it is hard for intellect to grasp. If your own vasana wanted you to become an advocate - you standing in the way of the vasana and saying I will not do it is what is bad karma. Karma is all about vasanas. So you got a job not "working for it". It is the ego which says "I worked for my job".

Quote
Does this mean sharing with people in one's apartment complex  only or with one's office colleagues only?How do' we stop trying  to create opportunity' and yet do 'good deeds on the Karma path as you say'?Please ,can you be more tangible?[/

No. It is not. It is sharing with people who stumble on your way and dealing with them naturally. Why limit to apartment complex or office colleagues. For example, (please please dont interpret it as a show off - but only an example in context) - I met a poor lady in a grocery shop (not from my office or apartment complex :)) - and she was standing behind me in queue and begging for some free vegetables. All I did at spur of the moment was to pay for all the vegetables she picked from teh store.

No. I did not go looking out for it. Nor did I confine to apartment complex or office. I did not create an opportunity also. Not sure, sir - it is tangible enough. But that is my humble submission.

And what is the stage I am striving for? Not feeling happy - neither sad - about the above incident. I want to be at exactly same state of mind with or without doing it - Sthitha Prajna as Lord says in Gita.
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Ravi.N on April 25, 2012, 08:33:43 AM
Sanjaya,
Yes,this is the point.These are part and parcel of Living spontaneously and not in a formula ridden way of the mind.It is only the purified mind that is capable of spontaneity and again the more one practices this,one's mind attains purity.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Ravi.N on April 25, 2012, 09:01:26 AM
Sanjaya,
The spontaneity of a sthithaprajna allows him the freedom to be happy when others are happy and to be sad when they are in distress.It does not mean that a sthithaprajna is indifferent and wooden.it just means that his prajna(awareness) is steady and his bhava takes appropriate expression suited to the occasion in a spontaneous way.How did sri Bhagavan react to the fall of a sparrow's egg?What were his feelings when he was moved to the New hall?These Feelings are of the one who considers other's sorrow as his sorrow and other's joy as his joy.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: sanjaya_ganesh on April 25, 2012, 09:21:07 AM
Yes, Ravi sir. You are right. I stand corrected.
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Subramanian.R on April 25, 2012, 09:57:57 AM
Dear Ravi and sanjaya,


Lakshmana Sarma says: the destruction of kartrutvam is karma yoga. the destruction of vibhakti (separation) is bhakti yoga.
the destruction of viyogam (again separateness) is Yoga. Ahankara nasam is bodham, Jnanam.

Arunachala Siva. 
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: ramana_maharshi on April 25, 2012, 12:17:14 PM
well said subramanian garu.

Bhagavan Ramana said, whenever social reformers and political reformers came to Him:  First reform yourself.

RaviJi,

Below are Swami Vivekananda's views about charity

Quote
THE PRACTICE OF RELIGION (Delivered at Alameda, California, on April 18, 1900)
Volume 4, Lectures and Discourses

Charity is great, but the moment you say it is all, you run the risk of running into materialism. It is not religion. It is no better than atheism - a little less. ... You Christians, have you found nothing else in the Bible than working for fellow creatures, building . . . hospitals ? . . . Here stands a shopkeeper and says how Jesus would have kept the shop! Jesus would neither have kept a saloon, nor a shop, nor have edited a newspaper.

Street-cleaning, hospital-building, and all that? Good works, when you do them with a pure mind.

Practical religion is identifying myself with my Self.

We may convert every house in the country into a charity asylum, we may fill the land with hospitals, but the misery of man will still continue to exist until man's character changes.


So pure mind without having ego and not looking for pride,fame is required for good works.

Raviji and nagaraj garu If love,compassion and care towards other humans is the best path then mother theresa  has shown more love and social service than bhagavan?
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Subramanian.R on April 25, 2012, 01:28:21 PM

No two great persons can be compared. Sri Bhagavan's life and teachings were towards Jnana. He did not decry social service
or philanthropy.  In Jnana marga, these are all not essential, and this was He meant. Again take Bhakta Vijayam saints. They used
cymbals and sang various songs aloud on Panduranga. Sri Bhagavan said that chanting god's glory is also fine but silence is the
most potent weapon to attain godhead.

So is the case with Mother Teresa. It was destined for her to do service to leprosy affected people in Kolkata. Not that she was
not praying to Jesus or meditating. She did all those things but her prime duty was service to the sick.

I think, one cannot and should not compare and contrast great persons.   
   
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: sanjaya_ganesh on April 25, 2012, 03:33:37 PM
BHagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 57 in response to Arjuna's question on Who is a Sthithaprajna.

Quote
yah sarvatranabhisnehas tat tat prapya subhasubham
nabhinandati na dvesti tasya prajna pratisthita

He who is everywhere without attachment, who neither rejoices nor despises on meeting with anything - good or bad, his wisdom is established.
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Ravi.N on April 25, 2012, 03:44:55 PM
Friends,
I will again point to Nagaraj's original post to have the context in sharp focus.In the absence of a context we will only be contesting on the basis of what we have in our mind and not what is posted.Where did anyone talk about charity?This is another subject-Charity is lauded in sanatana dharma as well.There is always a right way of doing these things and a wrong way.We cannot outright dismiss charity.I will post from the talks of the sage of Kanchi on this.Dismissing charity because it may engender pride is like throwing the baby with the bath water.Nothing can be more regrettable than this.
Here is a quotation from Swami Vivekananda:
“Do not stand on a high pedestal and take 5 cents in your hand and say, "here, my poor man", but be grateful that the poor man is there, so by making a gift to him you are able to help yourself.It is not the reciever that is blessed, but it is the giver.Be thankful that you are allowed to exercise your power of benevolence and mercy in the world, and thus become pure and perfect.”

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: sanjaya_ganesh on April 25, 2012, 03:53:51 PM
:) At least to me the SUBJECT "Making a Difference" trapped. We have an organization of same name here and they call themselves in short MAD :)
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Nagaraj on April 25, 2012, 05:55:16 PM
Uyir Ezhuthu   ஆத்திசூடி   English translation

அ   அறம் செய விரும்பு       Desire the righteous deeds
ஆ   ஆறுவது சினம்             Anger is to be controlled
இ   இயல்வது கரவேல்        Help others in ways you can
ஈ   ஈவது விலக்கேல்           Never refrain from charity (Always be charitable)
உ   உடையது விளம்பேல்    Do not boast about what you have
ஊ   ஊக்கமது கைவிடேல்   Do not give up hope/effort
எ   எண் எழுத்து இகழேல்     Respect learning
ஏ   ஏற்பது இகழ்ச்சி              Accepting alms (begging) is despicable
ஐ   ஐயமிட்டு உண்              Before you eat, share your food with the needy
ஒ   ஒப்புர வொழுகு             Act virtuously
ஓ   ஓதுவது ஒழியேல்         Do not give up learning
ஒள   ஒளவியம் பேசேல்     Do not talk bad about others
ஃ   அஃகஞ் சுருக்கேல்          Never cheat on grains (Food)


(Avvaiyar)

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Ravi.N on April 25, 2012, 10:10:09 PM
Nagaraj,
No one is born who is wiser than Grandma avvai.Her AthichchooDi is taught to pre-school children.(I hope it continues;not sure!).
Tamizh is such a glorious language and is rich in culture and wisdom-with works like TirukkuraL,nAladiyar,pura nAnooru,aga nAnooru,tirumanthiram,nalAyira divya prabhandam,tevAram,tiruvAchakam,tiru arutpA,etc,etc...the list is truly endless.
There are two words closely related one is ஐயமி(aiyyam) and the other one is 'pitchai'(Bhiksha)-Bhiksha(accepting alms) is considered a Blame.

Now what avvai is recommending is not 'pitchai'-Giving alms when another person begs for it.She is recommending 'aiYYam'-means that which is given without the other person asking!This is the true spirit of 'Giving' and the very essence of sanatana Dharma.

In TiruppAvai the Great Saint AndAl recommends both-'ayyamum,pitchaiyum' in verse 2.
vaiyaththu vaazhveergaaL naamum nampaavaikku(ch)
cheyyum kirisaigaL kELeerO paaRkadaluL
paiya(th) thuyinRa paramanadi paadi
neyyuNNOm paaluNNOm naatkaalE neeraadi
maiyittu ezhudhOm malarittu naam mudiyOm
seyyaadhana seyyOm theekkuRaLai(ch) chenROdhOm
aiyamum pichchaiyum aandhanaiyum kai kaatti
uyyumaaReNNi ugandhElOr empaavaay.

Translation:
O ye people all
Living in the world
Hearken to the code we've set
for our penance chosen:
singing the praise of the feet of the absolute,who is in gentle slumber
in the ocean of milk.

We shall forswear ghee and milk:
taking our bath in the pre-dawn time,
we shall not apply collyrium to our eyes
nor plait our tresses
with flowers of any kind.

We shall not do what should not be done
and we shall not voice around malefic complaints;
charity we shall extend
even when it is unsought,
apart from Giving away
to those who seek aid;
and this our hand shall do
to the extent of resource
.

Thus are we Gladdened
to have ascertained
the way to liberation.


In the above verse 2 ,AnDaL lays down the basis and foundation for what is called 'nOnbu' in tamizh and 'vrata' in sanskrit.It is only when a seeker follows these disciplines with Diligence that he can aspire to tread the spiritual path.This is the very heart of sanatana dharma .all religions emphasize this .
Namaskar.


Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Ravi.N on April 25, 2012, 10:17:59 PM
Friends,
The King Krishna deva RAyA was a great devotee of Saint AndAl-he wrote Amukta malyada ,the life of AndAl who was so dear to the Lord,that it is said that the Lord accepted and wore only the Garland that was worn first by AndAL.The story of AndAL is truly inspirational and there is hardly any composition that can match the beauty of TiruppAvai.TiruppAvai is not just a Hymn of praise but also a perfect prescription as a Sadhana-wonderfully laid out in 30 verses of dazzling poetry in sangath tamizh!
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Subramanian.R on April 26, 2012, 02:22:23 PM
Dear Ravi,

The post about AndAl makes me write a few things connected with AndAl and TiruppAvai:

1. It was Kanchi Maha Periyava who wanted to popularize both TiruppAvai and TiruvembAvai, with young boys and girls
(school going children) and he issued free booklets of these two books and made every family to encourage their children
sing these songs especially in Dhanur month. (Margazhi). He did this with another purpose of Saiva and Vaishnava unity.

2. AndAl uses two words, 'ukkam' 'thattoLi' in Verse 2. Even many Tamizh teachers of today may not know the meanings
for these words. ukkam actually means hand fan.  thattoLi means mirror. thattu + oLi, a plate with light. In those days,
there were no chromium plated mirrors as we use today. So they instead used highly polished bronze or brass or silver
plates which will reflect the objects  placed before.

3. Again in Verse 19, AndAl says Nappinnai kongai mel, vaithu kidantha malar mArba!  Kannan is sleeping with his chest
on the breasts of Nappinnai.  Hence Nappinnai cannot be AndAl. AndAl  must be a different devotee who also merged with
Ranganatha in Sri Rangam.  But she is not among the ashta patnis, eight wives of Krishna.

4. In both Tiruppavai and TiruvembAvai, there are each one verse, which should be chanted everyday, not merely in Margazhi
month. In TiruppAvai it is Verse 29, ChiRRam siRu kAle vandhunnai sevithun..... In TiruvembAvai, it is Verse 10, PathAlam Ezhinum
keezh soR kazhivu pAda malar.....  These are called Nityanusandhana verses, i..e to be chanted daily.

Arunachala Siva.
           
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Nagaraj on April 27, 2012, 08:47:11 AM
Dear i,

thank you for elaborating the subtle essence of ஐயமி (aiyyam) and Bhiksha. If anybody is able to practice just any one of these Athichudi, as Tapas, that itself is enough to bestow deliverance. Aandal stories is one of the most inspiring ones. Especially, it shows that spirituality does not just revolve with the men alone.

Over the last few days, i have been on the move, had to attend a wedding, and i happened to meet one elderly gentleman in the wedding, who was talking about the Sampradayas of wedding, etc... and somehow, the topic deviated and landed on to Kanchi Mahaswami, where he mentioned, that, in one of the camps, somewhere, in the late evenings, the attendants came and stood before the Mahaswami with heads down and with a very low voice reported to him that the entire ration has been done with and that there is no rice or vegetables at all. They were worried at the increasing crowd and being unable to feed the people who were coming there. Kanchi Mahaswami, who heard this, immediately, dismissed them off saying something like "Poda poda, ellam avan paathuppaan". Carelessly, he dismissed them off and their worries.

Everybody knows well, how strict Mahaswami is with regard to taking donations etc... and he laid out strong instructions to the math people not to ask anybody for anything. People were worried, nautrally.

Within about the next few hours, many bags of rice and vegetables arrived there, everybody were wonder struck!

this exactly was an illustration of the essence you have conveyed in
Quote
aiYYam'-means that which is given without the other person asking!This is the true spirit of 'Giving' and the very essence of sanatana Dharma.

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: ksksat27 on April 27, 2012, 10:07:11 AM
Friends,
What is wrong about  feeling happy in seeing that the needs of other beings are met?He who finds happiness in other's happiness is doing genuine Sadhana even if he is not conscious of doing Sadhana!Where did 'Charity' come in?Why are we equating happiness and satisfaction  with Pride?Why shy away from 'Doing Good' out of a  False Fear of courting Pride?Are we better off by avoiding these things(seems to be a convenient option!)?
Why do we do Self enquiry?What is the need?
Happiness is the very reason why we do sadhana.This is what sri Bhagavan clearly says in his very opening Paragraph of 'naan yaar'(Who am I)that all beings are after 'Sukam' only.

Namaskar.

The problem is with the moods of the sadhakas Ravi.   Myself,  Subramanian sir, few others are fed up with the world as a whole and doing this good and that good.    It is not because of fear of pride,  but a distaste comes in automatically ,  giving the vague empty feeling that everything is maya.

So we tend to focus on sadhana,  bhakthi or jnana alone and not of any karma yoga simply because,  we are not the right candidate to do nishkamya karma.

May be we have burnt our finger enough number of ways.

People may call it spiritual re-creation or shutting of the world connnections,  but that is what we want all the time.

This mind is a mysterious mad object one can live with all the time.   I am realising how painful to keep an enemy of mind with me and how tough it is to live the life.
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: sanjaya_ganesh on April 27, 2012, 10:36:40 AM
Dear Krishna

In my opinion, Vairagya and sadness are different. I am not sure which one you are referring to. If it is former it is great - but that does not make you sad.

May be I am too naive - not as well read as many. If everything around you including the mind which is thinking as you say - are the Supreme Brahman itself. If there is no place for anything to stand other than the Supreme one. If everything you think, in fact happens only inside that Supreme One (as there is no second one) - then why not happily follow the way that Supreme one takes you. As Acharya Swamigal's Nirvana Shatkam says "Na Punyam Na Papam Na Soukhyam Na Dukham Na Mantro Na Tirtham Na Veda Na Yajna. Aham Bhojanam Naiva Bhojyam Na Bhokta Chidananda Roopa Sivoham Sivoham". But never read this line with your mind / ego (Warning!) :)

Is not sadness and feeling fed up the circus of ego? What Karma is right? Who is enemy? Who is friend? All are interpretations of mind alone. I am trying hard to see the Supreme Brahman in "Fancy Dress competition" everywhere. And Practicing to see that way everything gives you infinite bliss.

My personal life is hell for last 4 years (which I dont want to elaborate here :)) and still I find infinite peace inside when you see everything in this light of drama where every character, every dress and every stage and everything is He alone. 

My humble submission if it helps

Peace
Sanjay
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Nagaraj on April 27, 2012, 11:25:19 AM
The problem is with the moods of the sadhakas - are fed up with the world as a whole and doing this good and that good.    It is not because of fear of pride,  but a distaste comes in automatically ,  giving the vague empty feeling that everything is maya.

So we tend to focus on sadhana,  bhakthi or jnana alone and not of any karma yoga simply because,  we are not the right candidate to do nishkamya karma.

May be we have burnt our finger enough number of ways.

People may call it spiritual re-creation or shutting of the world connnections,  but that is what we want all the time.

This mind is a mysterious mad object one can live with all the time.   I am realising how painful to keep an enemy of mind with me and how tough it is to live the life.

Dear i,

This is so with everybody, one has to look beyond the good and the bad and remain in Dharma. In Navamani Malai -

அண்ணா மலையாய் அடியெனை
ஆன்ட அன்றெ ஆவி உடல்
கொண்டாய் எனக்குஓர் குரைஉண்டொ
குறையும் குணமும் நியல்லால்
எண்ணம் எதுவொ அதுசெய்வாய்
கண்ணெ உன்தன் கழலிணையில்
காதல் பெrறுக்கெ தறுவாயெ
That moment when as Annamalai you called me and made
me your own, you took sole charge of my spirit and my
body. What more do I want? Merit or defect I know none
apart from you. My very life you are. Do with me what you
will. Only, only give me ever increasing love for Your twin
Feet.

The way is to transcend our disgust feelings by love. We all can easily love our loved ones, it is easy to love good things, but what is great about it? it is just like giving alms to a very rich man. Really loving the needy, the ones who are really disgusting, who are really the odd persons out, they are the ones whom we need to transcend their hate by our love (infact they are verily ourselves). How is this possible, when we really look from the other persons shoes, why one is like that, then we will be fully filled with Karuna-Bhava, we will understand why a person is bad, why the world is bad, the world needs Hitham, compassion.  We ought to love even the bad, just for ourselves ultimately.

Why everybody felt bliss before Gurus such as Shirdi Sai Baba, Ramakrishnar, Ramanar? because they were absolutely unconditional, they looked upon everybody as the same. Bhagavan looked at Perumal Swamy, Ganapati Muni, Muruganar as the same. Is it not the same pain and disgust feeling that we experience, es experienced by others also?

The solution for disgust cannot be disgust, if we also get disgusted, then there is no end to these :) is it not so? But, in a group of people, where all of them is vexed up, disgusted, throwing words, out of insecurity, if we are able to transcend them all by love, how nice would it be? All that people expect is love.

First and foremost, is to drop our judgmental attitude. We are vexed with our country, we blame the politicians, we blame the government, we get angry at the cops and govt. officials taking bribe, etc... the problem is that we become judgmental, and naturally hate creeps within, causing vexation, disgusting.

How can we ourselves transcend this, without making a difference not for anybody else, but just for oneself, yourself, ourselves. Try to transcend the anger feelings by love, we need to transced our vexed feelings in to divinity. When whole world is throwing acid, how nice it would be if we threw flowers? Forget the happiness you would be bringing to others, would it not bring happiness to you, more than anybody else?

One of the descriptions of Sri Rama is MruduBhashine namaha - soft spoken,

All the descriptions of Ambaal - Mathru Rupinya, etc... one should inculcate, and not just leave it all for just praising the God. All the great attributes of God, one has to inculcate, that is the real spirit behind chanting the Ashtottaras.

We have seen in the Puranas, for instance, when Vishmamitra sent forth many weapons and arrows at Vasishta, all these weapons turned into flowers, the real essence is that Vasishta was indifferent to the insults thrown at him by Vishwamitra.

We have to cultivate being indifferent to good and bad

I am reminded about Sir Rajagopalachari, who composed the famous song "Kurai ondrum illai marai murthy Kanna". Sri. Rajagopalachari was in distress due to some personal family problems, he came to Tirupathy to blurt all his pains and problems to the Lord and when he stood there, miraculously his glance turned towards the entry door (perhaps this was the leela of Venkateshwara, that he look at the door) He saw an outcaste, who stood outside at considerable distance and praying with great devotion to Perumaal(Temple entry was still practiced then). Tears rolled over Sri Rajagopalachari's eyes and he was so embarrassed about himself, and he composed this song looking at that outcaste and as though that outcaste is singing this great song, who cannot even look at the Lord inside - -

குறை ஒன்றும் இல்லை மறை மூர்த்தி கண்ணா
குறை ஒன்றும் இல்லை கண்ணா
குறை ஒன்றும் இல்லை கோவிந்தா

kurai ondrum illai marai moorthy kanna
kurai ondrum illai kannaa
kurai ondrum illai GOvinda

கண்ணுக்கு தெரியாமல் நிற்கின்றாய் கண்ணா
கண்ணுக்கு தெரியாமல் நின்றாலும் எனக்கு
குறை ஒன்றும் இல்லை மறை மூர்த்தி கண்ணா

Kannukku Theriyaamal nirkinraay kannaa
kannukku Theriyaamal ninraalum enakku
kurai onrum illai marai Moorththy kanna

There is no grievance - Lord of Wisdom
There is no grievance - krishna
There is no grievance - govinda

You are omnipresent - kanna
Even though you are not visible for my naked eyes
There is no grievance - Lord of Wisdom

வேண்டியதை தந்திட வெங்கடேசன் நின்றிருக்க
வேண்டியது வேறில்லை மறை மூர்த்தி கண்ணா
மணிவண்ணா மலையப்பா கோவிந்தா கோவிந்தா

Vendiyathai thannthida Venkatesan endru irukka
Vendiyathu Verillai marai Moorthi kannaa
Manivannaa malaiappaa Govinda Govinda

When Lord Venkatesa is always there to give what I want
I dont need anything else lord of seven hills

திரையின் பின் நிற்கின்றாய் கண்ணா
உன்னை மறை ஓதும் ஞானியர் மட்டுமே காண்பார்
என்றாலும் குறை ஒன்றும் எனக்கில்லை கண்ணா

Thiraiyin pin nirkinraay kannaa - (2)
Unnai marai Odhum Nyaaniyar mattume kaanpaar (2)
endraalum kurai onrum enakkillai kannaa

Krishna, you are standing behind the veiled curtains
You can be seen only by vedic scholars
still, There is no grievance dear krishna

குன்றின் மேல் கல்லாகி நிற்கின்ற வரதா
குறை ஒன்றும் இல்லை மறை மூர்த்தி கண்ணா
மணிவண்ணா மலையப்பா கோவிந்தா கோவிந்தா

Kundrin Mel kallaagi nirkindra varathaa
kurai onrum illai marai Moorthy kannaa (2)
Manivannaa Malaiappaa Govinda Govinda

You are posing like a idol over a hill
There is no grievance dear krishna
Father to these hills

கல்லினார்க்கு இறங்கி கல்லிலே இறங்கி
நிலையாக கோவிலில் நிற்கின்றாய் கேசவா
குறை ஒன்றும் இல்லை மறை மூர்த்தி கண்ணா

Kalinnaar-kiranngi kallile irangi
Nilayaaga Kovilil nirkindraai Kesavaa (2)
kurai onrum illai marai Moorththy kanna

In this Kalyug, you have come
and entered and staying in the santum of tirumala
Though i dont see you,
There is no grievance dear krishna

யாதும் மறுக்காத மலையப்பா உன் மார்பில்
ஏதும் தர நிற்கும் கருணை கடல் அன்னை
என்றும் இருந்திட ஏது குறை எனக்கு
குறை ஒன்றும் இல்லை மறை மூர்த்தி கண்ணா
மணிவண்ணா மலையப்பா கோவிந்தா கோவிந்தா

Yaathum marukkaatha malaiyappaa - un maarbil
Ethum thara nirkum karunai kadal annai
endrum irunthida Ethu kurai enakku (2)
ondrum kurai illai marai Moorthi kannaa (2)
Manivannaa malaiappaa Govinda Govinda

You dont refuse sincere prayers lord of hills
When Mahalakshmi is there with you
living in your chest
There is no grievance dear krishna
I have no complaints whatsoever Govinda

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Subramanian.R on April 27, 2012, 11:56:39 AM
Dear Nagaraj,

It is easy to love the  good things but to love the bad ones too is difficult. - Nice words.

Once a rishi was observing a scorpion struggling in the stream of  water. He picked it up to save it. As soon as it was brought out,
the scorpion stung the rishi and when rishi was in pain, the scorpion fell into water. The rishi again took it out and left it on the
bank. The scorpion stung the rishi again. Again it jumped into water. Thus it happened many times. An onlooker who observed this
said: Swami, why do you take it out again and again in spite of that creature stinging you again and again? The Rishi replied:
Yes. It is my dharma to save it from drowning. It is scorpion's dharma to sting when touched. Each one, according to one's own
dharma!"

Arunachala Siva.           
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Nagaraj on April 27, 2012, 11:59:37 AM
Dear i,

what a story to sum it up? very happy to hear this story now, at this very moment. What a beautiful message in it!

Thank you

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Subramanian.R on April 27, 2012, 04:33:27 PM
Dear Nagaraj,

There is a Zen story. One day, a young boy came into the monastery and asked the Chief Monk, to give him some work and also
food. The Chief Monk asked him: What have you read? What work can you do? What do you know?

The boy replied: I have not read in school. I have no proficiency in any work excepting some stray jobs like washing food plates,
cleaning up the cottage etc., I do not know anything else.

The Chief Monk asked: Are you sure you do not know anything else?

The young boy replied: Oh, yes, Sir, now I remember. I can play good Chess.

The Chief Monk said: Oh that is good. Now I shall test you in your game.

He asked another monk to come with chess board and coins and asked a table to be placed so that the game could start.

Before start of the game, the Chief Monk said: Now see, I have a sword on my hand. If any one of you is defeated, his nose
will be severed.

The boy became nervous. However, without any other way to go, he agreed.

The game started. Initially, the boy made some mistakes in moves. His position on the board became almost hopeless.
He then concentrated completely on the game and improved the position to a winning level. Then he looked at the monk
sitting opposite and playing. He was not quite nervous but obviously disturbed a little.  The boy then  thought, "I am a useless fellow in life. Nothing will change the world if I lose the game  and lose my nose. But this monk, is well read person, doing meditation and
is sure to attain Buddhahood.  Why should he lose?

So the young boy deliberately made a wrong move, so that the monk sitting opposite could take advantage and win the game!

The Chief Monk suddenly flashed his sword on the table. All the coins flew into different directions.

He then said: The game is over. Oh boy you are IN. You will be with us in the monastery hereafter.

The boy did not understand.

The Chief Monk explained: "I did not ask you to play chess to find out your caliber in the game. But I was looking for two
essential qualities that are necessary for Buddhistic practice and self realization. One is Maha Prajna. The Great Awareness..
I found that in you. When your game became positionally bad, you put your entire concentration and attention on the game
and improved your game. This is Maha Prajna. The second is Maha Karuna - The Great Compassion. I found that also in you.
When your opponent was about to lose the game, you looked at him with great compassion and deliberately made a wrong
mistake so that he could win.

These two qualities are adequate to do sadhana. You are IN.

Arunachala Siva.
                 
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Nagaraj on April 27, 2012, 04:55:54 PM
Beautiful.
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Nagaraj on April 30, 2012, 10:06:13 AM
A friend was walking down a deserted Mexican beach at sunset. As he walked along, he began to see another man in the distance. As he grew nearer, he noticed that the local native kept leaning down, picking something up and throwing it out into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things out into the ocean. As my friend approached even closer, he noticed that the man was picking up starfish that had washed up on the beach, and, one at a time, he was throwing them back into the water. My friend was puzzled.

He approached the man and said. "Good evening, friend. I was wondering what you are doing."

"I'm throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, it's low tide right now and all of these starfish have been washed up onto the shore. If I don't throw them back into the sea, they'll die up here from lack of oxygen."

"I understand," my friend replied, "but there must be thousands of starfish on this beach. You can't possibly get to all of them. There are simply too many. And don't you realize this is probably happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast. Can't you see that you can't possibly make a difference?"

The local native smiled, bent down and picked up yet another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied, "Made a difference to that one!"

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Making a Difference
Post by: Subramanian.R on April 30, 2012, 01:17:05 PM
Dear Nagaraj,

Excellent. I am reminded of Sri Bhagavan picking up the mustard seeds that had fallen on the kitchen floor and putting them
back again into the box, after cleaning each one of  them with His towel.

Arunachala Siva.