Happy Navratri !

Thursday October 15, 2020

Navratri is a nine nights’ festival of devotion and bhakti, celebrated with a lot of fervour and faith, towards the great Goddess Amba Ma!

The devotees, during these nine days, observe total fasts, meaning they eat nothing at all; and at night, they celebrate by playing garba, a traditional Gujarati dance, performed to the tunes of the devotional songs in praise of the divine Goddess Amba.

In eastern India, this festival is also marked by the grand Durga Puja, done on the tenth day, to celebrate the splendid victory of Shakti of Maa Durga over the evil (of the demon Mahisasur).

Amba Mataji is presently a living celestial being, residing in the higher heavens (Devlok)! She is a symbol of Adhyashakti, meaning the original energy force. She represents the power of sahaj prakruti (the energy of the natural state of being). Therefore, if one knows how to worship her rightly, one stands to gain lots in his worldly life.

Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan explains, “Anyone who wants a prakruti that brings worldly benefits, they should worship Mataji, the Goddess Mother. And those who want Moksha [ultimate liberation] should worship the Soul [the real Self]. Those who want both should worship both.”

What is the right way to worship Amba Mataji?

Each celestial God or Goddess (Dev or Devi) have their set of rules. And one who abides by those rules, the celestial beings naturally remain highly pleased with them.

Gnanis never break or violate any of their rules. They give due respect to them and always consult them before taking any important steps. That’s the reason all Gods and Goddesses remain pleased with Gnani. They give them immense protection by being present around them all the time. The grace of the celestial beings constantly flows upon Gnani. They are always with Him, providing Him complete protection and endless support in the work for the salvation of the world!

Thus, abiding by the rules set by Goddess Amba Ma indeed is the right way of worshipping Her!

How do we abide by the rules of Goddess Amba Ma?

When we do not do anything that breaks the natural state of prakruti, we are said to have abided by the rules of Goddess Amba Mataji. In other words, when we try and maintain unity in our thoughts, words and actions, when we say what we think and do what we say, we are said to have abided by the rules of Mataji.

What are the benefits of abiding by the rules of Goddess Amba Ma?

  • When our intention is pure and our efforts are sincere in maintaining unity in what we think, say and do, we are blessed with enormous power of the body-complex (mind, speech and body).
  • Amba Ma is an embodiment of energy. So, when unity of mind speech and body energy happens, we attain the energy.
  • Goddess Amba Ma gives us strength to destroy our worldly obstacles.
  • Our prakruti (the worldly self) becomes natural, powerful and is energized.
  • We experience peace and harmony within us.

So come, this Navratri, let’s strengthen the bond of our faith and devotion towards Amba Mataji by abiding by her rules very and seek her powerful blessings to progress well in life!

 

 

Happy Teacher’s Day!!

Thursday September 3, 2020

Teachers are like Navigators who drive us onto the Right Path!

In India, 5th September is celebrated as a Teacher’s Day, to mark the birth anniversary of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishan, the first Vice President of India, who has been a great teacher indeed and a philosopher too. It is a day to pay tribute to all teachers, who play an extraordinary role in moulding people into good human beings.

Teachers impart knowledge that establishes in us the right understanding. They equip us with enormous strength to battle any kind of hardship in life. The presence of teachers or Gurus in our life is extremely important for our academic, social as well as spiritual progress.

However, to benefit to the fullest from this teacher-student relationship, it is imperative for the latter to maintain utter humility and complete sincerity towards their teachers.

Teachers Enlighten our Path to Progress!

History is laden with umpteen examples that demonstrate how a disciple reaches the pinnacle in his life, owing to his exceptional respect, humility, dedication and devotion towards his Guru (teacher). Chanakya and Chandragupta, Dronacharya and Arjun, Shivaji Maharaj and Ramdas Swami are some of the iconic examples of an ideal Guru-shishya relationship! These examples are famous not because of the achievements of the shishya as much as they are remembered for the divine virtuous bond that the shishya shared with his Guru!!

The Law of Nature is Such that when We Surrender to our Guru, We Attain His Energies!

To explain this, Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan cites an example of two water tanks joined by a pipe. No matter how much water is in one tank, the other tank quickly picks up the same level of water. That is the power of true samarpan (surrender) to Guru!!

But unfortunately, today, with the changing times, these virtues are seen to be taking a backseat. At many places, students tend to openly badmouth or criticize their teachers. No, this is not right! We must know there are grave dangers in doing so.

Must Never Criticize or Even See Faults of Teachers / Gurus

Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan emphatically says, “Once you have made someone your Guru, if you are going to criticize him, then this weakness will get in the way of your progress. Instead, it is better that you do not make him your Guru. Otherwise there is a terrible liability in doing so.”

By seeing faults in teachers / Guru or criticizing them, the disciple can ruin all his gains in no time. All the efforts and achievements of the disciple go to waste. Doing so, one not only binds heavy demerit karma but also hinders his progress in life.

Hence, on this Teacher’s Day, let us pledge to never again criticize or see faults of our teachers at all. We’ll respect them always! After all, our progress depends on them.

Power of Pratikraman

Wednesday August 19, 2020

Forgiveness - a word that we keep hearing so often in different situations. sometimes in relation to forgiving others and sometimes it is about seeking forgiveness for ourselves. Though giving and receiving forgiveness are seen as two different things; the results of both are the same. It makes the person feel lighter, grateful, motivated and happier!

All religions have emphasized the importance of forgiveness in their own ways. But the benefits of forgiveness are truly experienced, when done rightly. A lot of times, people may think that, “Ohh! What’s the need to ask for forgiveness for such a petty thing” or some may even think, “I have no hang-ups. I keep forgiving people all the time.” At times it could be our inability to understand how we have hurt the other person, knowingly or unknowingly. But sometimes, it is our ego that comes and blocks the way! It makes it difficult to forgive or ask for forgiveness from someone.

Hence, Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan, a spiritual scientist of the modern era, gives us a scientific tool called ‘Pratikraman using which, we can, with true repentance, ask for forgiveness from someone without having to say a single word to that person directly.

Let’s know more about it.

What is Pratikraman?

Pratikraman is a way to retrace our steps away from our mistakes. It consists of 3 steps –

How to do Pratikraman?

  • It’s as simple as making a phone call!

In pratikraman, we just have to make a phone call to the Pure Soul residing within the person whom we’ve wronged through our speech, action or thoughts and say, “Dear Lord within, I have made this mistake, please forgive me and grant me strength so that I do not repeat this mistake.”

Whose Pratikraman can we do?

  • Of all those around us whom we’ve caused hurt intentionally or unintentionally.
  • Of our extended friends and family who may or may not be staying with us, but we have spoken bad or thought wrong about them.
  • Of anyone who may be dead now, but with whom we’ve had any kind of fights before, or for whom we have some grudge even right now.
  • And even, of people like politicians and other celebrities. Though we might not have hurt them directly through our speech or action but we should ask for forgiveness for keeping wrong thoughts towards them, maintaining prejudiced views against them and even accusing them without knowing the right facts.

What are the benefits of doing Pratikraman?

Well, the benefits are manifold -

  • From a medical science perspective, forgiveness is like a medicine for the mind. It not only makes us feel lighter mentally but also helps to remain healthy.
  • From religious perspective, it helps us get rid of our negative karma and thus advance further on our spiritual path.
  • From social perspective, it helps us to overcome our negative opinions or feelings against other people and thus foster happy, healthy and harmonious relationships with everyone!

When to do Pratikraman?

  • Of course pratikraman should be done daily. However, if we’ve missed doing it daily, we should at least do it once in the entire year. The Jains celebrate their Annual Forgiveness Day on the last day of their 8-days Paryushan festival, and they call it ‘Samvatsari’. On this day, people do special pratikraman wherein they repent and ask for forgiveness for all the sins happened by them in the past year.
  • However, so that we do not miss out on washing off any of our mistake in the surest manner, Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan has asked to do a ‘shoot-on-sight’ pratikraman. It means asking for forgiveness then and there, as soon as the mistake happens.

Millions of people around the world have experienced the power of Pratikraman. So can you! Let’s make Pratikraman a daily practice and enjoy its benefits.

 

Happy Janmashtami!

Monday August 10, 2020

Janmashtami is celebrated as the birthday of this revered God. Today He is worshipped and known in various forms and by various names. Many people lead their lives in his devotion, worshipping him, yet it has been seen that they worry a lot even after having sought refuge at the feet of their beloved Lord Krishna. His devotees chant, “I surrender to Lord Krishna.” Why is it so and does this, show our true surrender and devotion? Is not this a point to be thought-off?

Lord Krishna has said, ‘Why do you worry? Krishna will do what He wants to.’ This understanding needs to be maintained. Though many feel and few say, it is easy for Lord Krishna to say this but how can one run his daily life without worrying? and thus worry unnecessarily.

Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan says,” If a true devotee of God has worries, he would even scold his God, “You have always told us not to worry, yet I still have worries, why is that?” This is what he would say out of his true devotion and surrender for his dear Lord. He would by this means give his worried piece of mind to Lord Krishna and this way gets relieved of his worries by way of his true love and surrender for Lord, which is hard to find these days.

Not only Lord Krishna but all others have said the same thing about worrying. Even Lord Mahavir has said one should not worry. He has said that worrying brings animal life form and it is considered as highest form of ego. Many of us know this yet why do we worry even after surrendering to our dearest Lord Krishna? The reason behind this is explained by Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan, “When there is a perpetual sense of, ‘I am the one, who runs all these things,’ thus worries will arise.” Hence, we continuously have sense of we are running everything and we have to make it well, keep going or improve. We feel if we do not do something it shall not happen. This is something where we silently keep on breaking our surrender and thus worry rules our life.

Let us gift our complete surrender to Lord Krishna on His birthday and become His true devotee by leading a worry free life.

Happy Parents Day!

Thursday July 23, 2020

Who is the one –

  • whom we first meet when we step into this world?
  • who teaches us the basic skills of living?
  • who cares for us at all times, be it highs or lows?
  • who stands by our side always, no matter what?

Yes! It’s none other than our parents.

Parents hold an unmatched and irreplaceable place in every person’s life

They are the reason for our existence today. And they are the reason for what we are today! Parents’ Day therefore is the day dedicated to recognize, appreciate and be grateful towards the most fundamental and pivotal role that the parents play in our life. 

Every parent constantly strives to give the best to their child

Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan therefore urges us to serve our parents. He explains that serving one's parents is one's moral duty. Being their child, it is our religion to serve them. And the rule is, if you give happiness to your parents, you too will receive happiness. Those who make their parents happy will never be unhappy whereas, the one who sees faults in his/her parents will never prosper. Such a person may be materially wealthy, but s/he will never progress spiritually. So, one should never find faults in parents.

If we’ve hurt our parents, it’s time to take a U-turn through Pratikraman

And in spite of having the best intention of serving our parents sincerely and dutifully, if we happen to behave offensively with our parents sometimes, or we hurt them by being mean or rude to them someday, Param Pujya Dadashri suggests that we must do PRATIKRAMAN.

Pratikraman means apologizing for our mistake and seeking forgiveness for it with true repentance in our heart. It is best we bow down and touching their feet we seek forgiveness. But if for some reason this cannot be done, we can remember the Pure Soul residing in our parents, and pray to them, “Oh God, I have done the mistake of hurting my parents through my rude behavior. With true repentance in my heart, I seek forgiveness for the same. Please pardon me and grant me strength so that I do not ever repeat this mistake.”  

In today’s times, the thoughts and ideals have sharply declined. Hence, it may happen that in spite of resolving not to hurt our parents, we may commit the mistake of offending them yet again. If that happens, do pratikraman once again. And if we feel it has become our daily habit to misbehave before our parents, we must introduce the practice of doing pratikraman too every day. Before going to sleep, for ten minutes, we’ll close our eyes and introspect where all we hurt our parents through our thoughts, our words or actions today. And remembering every such instance, we shall whole-heartedly do pratikraman, as explained above, and wash off our daily mistakes.

Let’s express our gratitude towards parents through our resolve to keep them happy

No matter how high we rise in life, we can never overlook the fact, ‘The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world’, can we?

On contemplating the fact of how we owe our very existence to our parents and also our achievements in life so far, I’m sure we’ve all got very eager to express our endless gratitude towards our parents! So come, on the occasion of the Parent’s Day today, let’s give our parents their due share of love and appreciation in all our achievements; and resolve to sincerely serve them and keep them happy, today and everyday throughout their life. Happy Parents’ Day!

 

 

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