GEETA ASHRAM MALAYSIA
MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE 2014-2016
Progress Report as at 15 May 2015
Construction is now in progress mainly in the back portion of the building:
1. The old dining hall has been demolished.
2. Construction of the beams and columns has been completed.
3. Brick-walling of the back extension has been done.
4. Cold water plumbing works have also been completed.
5. The new staircase leading to the 1st floor is under construction.
We thank all donors who have contributed towards the Geeta Ashram Malaysia Building Renovation Fund. Please give your fullest support in cash and kind towards making this project a reality. For further information, please call:
Due to the extensive nature of the renovations at the Geeta Ashram Malaysia premises, to avoid any impedance to the progress of construction works, the various activities of the Ashram have been temporarily relocated as follows:
On Sundays. devotees attending the satsang will receive simple prashad distributed by Panditji after the aarti. The Sunday lunch has been temporarily discontinued until further notice.
The ongoing renovations are necessary for the betterment of the Ashram. Any inconvenience caused is sincerely regretted.
All 18 Chapters of the Bhagavad Geeta
Swami Hari Harji Maharaj
It was extremely gracious of our Honorable Trustees Shree Raman Tognattaji from Pune, Shree Anil Amboji from Mumbai, Shree Mangeylal Gandhiji and Shree Prakash Purohitji from Jodhpur to meet us at Geeta Dham, Tinwari, from June 23 to 27 for discussions which were supported by experts and advisers from various fields. Here is a brief account of the discussions/consultations that took place:
(i) Investing in insemination equipment worth Rs 120, 000 and starting the BAIF-aided programme of improving the breed.
B. AGRI-HORTI-AYUSH PROJECT (prepared by Shree Ramanji)
C. GURUKUL VIDYA MANDIR
D. GEETA PRACHAR-PRASAR
E. YUVA-PARIVARTAN PROGRAM
F. KITCHEN MANAGEMENT
G. ADMINISTRATION & ACCOUNTS
H. MEETING WITH DEVOTEES FROM USTVAHINI GEETA ASHRAM
HARI OM TAT SAT
Ocean of Bliss|
by Swami Hari Har Ji Maharaj (Translated by Dr. Abhay Prasad)
Everyone wishes to avoid sorrow. Everyone longs for happiness, and keeps searching for more happiness ...
Sorrow can be understood as being of three types:
We always desire to be free of sorrow, and we always desire to be ever happy. But is it possible for there to be a breeze without a single leaf falling? Is it possible for us to grasp a coin in one hand, touching only one side and keeping the other side out of reach? No, in this domain of nature that is ever continuously changing, this is not possible. One that is born in this nature is also bound by the rules of nature. If we are to discern that which is beyond nature, beyond the body, then we have to cross the boundaries of nature, and in that case we have to go beyond worldly happiness and sorrow.
But all is not lost, and we do not have to sink into a state of frustration. The Ocean of Bliss, which lies beyond nature and beyond worldly sorrow and happiness, can most certainly be achieved. The Ocean of Bliss is what is called Self-realisation or knowledge of the Supreme. That is what constitutes the perfect and ultimate state of happiness.
Let's imagine an earthen pitcher of water lying submerged in the ocean. The water in the pitcher is no different from the water of the ocean. When the earthen pitcher breaks, its water mixes and becomes one with the water of the ocean. Similarly, in Self-realisation, the ‘Atman’ (the soul) gets unified with the ‘Paramatman’ (the Super Soul), the Supreme Lord.
The experience of the ‘Supreme Lord’ within the self during the very lifetime of a person, the recognition of one's Atman as being identical with the Paramatman, is ‘Paramanand’, or the Ocean of Bliss.
|LESSONS FROM THE GEETA (21)|
by Shree Ashok Lal Bherumal
In BG4:24 Krishna gives the allegorical example of the fire ritual (havan yajna) as an act of sacrifice. The devotee's attitude is just as important as his action in performing the ritual - an attitude of perceiving the Divine in everything. The all-pervading God must be present in every aspect of the ritual and also in the very person performing the ritual. When we are immersed in this God consciousness, every action is a yajna - a sacrifice or offering to God, with no element of egoism. This attitude of yajna purifies all actions and also the doer of these actions.
In BG4:25-30, Krishna lists a variety of actions as yajna. What is the need for such variety? Every devotee, ranging from the sage to the householder, is at a different level of spirituality and possesses different resources. One has to choose a yajna according to one's own nature and capacity to perform such yajna. Thus, a whole list of yajnas is provided to choose from.
Two important things have to be noted when performing any form of yajna:
Other yogis offer sacrifice in the form of worship of gods, while others (who have realised the self) offer the self as sacrifice by the self in the fire of Brahma alone. BG4:25
(1) Deva yajna: Some yogis worship the devas. The word 'daivam' is used here to indicate various manifested gods (deities) that devotees worship according to individual preference. 'Yogis' here refers those who practise ritualistic worship. The devotee offers various items - flowers, leaves, fruits, water, milk, etc - to the deity. He then accepts what remains as prasadam (divine result). Thus, what we offer and place on the altar as an apple, chanting various prayers and with the right attitude, is accepted back as prasadam - grace of God - which blesses us. The word 'paryupasate' indicates one who is not a part-time worshipper but one who is constantly devoted to worship of the deity. The devotee, although worshipping a deity with form, recognises the one all-pervading consciousness residing in that form.
(2) Brahma yajna: The word 'Brahma' represents the omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, all-pervading and unmanifested divine consciousness. This is the highest form of worship, where the devotee offers (upajuhvati) his very Self (the soul/consciousness) into the fire (agnau) of Brahma. In this case, the devotee's inner Self merges with the higher Self, and the devotee sees oneness of the Divinity within himself and in all creation. Thus, there is no duality, the devotee having burnt away his lower self (the Ego) in the fire of Brahma (the higher Self), and what remains is only the realisation of the essence of oneness everywhere.
Some offer hearing and the other senses into the fires of restraint, others offer sound and the other objects of sense in the fire of senses. BG4:26
(1) Sacrifice of the Senses: Some devotees (anye) offer srotradini-indriyani into the fire of restraint. 'Srotra' refers to the sense of hearing, but combined with 'indriyani' (senses) it includes all five senses - sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch - through which we perceive sensations from the world - form/colour, sound, odour, flavour and touch sensation. Collectively, in Vedanta, these 5 senses are known as jnana-indriyas (senses of knowledge). All the five senses are offered (juhvati) into samyamagnisu (fire of restraint). The devotee practises restraint on his wandering senses, not through suppression or force, which is dangerous, but through mastery, done willingly and with full understanding of the dangers of self-indulgence which is a barrier to one's spiritual growth. Earlier, in BG2:58, Krishna has given us the example of the turtle which, when sensing danger, withdraws its head, tail and four legs under the protection of its shell. The head represents the mind, the four legs and the tail represent the five senses and the shell represents the intellect. The undisciplined senses (BG2:60) can forcibly take away the concentration of the mind. For example, if we are sitting down reading the scriptures and the nose detects the smell of something cooking, the mind is immediately drawn away from the scriptures. So in this form of yajna one leads an intelligent life with mastery over the senses without giving in to sense gratification. The undisciplined senses are thus offered into the fire of restraint to leave the senses in a state of absolute discipline.
(2) Sacrifice of the Sense Objects: Others (anya) offer sabdadin (sound), and other visayan (sense-objects) into the indriyagnisu (fire of the senses). In this case, the devotee engages his senses with the world to enjoy but not to indulge, knowing always how to limit himself. In the previous case there was total restraint, while in this case there is enjoyment with self-imposed limits. For example, after enjoying one cup of coffee, if my tongue still craves for more, then I am able to say "NO!" Here sound refers to our vocal cords - how we express ourselves in the world. The vocal cords constitute one of the five sets of organs of action by which we interact with the world: vocal cords (talk), hands (grasp), legs (walk), organs of reproduction and organs of excretion. In Vedanta, they are collectively called karma-indriyas (organs of action). We can interact with the world but we must keep to our limits. Visayan refers to the objects with which our organs interact. Therefore, what remains after this yajna is the disciplined organ of action. We offer them into the fire of our senses (indriyagnisu), without getting carried away by the demand of our senses, and perform action. What is burnt away? Excessive indulgence. And what remains? A disciplined life.
Sacrifice of the functions of the Senses and Vital Airs: Others sacrifice all the functions of their senses, and the functions of their vital airs, into the fire of Yoga, in the shape of self control, which is kindled by wisdom. BG4:27
Others offer sarvani indriyakarmani, all the functions of action and perception (as mentioned in verse 26), and pranakarmani, the five pranas or physiological functions which are: prana (incoming/outgoing breath), apana (expelling of waste products from body), samana (digestive system), vyana (circulation of nutrition and blood to the various organs of the body), udana (involuntary action to expunge any foreign particles by way of coughing, sneezing, vomiting, etc). All these - karma indriyas (5) + jnana indriyas (5) + pranas (5) totaling 15 in number - are offered (juhvati) into yogagnau (the fire of Yoga), through atma-samyama (mastery of the mind). This is a higher control from the viewpoint of disciplining the mind, bringing into control all the organs of perception, organs of action and physiological functions. 'Fire of Yoga' indicates that the discipline of the mind is achieved through the practice of karma yoga (selfless service) and upasana yoga (ritualistic worship). Once the mind is thus under control, one can discipline the actions and functions of the body, thus directing them towards the spiritual goal.
Some perform sacrifice with material things, some offer sacrifices in the shape of penance, others sacrifice through the practice of Yoga, while some striving souls observing austere vows, perform the sacrifice of wisdom through the study of sacred texts. BG4:28
(1) Dravya yajna: Some are blessed with an abundance of material possessions like food, money, etc. Sharing what you have with others is dravya yajna. All kinds of charity - giving money or food to the needy, and even building hospitals, temples, orphanages, etc - are considered a form of this yajna.
The water in the Dead Sea is so salty that it cannot support any form of marine life. On the other hand, the Sea of Galilee supports a wide array of marine life. What is surprising is that both the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee obtain their water supply from the Jordan River. Yet, the Dead Sea cannot support any form of life, whereas the Sea of Galilee supports marine life. Why is this so?
The Dead Sea has no outlet for its water, thus the salt content remains very high, while the Sea of Galilee has an outlet allowing its salt content to be reduced. Allegorically, Krishna says in Chapter 3 that we must cultivate the attitude of sharing whatever we receive from the world. One who receives and then shares will continue to receive again. That is the cosmic cycle of yajna that has been ordained by God. One who receives and hoards everything for himself is verily a thief (BG3:12). Whatever you receive in life is a blessing from God, and you must keep only a portion of it for yourself and share the remaining with others. Only then can the vibrancy and harmony of creation be maintained.
(2) Tapo yajna: This yajna refers to the practice of austerity - a life of moderation and wilful self-denial - not by force but out of a desire to uplift oneself spiritually. Denying yourself what you are most addicted to eventually frees the mind from being a slave to your addictions. Fasting is one example of tapoyajna where you do not give in to the cravings of your senses but instead direct your mind towards God. The hunger should not make you think of food! While the body is fasting, the mind should is feasting spiritually!
(3) Yoga yajna: This is a system of yajna that keeps the mind focused and the body healthy to enable one to carry out one's duties and responsibilities faithfully. The fit mind and body are available for spiritual pursuits. Inspiration for this practice is drawn from Sage Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, a text that outlines an eight-step process of body and mind control, culminating in samadhi or total absorption in God.
(4) Svadhyaya-Jnana yajna: This is the study of the Scriptures. That is why Krishna also uses the phrase 'samsita-vrtah' in this verse, indicating a person who undertakes strict vows and self restraint. This refers to one who has resolved to be dedicated and committed to the study of the Scriptures, and not one who takes this as a part-time hobby. By taking a firm resolve, the devotee is able to conserve his energy by refraining from involvement in wasteful activities and is able to direct his mind towards study of the Scriptures.
JAI SHREE KRISHNA!
|THE GEETA FOR BEGINNERS:|
The Grace of the Guru (Part 1)
by Shree Peter Ganglani, Geeta Ashram Canada
At the beginning of Chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Geeta, Arjun accepts the Lord as His Guru with the words: "I am your disciple, pray instruct me. I seek refuge in Thee!" Before proceeding to Chapter 3, it is critical to understand the need for a Guru to guide us on our spiritual path, just as Bhagwan Shri Krishna guided Arjun.
To start off, let me share with you what I have learnt from my Spiritual Master. I would also like to discuss some universal questions that have been asked from generation to generation. The answers to these questions are going to make a great impact on some of us, especially during the soul-searching which most of us do from time to time.
The first set of questions are: Which is the most direct path towards God-Realization? How should we perform Pooja? What is the true meaning of the word 'Pooja'? How can we achieve Liberation? The short and sweet answer to these questions lies in two simple concepts, the first is Guru Kripa (the Grace of the Guru) and the second is Ishwar Kripa (the Grace of God).
Another question is: Bhagwan Shri Krishna appeared as an Avataar, so should we worship God in His visual form or in His abstract form as an omnipresent entity? This very question was asked by Arjun in BG10:17.
In BG12:1, Arjun asked for further clarification regarding worship of the Lord in His manifest or unmanifest form:
Ye chaa pyakshara mavyaktam | teshaam-ke yoga vitta-mahaa
Bhagwan Shri Krishna took 24 verses in Chapter 10 and 19 verses in Chapter 12 to answer this question in detail. Arjun fully understood the answers to the above question, but why is it that some of us cannot? That's because we are missing two ingredients that Arjun was blessed with: Guru Kripa (the Grace of the Guru) and Ishwar Kripa (the Grace of God).
I once asked my Spiritual Master to explain the role of the Grace of the Guru in the spiritual journey of a seeker. His answer can be summarized as follows:
There are various forms of Grace (Kripa) that lead us to the Supreme Abode of the Lord:
This is indeed a long process, but let us start at Aatma Kripa. It would be safe to assume that most of us have already attained this level, otherwise we would not be here reading this article.
In order to receive Guru Kripa, we need to do certain things to please the Guru. We can do so by performing his Pooja or Service. But we must know the true meaning of Pooja and Service. Does this involve donating money or feeding him or offering him physical comfort? The answer is both YES and NO! We must understand the true spirit of service and worship. Worldly pleasures are of no significance to the Spiritual Masters. They have already renounced these pleasures. Yes, we will be rewarded for performing such services, but the reward will be material in nature because these services are not spiritual.
To please the Spiritual Master, we must go through a process consisting of three steps:
Upadek-shyanti te-gyaanam | Gyaani-nas tatva darshi-naha (BG4:34)
In the first step, we offer our salutations to the Guru. The ultimate salutation to a Spiritual Master is 'shaashtaang dandvat pranaam'. The word 'shaashtaang' means 'with the eight parts'. The body consists of eight major parts. So we salute the Guru with all eight parts of the body by lying flat on the ground with both hands joined together and pointed towards the Guru. This is the highest form of respect we can offer to our Spiritual Master. This salutation is "about surrendering not just your physical self at the feet of the Guru, but all the eight elements (Earth, Water, Air, Fire & Ether, as well as your Mind, Intellect & Ego), thus making it a total surrender of your self!!"
The second step is to perform Pooja for the Guru and render him Service. Here we need to understand that the word 'Pooja' means 'poorna roop se jaan-naa' (to know and understand the Guru fully). Offering tilak and performing Aarti constitute physical (not spiritual) forms of Pooja! We have to make an effort to serve our Spiritual Master in the spirit of the true meaning of the word 'Pooja'.
The third step is to ask questions with a guileless heart, without fear but with humility and a strong desire to know the TRUTH. The Guru will eventually unfold the Knowledge to us.
We also need to understand the true meaning of the word 'Sewaa' (or Service) which, in a spiritual sense, means 'aagyaa paalan' (following his orders) and incorporating the Guru's teachings into our lives!
This is exactly what Arjun did at the very beginning of Chapter 2 in order to qualify himself to receive the Knowledge through both Guru and Ishwar Kripa!
It has been said that "Guru bin milay na gyaan" meaning "we cannot gain true Knowledge without the guidance of the Spiritual Master"!
Even if we can't understand or remember it
An old farmer used to wake up early every morning to read his Bhagavad Geeta. His grandson wanted to be just like him and tried to imitate him in every way.
One day the grandson asked, "Grandpa! I try to read the Bhagavad Geeta just like you but I don't understand anything, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Bhagavad Geeta do?"
The grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and replied, "Take this coal basket down to the river and bring me back a basket of water."
The boy did as he was told, but all the water leaked out from the basket before he got back to the house. The grandfather laughed and said, "You'll have to move a little faster next time," and sent the boy back to the river with the basket to try again.
This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he could return home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was impossible to carry water in a basket, and he went to get a bucket instead.
The old man said, "I don't want a bucket of water, I want a basket of water. You're just not trying hard enough," and he went out the door to watch the boy try again.
At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would still leak out before he got back to the house. The boy again dipped the basket into river and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty. Out of breath, he said, "See Grandpa, it's useless!"
"So you think it is useless? So you think you are just wasting your time?" the old man said, "Look at the basket."
The boy looked at the basket, and for the first time he realised that the basket looked different. It had been transformed from a dirty old coal basket and was now clean, inside and out.
"Son, that's what happens when you read the Bhagavad Geeta. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, you will be changed, inside and out. You will be purified. That is the effect of Krishna's words on our lives."
One day Krishna and Arjuna came across an old Brahmin begging by the roadside. Taking pity, Arjuna gave him a bag of gold coins. Joyfully heading for home, he was waylaid by a robber who took all the coins. He cursed his fate, and the next day he set off to beg again.
Arjuna and Krishna saw him again and listened to his story, Arjuna took pity and gave him a large diamond. The man took it home, kept it in an old unused pot and went to sleep. The next morning his wife went to get water from the river. On her way back, she accidentally dropped and broke her pot. Remembering the unused pot lying at home, she decided to take it to the river to get water. As she dipped the pot into the river, the diamond got carried away by the current. Meanwhile, the Brahmin was desperately looking for the pot. When he realised what had happened, he felt very dejected and once again left home to go begging.
Once again Arjuna and Krishna saw the Brahmin. Hearing of the unfortunate incident, Arjuna said, "I don't think this man will ever benefit from any help that I can give him." Krishna gave the man two paisas (cents). Arjuna was puzzled and asked Krishna,"If gold coins and a diamond could not help him, what good will two paisas do?". Krishna just smiled.
On his way home, the disappointed Brahmin saw a fish struggling for its life in a fisherman's net, He thought to himself, "These two paisas cannot buy me any food, so let me at least save the life of this poor creature." He paid the fisherman two paisas for the fish, and was about to throw it into the river when he noticed that the fish was actually choking on something in its mouth. Removing the obstruction from its mouth, he was overjoyed to see that it was the very same diamond he had lost in the river. He started yelling and shouting in joy. Just then, the robber who had stolen the coins happened to be passing by. He thought that the Brahmin was shouting because he had recognised the robber. Fearing punishment for his crime, he begged for forgiveness and returned all the stolen gold coins. The Brahmin was very happy and went straight to Arjuna to narrate the turn of events and to thank him for all his help.
Arjuna then asked Krishna, "My Lord, how is it that my gold coins and diamond could not help but your meager two paisas did such wonders? Lord Krishna replied, "When he had the gold coins and the diamond he was only thinking of himself and his own needs, but when he had the two paisas he put the needs of another creature above his own, so I took care of his needs. The truth, O Arjuna, is that when you think of the pain and needs of others and work to help them, you are in fact doing God's work, and hence God Himself takes care of you."
Let us be sevaks of God and serve others, striving for the welfare of all beings, selflessly performing our duty to maintain the harmony of the world order.
5 THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT HINDUISM|
by Kerene Ng | Yahoo Newsroom
There are about one billion Hindus in the world, making them about 15 per cent of the world's population. Hinduism's roots can be traced to the Asia-Pacific region, where a majority of devotees reside. Less than one per cent of Hindus live outside of Asia-Pacific. A majority of Hindus live in India, with the largest population outside it being in Nepal and Bangladesh. Its concepts and history are closely associated with other Indian religions such as Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism. Here are five things you may not know about this religion.
Hinduism is not a single religion
Concepts in Hinduism
Karma and reincarnation
1. “You have to dream before your dreams can come true.”
2.“If a country is to be corruption-free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.”
3. “My message, especially to young people, is to have courage to think differently, courage to invent, courage to travel the unexplored path, courage to discover the impossible and courage to conquer the problems and succeed. These are great qualities that they must work towards. This is my message to the young people.”
4. “To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal.”
5. “Let me define a leader. He must have vision and passion and not be afraid of any problem. Instead, he should know how to defeat it. Most importantly, he must work with integrity.”
6.“Great dreams of great dreamers are always transcended.”
7.“Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow.”
8.“Man needs his difficulties because they are necessary to enjoy success.”
9. “Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work.”
10. “You see, God helps only people who work hard. That principle is very clear.”
VEGETARIAN WALNUT BURGERS
A tasty, roasted, nutty flavour and great texture, holds together well.
|BHAJAN VIDEO WITH LYRICS|
SĂNVARE SE MILANE KĂ
SĂNVARE SE MILANE KĂ
Sănvare se milane ka satsang hi bahănă hai x2
Chalo satsang men chalen, hame Hari gun gănă hai x2
Sănvare se milane ka
Meeră pukăr rahi, ăo mere Girdhări x2
Vish bhare pyăle ko amrit men banănă hai x2
Sănvare se milane ka ...
Draupadi pukăr rahi, ăo mere Banavări x2
Cheer badhă jăo, meri lăj ko bachănă hai x2
Sănvare se milane ka ...
Shabri pukăr rahi, ăo mere Raghurăi x2
Khate meethe beron ka tumhe bhog lagănă hai x2
Sănvare se milane ka ...
Mathură men dhoodhă Tumhe, Gokul men dhoodhă Tumhe x2
Brindăvan ki galion men mere Shyam kă thikănă hai x2
Sănvare se milane ka ...
|GEETA ASHRAM MALAYSIA: Recent and Upcoming Activities|
by Shrimati Tangamani Menon
Panditji was away on leave from 16 March to 16 April 2015
Every Purnima all 18 chapters of Geeta are recited followed by a get-together and sharing of prashad (pot-luck style) brought by devotees. Upcoming Purnima dates are: 1 July (Wednesday), 31 July (Friday), 29 August (Saturday) & 27 September 2015 (Sunday).
Mobile Geeta brought to your home/venue on request anywhere within the Klang valley consisting of:
(1) A one hour satsang, or (2) 2 ˝ hours recitation of the entire Geeta
Hosting a Sunday Satsang:
In commemorating a birthday, anniversary or simply in memory of loved ones, devotees may host a Sunday satsang lunch. Please contact the Ashram at Tel. No. 79564267 (9.30 am - 12.30 pm) for info / reservations.
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Rama Rama Hare Hare