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SACRED
THOUGHT




Shree Geeta Ashram Malaysia
No 6, Lorong Utara B, 46200 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
Telephone/Fax: 603-79564267

1

GEETA ASHRAM MALAYSIA Founder President:
H.H. Swami Hari Har Ji Maharaj


MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE 2012-2014
President:
Shri Chandru Binwani

Deputy President:
Datuk Fateh Chand

Vice Presidents:
Shrimati Tangamani Menon
Shri Sriniyasan Narayana

Honorary General Secretary:
Shri Sivashankar Krishnapillai

Honorary Assistant Secretary:
Shrimati Vanita Rani

Honorary Treasurer:
Shri Jagmohan Kumar

Honorary Assistant Treasurer:
Dr Darshan Kumar

Committee Members:
Shri Mahadev Lalchand
Shri Prabhat Kumar
Dr Tilla Chelliah
Ms Asha Devi
Shrimati Usha Devi
Shri Kishan Kumar Agarwal
Shrimati Suresh Kumari Shukla
Shri Soorya Rao Simhadar
Dr Diljeet Kumar Bhanot
Shri Hetish Sharma
Ms Nirmlah Dahvy

EDITORIAL BOARD
Shrimati Tangamani Menon
Dr Diljeet Kumar Bhanot


SACRED THOUGHT
March 2013 <><><> Volume 41

For internal circulation only

Contents

Editorial Note2
Geeta Ashram Malaysia: Activities3
The Yoga of Renunciation: Samnyaasa Yoga
H.H. Shri Swami Hari Har Ji Maharaj
4
Lessons from the Bhagavad Geeta (12)
Shri Ashok Lal Bherumal
8
Shri Krishna: Purushotama and Jagatguru
Dr K Dharmaratnam, Klang
12
Things that annoy us16
Bhajan: Vrindăvan kă Krishńa Kanhaiyă17
Geeta Ashram Malaysia: The Beginning18
Tribute to Teachers
Theva Sharma Rajee
20
Main Themes of the Geeta's Teachings
Dr Diljeet Kumar Bhanot
21
Everything is a Vibration
Shrimati Tangamani Menon
22
Aum Shanti (Obituaries)24
Holi - the Festival of Colours24a

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EDITORIAL NOTE

Electronic Version of Sacred Thought

Over the years, the Sacred Thought has served as a good medium of communication between the Ashram and its members. It has been published and distributed to members on a fairly regular basis.

But, the progress of time inevitably brings change. With the advent of the electronic media like the Internet, the whole concept of communication has changed. Sending and receiving information has now become a breeze - a pleasure rather than a hassle. And, paperless communication is more environment-friendly.

With this 40th issue, the Sacred Thought also comes of age with the publication of an electronic version of the magazine. This version can be easily accessed online in the comfort of your home or office.

Nevertheless, a limited number of hard (paper) copies will still be available for those who do not have access to, or are not so familiar with, the Internet. So, please do not hesitate to ask for your hard copy if you require one.

Devotees' Contribution to the Geeta Ashram

Every person is like every other person in some ways. Every person is also like no other person in many ways. Every person is special in his or her own ways. Every member, every devotee, has his or her special ability or talent - singing, music, drama, writing articles, cooking, giving talks, reciting mantras, etc - it could be something which you may have taken for granted. But your special talent could be a great asset for the Geeta Ashram.

So if you have that something which you can offer, do not hesitate to contact the President or any member of the Management Committee. The Management Committee would appreciate whatever you can offer in whatever way you can to improve the running and to boost the activities of the Ashram. Your contribution will definitely make a difference.

Members of the younger generation are especially encouraged to participate in the various activities and festivities organised by the Ashram. Bring along your friends and relatives.

Dr D K Bhanot


GURU <> GOPAL <> GEETA


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GEETA ASHRAM MALAYSIA: Overview of Activities
Daily and Weekly Activities

Daily Pooja: A short pooja is performed every day at sunrise and sunset.
Tuesdays: Hanuman Chalisa is recited 5 times followed by a talk by Panditji
Wednesdays: Yoga course conducted by Ms Nirmlah Dahvy, based on the Patanjali Yoga system.
Thursdays: Bhagavad Geeta study & discussion classes in English by Mr Ashok Bherumal.
Fridays: Sanskrit classes by Panditji
Saturdays:Hindi classes and Geeta Recitation classes by Panditji
Sundays: Satsang programme with bhajans, recitations and talks. Children's Geeta classes are conducted by Ms Asha Devi and Mr Chandru Binwani.

Other Activities and Festivals

Purnima: is celebrated on Full Moon day with recitation of all 18 chapters of the Geeta.

Holi coincides with the birthday of our beloved Guruji. Geeta Havan is performed in the morning. The evening programme includes the singing of bhajans, aarti, chanting of Guru Vandana and recitation of Chapter 12, followed by lighting of the Holi fire, mantra chanting and circumambulation of the fire. It culminates in personalized Guru Pooja led by Panditji.

Bhajan Yatra is a bhajan-singing marathon with groups of musicians and singers from various organisations joining the Geeta Ashram group in an evening of music and bhajans.

Guru Purnima is celebrated with chanting of all 18 chapters of the Geeta in the morning, followed by an evening of bhajans, recitation of Hanuman Chalisa, Guru Vandana and recitation of Chapter 12. Devotees offer their obeisance/dakshina at the Guru’s feet.

Shree Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated with Geeta Havan in the morning and an evening of prayers, bhajans and a children's programme of dance and drama, climaxing with the Shree Krishna aarti at midnight.

Geeta Jayanti is an 18-day celebration which begins with the 1st Chapter and ends with the 18th Chapter. A chapter (in serial order) is recited and explained daily. In 2012 the grand finale was the 18-kund Havan on the final day.

Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam: On New Year's eve, the 1008 names of Maha Vishnu are chanted as devotees offer flowers to the lighted lamp.

Other activities include the 40-day Hanuman Pooja, the quarterly Havans and talks by visiting Swamis and guest speakers.


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THE YOGA OF RENUNCIATION: SAMNYAASA YOGA
Commentary on BG5:11 by H.H. Shri Swami Hari Har Ji Maharaj
KAAYENA MANASAA BUDDHYAA KEVALAIR INDRIYAIR API
YOGINAH KARMA KURVANTI SANGAM TYAKTVAA ’TMA SUDDHAYE

"The Yogees, abandoning attachment, perform work with the body, the mind,
the intellect and the senses only, for self-purification."

PROSE ORDER WITH WORD MEANINGS:
YOGINAH: Yogees; KEVALAIH= only; INDRIYAIH: by the senses; MANASAA: by the mind; BUDDHYAA: by the intellect; KAAYENA: by the body; API: also; SANGAM: attachment; TYAKTVAA: having abandoned; AATMASUDDHAYE: for purifying the self; KARMA: action; KURVANTI: perform.

ORDINARY MEANING (SAAMAANYA ARTH):
The dexterity (causal) of the Yogee, freed of the bondage of Karma, who engages himself in the performance of action, is described. The Yogee, who is engaged in the practice of Nishkaama Karma Yoga (Yoga of Action) without any selfish motive, by intellectually surrendering everything to the Lord, performs all kinds of action through the body, mind, intellect and senses, without any attachment to the fruits, merely for the purification of his inner faculties.

MATERIAL MEANING (ADDHIBHAUTIKA ARTH):
Details of a few actions performed through the body, mind, intellect and the senses are presented here. During pilgrimage the body tires itself due to fatigue. Similarly, the sacrifice of body-flesh and bones by Raja Sivi and Maharshi Dadheeci respectively come under physical action. Listening to the advice of people of good conduct and reflecting over it, maintaining one-pointed meditation of God, thinking of the means, in the pursuit of the Truth, for the well-being of the general public, remaining firm in upholding righteousness, not showing one’s opulence, not becoming agitated over dishonor, not coming under the grip of the likes and dislikes, not being jealous of anyone, being happy over the progress made by someone, forgiving the one who injures, engaging oneself in avoiding the enjoyment of pleasure etc. come under mental action.

MANOHI DVIVIDHAM PROKTAM ASUDDHAM KAAMA SAMKALPAM
SUDDHAM CAA ’SUDDHAM EVA CA SUDDHAM KAAMA VIVARJITAM
The mind has two phases – pure and the impure. The impure mind is full of desire for passionate object. The pure mind has no desires. The Intellectual karma is that field in which the very same actions that are done or not done appear to be right. Then, on proper reflection, the good is accepted and the bad or unacceptable is rejected. Through the intellect, the discriminative faculty is aroused, and the non-self is given up and the self principle is accepted. Only through the intellect are Karma, Akarma and Vikarma (action, bad actions and prohibited actions) discerned.


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ENQUIRY (JIJNAASA):
“KEVALAIR INDRIYAIR API”, “only through the senses”, means that actions are carried out through the five senses of action and the five senses of knowledge, and as such they are called actions of the senses. But, the senses cannot perform without the cooperation of the mind and the body. As such, why did Bhagvaan say, “kavalair indriyaih - only by the senses?”

THE ANSWER:
The word “Keval” means that the actions performed by the senses should be without attachment and egoism. Say a certain great soul, who has conquered the senses, is seated in a place. A woman appears before his eyes and that great soul looks at her merely by the eyes, but does not connect it with his mind, and because of which, he remains safe from the arrows of passion. There is no desire to enjoy in his mind. This is called “the action performed merely by the senses”. If the mind is joined with the sight, then the mental play will also come to be, and would prompt the body to have enjoyment, and when the body is united with the lustful woman, then it is not merely the action of the senses. This is the action accomplished by the mind, body and the senses – action of the three together. When looking with the eyes, there is the absence of attachment and egoism, indifference is maintained, and it remains until that time as the action only of the senses. This Yogee, on looking at the vast universe, can perform actions merely by the senses, This type of action is to be understood as the one performed merely by the senses. These Yogees perform Nishkaama Karma (actions devoid of selfish motive) for the sake of purification of the inner faculties. There is no connection between the mind and the intellect in this.

DIVINE MEANING(AADHIDAIVIKA ARTH):
“Puranjanovyaakhyaan” from Srimad Bhaagavata is reproduced here which is useful in the giving up of attachment. When Devarshi Naarada arrived at the court of Mahaaraaja Praaceenarbaah, he then posed this question - “O great lucky one Naaradjee, my intellect is engaged in the performance of actions. I do not expect to have supreme wellbeing. Please impart to me the pure knowledge by which I shall become freed of the bondages of karma.

THE TEACHING OF DEVARSHI NAARADA:
“O King, I shall relate to you an ancient history. There was a king named Puranjan. That famous king had a friend whose name was Avijnaat. No one could understand has actions. He in search of a suitable place to live, roamed the earth. One day he arrived at a peak at the south of the Himalayas where he saw a city of nine gates. This city was full of homes with gold, metal and silver domes. King Puranjan saw a beautiful lady approaching, accompanied by ten servants, who were the husbands of one hundred women respectively. Its gate keeper was a serpent with five hoods. That young woman was in search of a suitable husband. Puranjan addressed that Devi in a sweet voice – “O of lotus leaf like eyes, tell me who are you? Whose daughter are you? What do you desire to do in this city? Who are these ten servants of you? Who are these maidens and the serpent that goes in front?” King Puranjan was carried away with her beauty, and as a result, was very anxious to have her. In turn, that maiden also was impatient to have the King.


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She said – “O great king, I am not aware of the one who created me, nor do I know the name and gotra (lineage) of another. I can only say this much - that I am in this city. O brave one, I do not even know who had built this city. O dear one this Purusha (Male) is my comrade and the women, my mates, and when I go to sleep, this serpent keeps awake and protects this city. O destroyer of foes, it is my good fortune that you have arrived here and I shall remain together with my comrades ready to fulfill your desires. You may enjoy your desired pleasures and live for years. Only in the Grahasthaasrama (state of family life) of this world, Dharma (righteousness), artha (wealth), kaama (desires) and moksha (salvation) are achieved. Those men and women lived in that city blissfully cooperating each other. As a result of becoming restless of lust, that foolish one was cheated at the door of that lady. That foolish one was imitating like the domestically tame monkey. King Purajan armed with a large bow went over to a dense forest for hunting. He killed many animals and birds there, goaded by the unrestrained mind. Finally, becoming very thirsty, returned to his palace, where he ate sumptuously. Then becoming very lustful, he searched for his beautiful sister-in-law, but he was unsuccessful in finding her. Exhibiting lust, that Puranjanee appeared more attracted to Puranjan. After sometime, 1100 sons and 110 daughters were born of that Puranjanee. Both the sons and daughters were married away. Each of the sons begot 100 sons, and in this way, Puranjan’s family became enlarged. Finally, old age caught up with him which is disliked by the sensual men. Now the 308 fierce servants of Gandharvaraaja started looting the city of Puranjan. The gate keeper, the very strong Serpent of the city of Puranjan, fought single handed for 100 years. Puranjan was very much agitated over the mutiny in his nation. He never had any idea of this calamity, due to the hold of his wife over him. In the meantime, a maiden appeared there, who was enjoying forcefully the world of action. The city of Puranjan was attacked by fear and the flooding army. This maiden of time also gave all sorts of discomfort. He lost all his wealth. The enemies set fire to the city of Puranjan and Puranjan, thinking of his wife, breathed his last, and was reborn as a young girl in Vidarbha kingdom. She (Vaidarbhee) was married to Rajarshi Malaya Dhvaja, and when the family enlarged with sons and grandsons, the kingdom was partitioned and he went over to Kulaacal to engage himself in the devotion of Shree Krishna. Vaidarbhee also followed him and engaged in severe penance. Malaya Dhvaja attained peace after realising without any separate feeling of the Aatmaa in the Parabrahma the Parabrahma in the Aatmaa. On this occasion Vaidarbhee became very restless like the deer that got separated from its herd. She decided to sacrifice herself in the fire along with her husband. A man of wisdom who had been her comrade in her previous life appeared there and said –

EXPOSITION OF THE BRAAHMIN:
“O good lady, who are you? Whose daughter are you? For whom are you weeping? Who is this sleeping man? Don’t you recognize me? I am your comrade with whom you used to wander about. Don’t you remember that I am your comrade named Avijnaata? Previously, both of us were the swan of Maanasarovar. Due to the yearning for the enjoyment of pleasures, you went over to earth in search of a dwelling place. While wandering, you came across a city built by a woman, where there were five gardens, nine gates, one gate keeper, three ramparts, six families of the merchant class and five rows of shops. It was made of five materials and its mistress was a woman.


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The five objects of the senses were its five gardens. The nine sense holes were the nine gates, fire, water, food – were the three ramparts; mind and the five senses of knowledge – were the six merchant class families, the basis of the power of action, the five senses of action - were the five market places. The five elements - were his eminent cause and the intellectual power was his female master. The city was such that the person who entered it became devoid of knowledge. You had forgotten your real nature as a result of coming under the control of that lustful woman. Your condition deteriorated in her company. Realize that you are neither the daughter of Vidarbha kingdom nor is the brave Malaya Dhvaja your husband. The one who had imprisoned you in the city of nine gates is also not the husband of that Puranjanee. You considered yourself to be a male in your previous birth, and now, you consider yourself as a Chaste Wife – all these are the result of the maayaa (illusion) thrown by myself. In reality, you are neither a male nor a female. We both are swans. Realize the true nature of both. Of friend, I who are GOD the same you are, the embodied soul. You are not different from me. The wise one does not see even a little difference in both of us. One and the same soul is both GOD and embodied soul, due to the conditions but appear to be different”. When in this manner, the swan cautioned him, then the swan of the Manasarovar, i.e. the embodied soul stood firm in its real nature and once again he had the spiritual knowledge. Devarshi Naarada said – “O king I have imparted you the spiritual wisdom in an indirect form because, “PAROKSHAPRIYOU DEVO BHAGVAAN VISHVABHAAVANAH” The creator of the Universe, the Lord of the Universe, likes very much the indirect description. One, upon acquiring spiritual wisdom, the skill in practicing actions without taint is achieved.

SPIRITUAL MEANING (AADHYAATMIK ARTH):
The meaning of the word “KEVALAIRINDRIYAITH” is given by Madhusoodan Saraswatee as follows: “EASVARAYAIVA KAROMI NA MAMA PHALAAYETI MAMATAA SOONYAI RI” TYARTHAH. I am doing actions for the sake of GOD and not for my benefit. The actions done by the mind, intellect and the senses, in this manner are designed merely as action. Here the word “Keval” reveal another meaning – the Yogee rising above the four sheaths – annamayakosha, mano-mayakosha vijnaanamayakosha and the praanamayakosha, enters into the bliss sheath (aanandmayakosha). From here he begins to realize the soul-bliss, Brahmic-bliss and the nature of the Paramaatmaa. In this manner, the Yogee passing through the aanandamayakosha (the sheath of bliss), merges in the Brahman.

IT IS ALSO SAID:
The person of spiritual wisdom, going beyond step by step, the annamayakosha, manomayakosha vijnaanamayakosha, praanamayakosha and others, merges in Brahman in bliss, singing the Saama Veda. Therefore, actions are performed for the purification of the inner faculties.


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LESSONS FROM THE BHAGAVAD GEETA (12)
by Shri Ashok Lal Bherumal

“Better is one’s own duty (svadharma), though devoid of merit than the duty of another (paradharma) well discharged; better is death in the fulfillment of one’s own duty; the duty of another is fraught with fear.” (Ch.3 v.35)

The principles of Sanatan Dharma (the eternal way of life) are based on:
* the authority of the Vedas
* the theory of Reincarnation
* the existence of other lokas or spheres of existence

There is a reason for birth in this human form. The scriptures confirm that the many births we go through are a direct result of our very own actions (Ref. Commentary on Ch.3 v.32). Due to our past actions, we accumulate paap and punya (sins and virtues) which determine the circumstances of our present birth. We are given the ideal environment to burn off these accumulated sins/virtues through suffering/enjoyment or by way of sukha or dukha (happiness or sorrow). So we cannot abandon our prescribed duties under any circumstances.

Our Sanatan Dharma advocates four phases in life:
(1) Brahmacharya: Student life, where one must control all unnecessary indulgences and concentrate on the acquisition of knowledge. In ancient times students used to be admitted into a gurukul (school) and were taught, apart from subjects like math, science, etc., the scriptures and noble values. Thus, equipped with worldly knowledge, sound moral values and knowledge of the scriptures, they could go through the challenges of life.
(2) Grihastaa: Householder, where one gets married and begets children. Responsibilities now shift towards welfare of the family and right upbringing for the children.
(3) Vanaprashta: Retired, when the children were grown up and established with their own families, the husband and wife now retired to the forest (symbolically a quiet life), to dedicate their lives to spiritual practices.
(4) Sannyasa: A renunciate, the highest level of spirituality dedicating total life to God.

These stages that one progresses through are a natural process and one does not abandon any phase out of disgust or troubled by one's responsibilities and duties. For example we now see children being abandoned by parents, parents in old age being abandoned by their children, etc. Therefore, doing your own duty svadharma, which is devoid of merit, means if you are a father and you discharge all your duties towards caring and providing for your family, this is not going to earn you any (karmic) merit but instead helps you to burn off your past karmas by your current actions.

However, if you decide that this family life (your svadharma) is too troublesome and decide to abandon it and take to the life of sannyasi (renunciate), then this becomes paradharma, leading to further suffering. Why? Because you abandoned your svadharma out of anguish. And, you may also abandon this new position (sannyas) when you face some other challenges.


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Any change from one position to another in life must be gradual and natural and not dictated by your own likes/dislikes based on selfish interest. So Lord Krishna says, do all your duties as you find yourself in the given situation and progress naturally from there. If one meets death while doing paradharma, you will have to take another birth to burn off the earlier karmas that could not be eradicated through performing your svadharma.

Arjuna’s svadharma was that of a “ksatriya” warrior. The word ksatriya comes from a combination of two words “ksat” and “trayate” meaning “to protect from hurt”. This is the real duty of a warrior “to be a protector” and never to provoke violence or war. So Arjuna’s duty as a ksatriya was to protect his people when the war broke out. Instead he wanted to abandon his svadharma (as a protector), to flee from the battlefield and become a sannyasi, a renunciate because he was not prepared to kill his Guru, his own kith and kin. This is where many people question: “But what was wrong with Arjuna not wanting to engage in war and kill the people he loved and revered?” Arjuna was fighting a war based on upholding Dharma, righteous principles. The evil kauravas were ruthless in wanting to gain the kingdom which did not rightfully belong to them (refer to introduction lesson). It is the duty of a ksatriya to rise to the occasion and offer protection to defend his people and country. Imagine if our army, navy or police abandoned their duty of protecting the public, just because they do not want to kill their kith or kin - the aggressive ones! In fact ksatriyas are trained in the art of warfare and weaponry for the very purpose of protecting the country and people. Arjuna had gone into many battles before for the protection of dharma … but why did he look at this war differently?
Note: Apart from the ksatriya caste, three other classes divide society, i.e. bramanas, vaisyas and sudras. The clarification of the caste system will come in Chapter 4.

Arjuna said: "But by what is a man compelled to commit sin, as if driven by force, even against his will, O Varsneya (Krishna)." (Ch3 v36)

Arjuna now puts forward a very pertinent question. Most of us know what is right and what is wrong. We know what our duties are. We know also that it is wrong to steal, lie, cheat, etc. Even the robber knows he is doing wrong. While committing some robbery, if he hears a police siren, he will start running away. He knows what he is doing is wrong.

Yet why, asks Arjuna, despite knowing that some things are wrong, we still end up doing them, against our wish, as though there is some inner force compelling us! In one section of the epic Mahabharat, Duryodhana, the eldest of the evil Kaurava brothers says, “I know what is right, but I am not inclined to do it, I also know what is wrong but I can’t stop doing it. There is some force in my heart which is driving me to act!” Most often there is a guilty feeling when we do something wrong, yet we keep doing it again and again! Arjuna, in this verse, addresses Lord Krishna as “Varsneya”, because Krishna was a descendent of the “Vrishni” clan, a very auspicious and prestigious lineage. Thus, Arjuna is paying his respects to Krishna and perhaps enquiring as to how he can also live up to the good name of his own clan. Then, the Lord said: "It is desire born of the mode of passion (Rajas), it is anger, all devouring and most sinful. Know this to be the enemy here." (Ch3 v37)


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Once again the play of the three ‘Gunas” is brought forth. Here the “Rajasic” guna is identified as the culprit. The more we indulge in greedy selfish activities, the more we strengthen the Rajasic gunas in us. The strong Rajasic Gunas will overpower the Satvic (pure) and Tamasic (inert) Gunas and thus eventually compel us to do more selfish activities. “Know this to be your foe here”, warns Lord Krishna. Rajasic Gunas fuel our desires. When our desire to achieve or acquire something gets out of control, we will resort to any form of action to satisfy our burning desires. Where does anger come in? Anger is nothing but the aftermath of deflected desire! When your desires are strong and there is an impediment to satisfying your desire, the unsatisfied desire deflects into anger. The intensity of the anger matches with the degree of desire. The Lord says that this desire and anger is “all devouring, all sinful”. It overpowers us, makes us loose control of ourselves and in extreme cases, drives us to do things we wouldn’t do normally. Anger is also known as “temporary insanity”. It can even bring about our very own destruction if not kept in check. The story of the evil Ravan, in Ramayana, when he wanted to kidnap Sita, perhaps best illustrates this point. Despite being advised by one and all not to make enmity against the mighty and pious Lord Rama, Ravan could not stop himself driven by his lust of Sita. The result was the destruction of Ravan and his beloved Lanka. Ravan, being king of Lanka, had the riches of the whole kingdom. He also had in his harem all the beautiful damsels that he desired. Yet, the thought of just one thing (Sita) that he could not possess, drove him insane and to commit the heinous crime of kidnapping her. Are not our desires similar? We may have everything now, yet that one little thing we cannot possess torments us. We are never grateful for what we have but we constantly harp on what we don’t have! Therefore the Rajoguna in us must be controlled as discussed in verses 33-34.

"As fire is covered by smoke, as mirror by dust, as an embryo is enveloped by the womb, so is this (wisdom) covered by that passion." (Ch.3 v.38)

Lord Krishna identified that the root cause of our problems stem from desires. How? Fulfilled desires lead us to more desires, as there is no end to desires. These desires cause us to perform actions for fulfillment. Therefore our life becomes one of continuous actions to fulfill these never ending desires. Unfulfilled desires on the other hand lead to anger and frustration. Either way, desires pose a stumbling block to one on the spiritual path. “To be satisfied with less is the greatest wisdom”. (Egyptian proverb) Only when we question our desires with enhanced wisdom (intellect) / spiritual knowledge, do we come to understand the wasteful nature of desires. “Desires have a limited capacity to give us happiness but an unlimited capacity to give us sorrows”. This understanding must come about by a superior understanding and not through suppression. The attention of the mind to the pursuit of desires must be diverted by healthy activities, mainly spiritual. But are all desires bad? This is beautifully illustrated by Lord Krishna with three examples – i.e. in fire/smoke, dust/mirror and embryo/womb in this verse.

Smoke covering the fire, depicts mild/satvic desires. We cannot realize our pure nature (atman) as long as the ‘fire’ of desires continue to envelope the real self by its smoke plaguing our mind. This can be easily realized when we remove the impurities from our mind – just as the river bed is invisible due to the mud in the water.


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Mild desires are easily eradicated just as a little bit of wind clears the smoke to reveal the fire. But there are rajasic desires that need some effort to remove, just as dust (desire) covering a mirror (Self) needs extra effort to be rubbed away before we get a clear mirror. Likewise, we need to put in more effort to wash away desires driven by greed, envy, etc. The third type of desire, very base desire, explained with a metaphor “when the womb (desire) covers the embryo (Self)”, are tamasic desires, meaning desires of the flesh. These need a lot of effort and time to be eradicated, just as the embryo must undergo a certain gestation period. This is a warning to not let our desires get out of control, as so much more effort is required for freedom from desires while in our spiritual pursuit.

"Oh son of Kunti (Kaunteya), wisdom is covered by this eternal enemy of the wise, the insatiable fire in the form of desire". (Ch3 v39)

Lord Krishna identifies 'desire' as the 'eternal enemy'. From time immemorial, we have read or witnessed, how people have been destroyed by uncontrolled rages of desire. Desire, in this verse, is identified with a fire that remains insatiable. When we continuously feed fuel into the fire, it never stops raging. Likewise, we think we are well in control of our desires, but just giving in to desires is like adding fuel to fire, more desires will crop up. It is said desires become a problem when they increase in quantity and decrease in quality. Therefore, consider desires as your enemy and just like how we are always careful and alert when our enemy is within our vicinity, so should we guard ourselves from desires!

"The senses, the mind and the intellect are said to be its seat. Veiling wisdom by these, it deludes the embodied (soul)." (Ch3 v40)

Having been warned of the dangers of desire, questions arise as to where they reside and how to eradicate or sublimate them? Verse 40 answers the first question and verse 43 answers the second. In the senses, in the mind, and in the intellect, that is where desire resides. Thus, they affect all organs of perception (the five senses), the thoughts (mind) and even rationality (intellect)! So powerful and dangerous is desire that it can literally control our waking and dream states of life! The soul (atman) is pure by nature, but so deluding is the power of desire, that the atman now identifies with the body and experiences the ups and downs of life pursuing desire. Thus the atman is now called the embodied. Supposedly a silent witness to all our actions, it now gets deluded and identifies with all the actions.

This philosophy of the atma, bound to the body due to our ignorance results in delusion, which is the prime message of our scriptures. As a result, we see the attractions of the world as real and thus ignore our real nature that is “Sat-Chit- Ananda” (Existence-Knowledge-Bliss) because of our desires. We search for this bliss/happiness from the objects and people of the world. It is not that the world does not give happiness, but we must also understand that the world manifests in dualities such as joy/sorrow, pain/pleasure, victory/defeat, honour/dishonour, etc. Knowing the two very important aspects of the world, we also deal with the facets of duality and non-permanence. The wise one, equipped with this knowledge engages himself with the world accordingly and searches for that bliss within. JAI SHREE KRISHNA!


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SRI KRISHNA: PURUSHOTHAMA AND JAGATGURU
by Dr K Dharmaratnam, Klang

Human life constitutes the final rung or rungs in the ladder of our union with God, and so we should minimize our craving for wealth and pleasures (artha and kaama), and maximize our spirituality (dharma and longing for moksha), which has to be centered on God, who is ‘codified’ best as ‘BRAHMAN’ (‘PARAMPORUL’ in Tamil), and consists of two aspects:- Universal All-Pervading SPIRIT (Purusha), and Universal All-Pervading ENERGY (Prakriti). These, in the Saivaite parlance, are known as Siva and Sakthi respectively. Our Srimad Bhagavad Geeta in chapter 13 describes the All-Pervading Energy as the “Field” and All-Pervading Spirit as the “Knower of the Field”.

Hence God is absolutely Formless and Impersonal but in His divine grace and compassion, manifests as a Personal God with a Form, in order to make worship easier, more interesting and enjoyable (just as it is easier to comprehend a country with the aid of maps). Prof. S. Radhakrishnan declared “The Impersonal God, viewed through human spectacles, becomes the Personal God”. This personal God conforms to our concept of ‘Ishtadeiva’.

The 12th chapter of the Bhagavad Geeta states categorically that the worship of the Personal God is easier, more practical and has greater utility than that of the Impersonal God (though their merits are equal), as in the former, we can utilize our senses better and God will respond if we seek His aid with full faith while practising dharma.

Bridging the gulf between the Personal and Impersonal God are the Personal-Impersonal aspects of God called 'Deities' e.g. Shiva, Vishnu, Durga, Ganesha, Muruga, etc. who are in the celestial world and visible only through the 'inner eye of wisdom' to the saints and sages.

“The highest concept of the Personal God that the human mind can grasp is the avathara” proclaimed Swami Vivekananda, one of our greatest rejuvenators of Hinduism. And other great sages, saints and scholars have fully endorsed this, e.g. “God comes down to earth as man, so that man can recognize Him, adore Him, mingle with Him, seek kinship with Him, enjoy a personal and loving relationship with Him and attain Him” (Sathya Sai Baba); and there cannot be the slightest doubt that KRISHNA is our Purnavathara – i.e. the most complete and perfect incarnation of God with the full 8 transcendental qualities and manifesting the full 16 attributes of God – i.e. the 5 senses, the 4 aspects of the mind (thinking faculty, ego, intellect, memory and the powers of creation, preservation, destruction, omnifelicity, omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence.

The most stupendous and superexcellent tributes and accolades have been paid to Sri Krishna by the greatest saints and scholars, a few being:
1. "The Upanishadic vibrations of truth and beauty, goodness and godliness, love and wisdom, became caught up in a mighty condenser that was Krishna - without Krishna, Hinduism would dwindle into negligible proportions" - Swami Renganananda


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2. "Krishna is much greater than any idea of God you or I can have!" - Swami Vivekananda
3. "Krishna is GOD crystallized into a mortal" - Swami Sivananda
4. "Krishna is at the very pinnacle of the Indian pantheon" - Pusalkar
5. "I know of no other Truth than Krishna" - Swami Nithyabodananda
6. "Of all the religious luminaries, only Krishna was able to reconcile the worldly with the spiritual; Krishna always played the role of witness and actor, and never the doer" - Rajnesh Osho
7. "In the history of religion, Krishna is the One God who conformed with the Supreme Godhead" - Madan Malavya Lal
8. "No other incarnation can take the place of Krishna" - Swami Abeydananda
9. "Krishna is the Brahman of the Upanishads, and the God of divine love" - Munshi
10."Krishna is the panacea for all evils in the Kali Yuga" - Prema Pandurangan
11."'Krishna' means 'He who attracts, and ploughs away all our evil qualities; One who is Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva combined; Krishna is the one Name among all names, the one Thought comprising all thoughts and the one Deed transcending all deeds; Revelations of truth were made only by Krishna; Recitation of the name of Krishna cleanses all the impulses in the Kali Yuga'" - Sathya Sai Baba
12."Krishna is the One God of the Universe" - the dying Bheeshma
13."Other incarnations were but manifestations of the Lord, but Krishna was the Lord Himself" - Swami Ramakrishnananda
14."Krishna is the Darling of Humanity" - A.S.P. Ayyar
15."I worship Krishna the Primeval God" - Lord Ganesha in the Brahma Samhita
16."Lord Shiva advises Parvathi to worship Krishna" - Padma Purana

To substantiate and reinforce the above are Krishna's immaculate conception and divine birth, His many revelations of 'Viswaroopa' (God’s cosmic form), His 'obsession' for dharma and His numerous miracles in the Bhagavatham and the Mahabharatha; and there cannot be the slightest doubt now that Krishna is a truly historical character, especially after Dr. S.R. Rao's undersea archaeology off the north western coast of India commencing November 1984, which brought up from the seabed the remains of the ancient city of Dwaraka, proved by modern technology to be at least 3000 years old. The present day towns of Mathura, Old Delhi (Indraprastha), Kurukshetra, Brindavan and Gokula, and the Bhuvaneswara caves (discovered in 1989) as well as the renowned C.V. Raman’s astrology and the late Sathya Sai Baba’s 'recollection' of incidents in Krishna's life all gave added proof of Krishna's historicity i.e. 3.00 a.m. Wednesday 20-7-3227 B.C. to the midnight of 17/18 February 3102 B.C., which signals the beginning of (the present) Kali Yuga as well as of the Hindu calendar.

All the above, together with His innumerable miracles, His greatest 'saulabya' i.e. easy accessibility to devotees, His teaching of the Bhagavad Geeta, Anu Geeta and Uddava Geeta, the baffling and stupendous 'rasalila' (dance of the souls) with a Krishna to each gopi (symbolic of the jivatman's longing for the Paramatman) after eradicating their ego and body consciousness, His brahmacharya in spite of living simultaneously as Husband' to each of His 16,108 'wives' at one and the same time, thus conveying several esoteric truths e.g. the 16,000 'kalas' in our sahasrara chakra and 108 Upanishads, the 16,108 waves in our single breath etc.,


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creating a solar eclipse with His discus, eradicating adharma and establishing the highest dharma, His complete detachment (watching unmoved His sons killed and accepting Gandhari’s curse), His ceaseless activity, His infinite humility, patience (e.g. bearing the wicked Sisupala’s 100 insults), effortlessly lifting the Govardhana hill to shelter His loved ones (against Indra’s torrential rains), submitting to be bound but only by the shackles of bhakti (Yasoda and Sahadeva), blessing His poverty-stricken devotees with wealth (the poor woman fruitseller, Kuchela), taking over the agony of His devotees (e.g. Radha), creating duplicates of all His friends and cows stolen by Brahma the Creator, curing the defects or illnesses of His devotees (e.g. Kubja) destroying the wicked, granting liberation to those who thought of Him constantly (e.g. Kamsa, Sisupala), love for guru, and bringing back His guru’s lost son as ‘gurudakshina’, miraculously transferring the Mathura citizens to Dwaraka to save civilian suffering, accepting devotees in the very manner they seek Him (as God, Lover, Husband, Friend, Son, Enemy, etc.), accepting anything offered with true love and devotion, rushing to the aid of devotees in distress who had surrendered completely to Him (e.g. Draupadi, thus assuring us that He is a Devotee of His devotees), enacting the law of karma even at His own expense, His utter humility and the liberated souls merging into Him, and claiming (in Chapter 11 of the Bhagavad Geeta) to be TIME the Destroyer, are all irrefutable proof that Krishna is the PURUSHOTAMA par excellence, defined in Chapter 15 of the Bhagavad Geeta as the sum total of:
a) Higher Purusha i.e. all the embodied souls, beyond the control of maya, and only a witness to all actions
b) Lower Purusha i.e. all the embodied souls, subject to maya and instigator of all action
c) the Personal God.

Many a great sermon or code of ethics has been preached or written, but only Krishna deserves the sobriquet of 'JAGATGURU' (Teacher of the Universe) as His teachings, both in the Bhagavad Geeta and elsewhere, are universal and applicable to any one or any age and, what is most important, the teachings are all exemplified by Himself in toto (i.e. by both precept and example). It is no wonder that Swami Sivananda proclaimed “Krishna’s life is the Bhagavad Geeta in action!” Krishna once proclaimed, “Know that dharma is my one and only unborn son!” and strained every nerve to uproot adharma and establish the highest dharma by ‘active goodness’ (not passive goodness) by all manner and means, not only by Himself but also through other dharmic characters of His time, often at the expense of His own reputation e.g. Yudhistra and Bheeshma (who were able to practice only ‘passive goodness’). Krishna often had to brush aside a lower dharma in order to establish a higher or universal dharma. To emphasise Karma Yoga, swadharma and humility, He played many a humble and menial role – by washing the guests’ feet and eating vessels at the Pandavas’ Rajasuya ceremony, patiently bearing Sisupala’s 100 insults, pleading humbly for peace at the Kaurava court, driving a mere man’s chariot in the 18-day war, washing, watering, bathing and feeding the horses and even carrying Draupadi’s footwear. To teach ‘Start the day with love, fill the day with love and end the day with love’ and that all human love should be transmuted to divine love, He played the mesmerizing melody of love on His enchanting flute, drawing everyone (even animals) to Him and endearing Himself to everyone with sweet, soft and loving speech, utmost humility and eyes always full of love.


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To teach reverence to parents, He treated His own as well as foster parents with the utmost love and reverence and extolled devotion and reverence to parents as equivalent to worship of God when His great devotee Pundalik insisted on completing his filial service to his parents, and even kept the Lord waiting before coming out for His darshan and blessing. How vividly and unforgettably does He enact the law of karma! (though God is above this law). For having, as Rama (His preceeding incarnation in a previous yuga) killed Vaali while unseen, Krishna submitted not only to being shot fatally by the unseen hunter Jara, but lovingly blessed the latter and dispatched him to heaven! His humble role as an ambassador for peace at the Kaurava court is unforgettable especially as this assures us that man is given free will to forge his own destiny. He teaches us how and when to die (Chapter 8 of the Bhagavad Geeta) through Bheeshma’s death only during Uttarayana and through the latter’s dying sermon on dharma, duty and God. Many a time Krishna lived up to His assurance in Chapter 9 of the Geeta: “I shall look after the welfare of my sincere devotees and accept whatever is offered to me with true love, and accept devotees in the very manner they approach me”. The gopis offered their untutored love, Kubja her body, many women wanted Him as Husband. Jambavan offered his powerful blows and later his daughter Jambavi, the poverty stricken Kuchela a filthy bit of beaten rice, Rukmini a mere tulsi leaf, Srutadeva a sumptuous feast but poor Bahulasva mere water, Draupadi a single grain and spinach leaf (which satisfied the entire hunger of the universe!), Bheeshma a stream of arrows, and Radha offered her love, but also boiling milk on one occasion. How well did the Lord look after His true devotees! Eg. the Pandavas, Kuchela, etc. Many a time did He exemplify our Devi Vanamali’s unforgettable metaphorical truth: “Prakriti is the playground of the Purusha” especially in Chapter 10 of the Geeta when the Lord states: “Vaasudeva sarvam ithi” (GOD is All) by His presence in different places at one and the same time. Many a time does He enact ‘the name of (and devotion to) God are more potent than God Himself; and if we take one step towards God, God will take ten steps towards us. His Viswaroopa of Chapter 11 is all-embracing and His assurance that if we love every being, with hatred for none, we will attain God, is very consoling and comforting. He exemplifies what is true jnana (in Chapter 13), the role of the gunas (in Chapter 14), detachment and the two Purushas (in Chapter 15), our divine qualities as the centripetal force taking us Godward (in Chapter 16), the threefold spiritual path and importance of the scriptures (in Chapter 17), and finally in the last chapter, summarizes the Geeta’s teachings by emphasizing thyaga, varnashrama dharma and saranagathi.

CONCLUSION
Will the world ever see again a Purnavathara, Purushottama and Jagatguru comparable to Sri Krishna? Certainly not, in spite of this world of rapidly diminishing dharma and predictions of colossal global destruction! Our best protective shield is to chant “Aum Krishnaya Namaha” (or any other name of God) every instant as the shortest cut to God in this age is ‘namasmarana’ which can even create a protective shield around us. However, this first step we must take out of our own free will. AUM TAT SAT


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THINGS THAT ANNOY US
contributed by Shri F C Vohra

There will always be factors and people that we cannot control; how we respond can determine the quality of our lives.

There are many stories of spiritual masters embracing the presence of an annoying student in their community. There is even one story that documents a teacher paying an irritating person to live among his students. From an everyday perspective, this is difficult to comprehend. We generally work hard to avoid people and things that we find annoying so they don’t bother us.

From a deeper spiritual perspective, however, irritation can be an important teacher and indicator that we are making progress on our path. Being able to remain centered and awake even when we feel uncomfortable is much more impressive than doing so in an environment where everything is to our liking. No matter how good we are at controlling our circumstances, there will always be factors and people that we cannot control. How we respond to these experiences to a great degree determines the quality of our lives. The goal of spiritual development is not to learn to control our environment—which is more of an ego-driven desire. And while having some measure of control over our external reality is important, it is when we are confronted with a person or situation that irritates us and we can choose not to react that we know have made progress spiritually. It is when we have mastered our internal reality that we will have become the masters of our lives.

The more we try to eliminate annoyances, instead of learning to handle them gracefully, the further we get from developing the qualities that come with spiritual growth, such as patience, tolerance, and acceptance. It is often in the presence of people and experiences we find annoying that we have an opportunity to develop these qualities. Fortunately for most of us, our lives offer an abundance of opportunities to practice and cultivate these traits.



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VRINDĂVAN KĂ KRISHŃA KANHAIYĂ
Bhajan Lyrics

Vrindăvan kă Krishńa Kanhaiyă, sab ki ănkhon kă tără
Man hi man kyun jare Rădhikă, Mohan to hai sab kă pyără
Vrindăvan kă Krishńa Kanhaiyă...

Jamună tat par Nand kă lălă jab jab răs rachăye re
Tan man đole Kănă aisi bansi madhur bajăye re
Sudh budh khoye khađi gopiyăn jăne kaisă jădu dără
Vrindăvan kă Krishńa Kanhaiyă.....

Rang salaună aisă jaise chhăi ho ghat săvan ki
Airi main to hui deevăni Man Mohan Man Bhăvan ki
Tere kăran dekh sănvare chhođ diyă maine jag sără
Vrindăvan kă Krishńa Kanhaiyă.....




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GEETA ASHRAM MALAYSIA: THE BEGINNING
Adapted from an article by Tan Sri A N Ambo

When Tan Sri A N Ambo came to Malaysia as Social Security Advisor to the Government of Malaysia, his wife Swarn was tasked by Gurudev Swami Hari Harji Maharaj, Founder President of Geeta Ashram, with starting a Geeta centre in Malaysia for the dissemination of the universal teachings of the Bhagavad Geeta.

On arrival in Malaysia Mrs Ambo, with support from her husband, began to work towards generating a wave of interest and enthusiasm among the local Hindu community with regard to the Bhagavad Geeta's message. She received strong backing from community members like Thuraiappah, Ditta, Mayer, Sharda, Parkashlal, Wadhawanmal, Makhanlal and Manoharlal to mention just a few.

On 25 October 1966, Gurudev himself arrived on a landmark visit to Malaysia. He landed at Kuala Lumpur's Subang International Airport to a tumultuous welcome from hundreds of devotees. A public reception, on the day of his arrival, at the Kuala Lumpur Town Hall drew a large crowd of devotees. In a spiritually charged atmosphere, the overflowing congregation listened in awe to Gurudev's illuminating talk on "The Path to Peace and Happiness".

Gurudev stayed at the residence of the Ambos, where devotees of all walks of life came from far and near to have darshan and to receive his blessings. Many families were initiated as his disciples, including the Krishnaswamys, Sabapathys, Thambaiahs, Vohras and Agarwals. Other names that must be mentioned include Dr. Prasad, Mahesh, Danesh and Krishnan.

Gurudev's one-month stay in Kuala Lumpur was a period of spiritual rejuvenation. He delivered a total of 108 talks, sometimes five in a day. The Geeta Parivar grew manifold as Gurudev toured the other towns like Ipoh, Klang, Butterworth, Taiping and Penang. Among those who were inspired to join the bandwagon were Shashikant, Nindraji, Chandru Binwani and Usha Sur from Penang, Shyam Singh fom Taiping and Justice Sharma from Ipoh. Towards the end of his visit, he also visited Singapore to establish the Geeta Ashram there.

After Gurudev's departure from Malaysia, the sacred work was continued by the inspired devotees, and weekly Geeta Satsangs were organised,. Talks in Hindi and English were arranged, followed by devotional singing (bhajans) and recitation of the 12th chapter of the Bhagavad Geeta. The Geeta Ashram committee met regularly and collectively found solutions to any teething problems.

Gurudev subsequently visited Malaysia on numerous occasions, giving devotees the opportunity to listen directly from his lotus lips the unfathomable glories of the Bhagavad Geeta.


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Awaiting material

The piece of land in Petaling Jaya, on which the Geeta Ashram now stands, was obtained through the kindness and generosity of H.H. the Sultan of Selangor and the selfless efforts of the late Mr Thuraiappah. A great deal of work was put in by the enthusiastic devotees to collect funds for the price of the land. Various teams went around from door to door in different areas of Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur seeking donations to meet the payment deadline.

The Foundation Laying event was a memorable one celebrated with great devotion and fervour. The whole day was spent performing Gita Yagya, followed by the ‘Initiation Ceremony’ and the distribution of food. The Foundation Laying was presided over by the late Tan Sri V Manickavasagam, the Labour Minister, and was attended by devotees from all over Malaysia and Singapore. An important highlight was the lighting of the Holi fire, accompanied by the chanting of verses from the Bhagavad Geeta.

In 1973, Gurudev proposed the publication of a journal through which the young and old could be inspired with the message of universal love and brotherhood. The journal was expected to be useful, interesting and readable. Gurudev gave clear-cut instructions, and said that this would be a pride project of Geeta Ashram Malaysia, and it would be the forerunner of other such journals all over the world.




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TRIBUTE TO TEACHERS
by Theva Sharma Rajee (from the Youth Wing)

There is a saying in Tamil: Maata, Pita, Guru, Deivam - Mother, Father, Guru, then God. It is important to listen, learn from and respect, first our Mother, second our Father, third our Teacher/Guru, and then God. Every year in the month of May, we pay tribute to two of these important figures on Mother’s Day and Teacher’s Day. Therefore, let us now pay tribute to all our past and present Gurus who have imbibed us with values and spiritual knowledge at the Geeta Ashram.

Firstly to our Founder President His Holiness Shree 1008 Swami Harihar Ji Maharaj without whom this Ashram would not have come into existence. Through Swamiji’s tireless efforts, the young and old all over the world are able to recite and learn the essence of Srimad Bhagavad Geeta. Even today Swamiji’s teachings are available through the children’s classes, satsangs, CDs, cassettes and periodicals like the 'Sacred Thought'.

Secondly to the founder of the Sunday Children's Geeta Classes, our beloved guru Datin Dr Lila Menon. The late Dato’ Dr Menon and Aunty Menon, since the establishment of this Ashram in the sixties, have been teaching the Geeta to all who come in search of this knowledge. Dato’ Menon conducted Geeta classes every Thursdays for the adults. His simplistic approach in translating the Geeta verses helped the students to understand the Geeta very easily. The children looked forward to every Sunday to come and listen to Aunty Menon’s stories from the Mahabharata more than the recitation of the Geeta verses! Her wholesome and practical approach was very interesting and fun. Aunty even went to great lengths to ensure that we attended the Sunday classes regularly by calling and reminding our parents! We truly enjoyed her teachings and drama practices for Janamashtami every year! Many of her earlier students are now very successful in their careers and lives!

Presently Uncle Chandru and Aunty Asha are carrying on the responsibility of the children’s classes. They are here every Sunday without fail to conduct classes for the children. They go to great lengths to help the children recite and remember the chapters from the Geeta and provide an explanation on the verses. We are ever grateful for their tireless efforts and patience!

Then, our Panditji with his immense and deep knowledge keeps the devotees wanting to hear more from him! His discourses are very interesting and thought provoking. Lastly, we have our guest speakers, working silently and tirelessly preparing the material for presentation during the Sunday satsangs. They help to spread the teachings of Srimad Bhagavad Geeta for the benefit of all, shaping our character, thinking, perceiving and acting through the ‘eyes’ of the Geeta. I would like to conclude with a quotation from William A Ward:

"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires."


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MAIN THEMES OF THE GEETA'S TEACHINGS
by Dr Diljeet Kumar Bhanot

The Bhagavad Geeta contains a complexity of ideas pertaining to life and what lies beyond the perceivable aspects of Creation. The relevance of its message is not limited by time and location. The following are the main themes covered by this great treatise:
1. Karmayoga: This 'Path of Action' is an important means of resolution offered by Lord Krishna for Arjuna's dilemma on the battlefield. The basic point made here is that action does not produce a binding future consequence (or fruit) if performed without selfish desire and without attachment to the result. So karmayoga is a form of action based on dharmic duty performed without desire for personal gain.
2. Jńanayoga: In the later part of Chapter 4, the focus shifts away from the performance of action without desire towards the "Path of Higher Knowledge" that provides support for this practice. In verse 33, sacrifice (yajńa) in the form of jńana (knowledge) is stated as being superior to sacrifice performed with material things. The chapter then goes on to dwell on the importance of realised knowledge in the pursuit of moksha.
3. The nature and the worship of God: The last verse of Chapter 6 marks an abrupt change of direction as it moves on towards defining the nature of God, identifying the Deity as Krishna Himself and prescribing acts of devotion to Krishna as the best means of gaining liberation from the karmic cycle. In Chapter 11, we have the startling revelation of the divine form - the vishvarupa - in which the whole of this existence - past, present and future - is revealed as the divine form of God.
4. Interpretations of Samkhya concepts: The last six chapters offer a variety of different ideas, but a consistent theme is the role of concepts derived from the Samkhya philosophical system. The emphasis here is on (1) analysing the component elements of matter, including the three gunas or fundamental qualities, and (2) rigidly differentiating the inner Self from matter in any form. Lord Krishna uses these ideas to present a whole range of teachings.
5. Dhyana-yoga: The final two verses of Chapter 5 refer to the process of Yoga meditation based on regulation of mind and senses. In Chapter 6, this becomes the main line of discussion, and Krishna gives an outline of the basic principles and ultimate goal of the Yoga system in a manner broadly equivalent to Patańjali's exposition in the Yoga Sutras. The topic is touched on again in Chapter 8 and finally in Chapter 18.
6. The transcendent atman: One of Krishna's first responses to Arjuna's dilemma is to remind him that the true Self is a spiritual entity that cannot be touched by physical trauma. The atman is entirely distinct from its physical body, and it transmigrates to another bodily form at the time of death.
7. Dharma and social order: One of Krishna's preliminary arguments, prior to his exposition on karmayoga, is based on the notion of varna-dharma. It is Arjuna's dharmic duty to fight because of his birth as a kshatriya. Throughout the Bhagavad Geeta, Lord Krishna insists that Arjuna must adhere to his social dharma, and in Chapter 18 this point is explored further. The duties of the four varnas (social classes) are defined, and it is noted that individuals are preconditioned by their svabhava (inherent nature) to act in a particular manner.


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EVERYTHING IS A VIBRATION
by Shrimati Tangamani Menon
mattahah parataram naa’nyat, kimcid asti dhanamjaya;
mayi sarvam idam protam, suutre maniganaa iva
"There is nothing whatever that is higher than Me, O Dhanamjaya.
All that is here is strung on Me as rows of gems on a string" (BG Ch7 v7)

Quantum physics and superstring theory - and now the latest articulation of this, called M-theory - tell us that everything in existence is composed not of points, or "dots", of energy, but of smaller-than-minuscule circular "strings" that vibrate constantly, at differing rates. These strings have the ability to interconnect, or intertwine, with each other, creating a "superstring".

Is it possible that "superstring" vibrations can be created with the mind? When we walk into a room where people have been having an argument, even though the argument may have stopped the moment we entered, we know we have walked into a room with bad vibes. We can feel it. Did those arguing people create those vibes? Feelings can be felt in the air. And the more compact the space the easier it can be to feel this. That’s because the feeling – that is, the energy – is concentrated in one space, and the fewer the people, the fewer will be the variations in the mix, making energy less diluted and much easier to identify.

All of us create variations in the energy flow around us. We produce fluctuations in accordance with our nature. We, ourselves, are fluctuating according to our Gunas. We are ever-changing alterations in the energy field that swirls about us. Our fluctuations in turn create other fluctuations, or “disturbances,” in the energy field adjacent to our energy field, and those affect the field around that, and those around that, and so on – outward and ever outward in an eternal distribution of energy that touches bigger and bigger fields of influence the farther it radiates from the originating Source, but with smaller and smaller impact the greater the distance from that Source.


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In this way, every thought affects the whole world - indeed the whole universe. How much? Probably not very significantly, due to lack of pure focus and consistency in the energy that most people emanate. Yet if that energy is focused and consistent, if it becomes a pinpoint of laser-sharp and unremitting clarity, it can cut through virtually any obstacle in the surrounding energy field, reshaping that field the way we choose. Thus, many people have learned to deeply affect and dramatically impact their personal reality. They live the lives they choose. And when many individuals make the same choice collectively, the combined energy of collective consciousness can have an immediate and detectable influence on the larger reality in any environment. Ultimately, this can affect life on earth itself.

So the trick here is focus and consistency, the fuel here is feeling, and the tool is thought. How do we focus? How do we maintain consistency? Here, too, we have been given an easy-to-understand, easy-to use mechanism. That mechanism is Intention. Life proceeds out of your intentions for it. This has been said before, many times. You are invited in this moment to pay attention to it. Pay attention to your intention. The first step in moving to clarity about our intentions is to let go of guilt and fear – the only enemies of humanity.


We are affecting our creative energy with our intentions in every moment. We either do this consciously or unconsciously, but we do it all the time. To the degree to which our intentions are clear to us, to that degree we become consciously creative. To the degree to which our own intentions arise from a sub-agenda that even we are not aware of (a subconscious reaction), to that degree our energy becomes scattered, and we find it very difficult to produce any particular or desired result in our lives.

HARI OM TAT SAT


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AUM SHANTI

We have lost some ardent devotees and life members who were also long-time disciples of Gurudev Swami Hari Harji Maharaj. They will always be remembered with heartfelt appreciation:

(1) Shri R Letchumanan AMN PJK passed away on 16 October 2011 at 83 years of age. In 1983, he retired from the post of Assistant Superintendent of Police (Selangor). Since then, Shri Letchumanan was actively involved in religious and spiritual activities besides devoting much of his time to religious studies in Malaysia and India. He was conferred the prestigious award "Sangapooshan" by the Malaysia Hindu Sangam and was appointed a member of its Hindu Advisory Board. Participating in national and international religious forums from time to time, he was instrumental in organising the annual Bhagavad Geeta and Ramayana Quiz competitions at national level while ensuring that both children and devotees from the Geeta Ashram also participated as competitors / judges / supporters in such auspicious undertakings. Since the early nineties, he volunteered his services as Secretary and managed the clerical / administrative work at the Ashram for many years while contributing articles for the Sacred Thought. Further, he authored 10 books in Tamil and 2 in English which are "Aspects of Hinduism" and "Ramayana - Bharatha the Unsung Hero".

(2) Shri Ramesh Chandra Agarwal passed away on 9 January 2012 at 74 years of age. He came in contact with Gurudevji in early 1968 and remained a familiar presence at the Ashram during satsangs and celebrations till the end. For some years he also served as a Committee member with the full support of his wife Kamlesh Kumari and their children who were involved in service activities from the very beginning.

(3) Shrimati Nageswari Arulampalam (Mrs K Sabapathy), aged 80 years, passed away on 13 January 2012. Together with her late husband (who was instrumental in securing the land for our Geeta Ashram) she was an active member from the founding years - lending her support whenever needed till her end. She also served as committee member for many years while also serving as a Trustee of the Ashram until about 5 years ago.

(4) Shrimati Saroj Bala (Mrs Om Prakash Kharbanda) passed away on 12 March 2012. She is remembered for her unassuming presence, support and caring attitude during satsangs.

(5) Shri D Goran Ditta Punj passed away on 16 April 2012. Dittaji will always be remembered for his services, contributions and devotion in the service of Guru, Geeta & Gopal. He was a founder member who ardently participated in all activities of the Ashram, winning the hearts of many a devotee. For many years he helped serve the administrative needs of the Ashram.

May all these blessed souls rest in peace

AUM SHANTI

24a
HOLI - THE FESTIVAL OF COLOURS

Holi is the Hindu festival of colours celebrated in the month of Phalgun (February-March). There is no special pooja associated with this festival, but some colour may be smeared on the faces of Krishna and Radha at the commencement of the festivities. Traditionally, the festival celebrates good harvests and fertility of the agricultural land.

The origins of the festival go back to the legend of King Hiranyakashipu, an ambitious and egoistic ruler who wanted to be worshipped as God. His own son Prahlad refused to obey his father and remained a steadfast devotee of Lord Vishnu. The king tried various ruses to get his son killed, all without success, and finally asked his sister Holika, who was supposed to be protected from any harm by fire, to sit in a bonfire with Prahlad on her lap. Prahlad's intense devotion shielded him from any harm while his aunt was burnt to death. This explains the custom of lighting bonfires as part of the celebration. Holi has also been associated with the celebration of the immortal love of Krishna and Radha.

Three days before the full moon, the family gets together in the evening to perform the formal sprinkling of colour from a thali on all present, and specially prepared delicacies are served to all members of the family. A spirit of affection and blessings prevails throughout the evening. On Poornima (full moon day), huge bonfires are lit in the evening to symbolically burn Holika amidst joyous singing and dancing. The day after full moon marks the climax of the celebrations with a riot of colours provided by coloured powder and coloured water and the smearing and spraying of colour on relatives, friends and loved ones.

At the Geeta Ashram, Holi coincides with the birthday of Gurudev Shree Swami Hari Harji Maharaj. This year the celebrations were spread over two days. On Poornima, there was an evening programme which included the singing of bhajans, aarti, chanting of Guru Vandana and recitation of Chapter 12, followed by lighting of the Holi bonfire. A Geeta Havan was performed the next morning.




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