TODAY IS THE BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF GREAT SAGE VALMIKI (A GREAT SANT WHO PENNED DOWN THE GREAT EPIC RAMAYANA)


TODAY IS THE BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF GREAT SAGE VALMIKI (A GREAT SANT WHO PENNED DOWN THE GREAT EPIC RAMAYANA)

 

SAGE VALMIKI

Sage Valmiki – a great Sant/Rishi, who changed himself from a robber and a hunter of animals to a Maharishi of repute. This example should serve as a huge lesson for us all that if we resolve to give up the path of indulgence in bad Karmicdeeds and adopt a path which leads to level-headedness and wisdom, we certainly without doubt. It also gives us a lesson that humans have an inner potential to change our Kukarma, if we are determined to do so – impediments and other constraints notwithstanding. The life of Sage Valmiki, to say the least, offers us the following lessons:-

WITH FIRM RESOLVE ANYBODY CAN CHANGE FROM NEGATIVE ATTITUDE  TO POSITIVE ONE

Circumstances may be of any kind, if we resove to change our attitude, we can do so. Even the hardened criminal could be refined if that particular individual wants to be refined. Nothing can come in our path then.

NOBODY CAN ESCAPE THE PANGS OF BAD KARMIC DEEDS

We have to suffer the pangs of our bad Karmic deeds or misdeeds. Nobody will share that suffering when Judgment Day comes – not even our very closest kith and kin. It is, therefore, in our own interest to change our attitude and lead a life which becomes an example for others to follow. Maharishi Valmiki personifies this example.

 FOLLOWING THE VOICE OF OUR HEART AND REASON

We should hear the voice of reason as Ratnakra listened to Sage Narda and changed himself. But one thing stands out, the change we want comes by abandonment of many comforts of which we are habituated – to the lifestyle and the habits and attitude we have imbibed over a period of time.

For a man who wants to have change, nothing can stop that individual to have change for the better but again for becoming good, we are constrained to surpass some obstructions since the sins we have already committed will not wash away sins we have committed so easily. For these to be washed, we have to cleanse our body, mind and the soul. It requires huge effort.

 LISTENING AND ACTING OUR INNER VOICE

We should always listen to our inner voice as Ratnakara had listened and learned lesson after meeting Sage Narda. Otherwise, he would not have the fortune of gaining knowledge from the great Epic Ramayana and getting enlightenment.

 GREAT PHILOSOPHERS & THINKERS MOTIVATE US TO FOLLOW ETHICAL LIFESTYLE

Great works of Rishis, Sages, Sants, Sadh Gurus, Great Masters (Like Sant Kirpal Singh and other renowned personages who helped in enlightening the lives of multitudes) are great motivators and bestow us the opportunity of removing our ignorance and show us the path of enlightenment and liberation (Moksha).

 ENLIGHTENMENT FROM THE WORKS OF OUR SAINTS

All the great works of Rishis give us enlightenment.. There is no credence or relevance to to which Religions, castes, creeds, colour etc they belonged. What they preached us through their works should be of relevance to us.

The words of Sant Kabir are enlightening irrespective of religion or caste to which we belong.

It is needless to ask of a Sant the caste to which he belongs
For the priest, the warrior. the tradesman, and all the thirty-six castes, alike are seeking for God.
It is but folly to ask what the caste of a saint may be;
The barber has sought God, the washerwoman, and the carpenter.

I am not a Hindu,
Nor a Muslim am I!
I am this body, a play
Of five elements; a drama
Of the spirit dancing
With joy and sorrow.

NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR A DETERMINED PERSON

Everything is possible, if we have strong determination to refine ourselves and follow a course which is spiritually oriented and we can be remembered for our deeds if we resolve.

 CLEANSING OUR INNER DROSS

Fact remains, if we want to change from Ratnakara to Sage Valmiki, we have to wash off the dross that is existing in our system and having done that the path ahead is clear for us FOR SELF REALIZATION.

SELF-REALIZED PERSON HAS CONNECTIVITY WITH GOD

A self-realized person can be a great inspiration and a source of motivation for other humans whose past life has been dismal failure – meaning what we do today counts and if you want to bring forth refinement in our character and attitude it will go a long way in shaping our destiny. All this enlightenment and refinement is garnered from a Single Source.

 Then the lessons from his great epic Ramyana are:-

 LUST FOR ANYTHING IS HARMFUL

 We should not commit the sin of looking at others’ wives with lust or commit any sin of abduction which may tarnish our image and we should be earning KARMIC DEBIT for this.

PROMISES SHOULD ALWAYS BE KEPT

We should always fulfil the promise we make to others and not renege on the same. Lord Rama stood for Dharma and Karma as the two pillars of strength of a person.

IN THE EYES OF GOD EVERYBODY IS EQUAL

Ram Rajya stood for equality for everybody – all the subjects in Ram Rajya were treated equally. He did not spare even his spouse and sent her to the forest when he heard an ordinary washerman uttering something against Sita Maa.

LIFE HISTORY OF SAGE VALMIKI (MEANING ANT HILL)

Sage Valmiki lived in Treta Yuga. During that time, there were forests on the banks of Ganges and were infested with wild animals. His original name Ratnakara and  was the son of a sage named Prachatasa who had his hermitage on the banks of river. Ganga.

In his childhood, he used to wonder in the forest. Unfortunately, one day he lost his way. Despite his best efforts, he could not locate the hermitage of his father. At nightfall, he started weeping for fear of his life since he knew that the forest was full of wild animals.

As ill-luck would have it, a hunter passed that way. This hunter eked out his living by hunting the animals He also made search for the hermitage so that the child could be sent to his parents but in vain. . He pacified the child and took him to his home. As he was having any child, he adopted Ratnakara. It has been said, ‘time’ is a great healer, the child too forgot his parents and considered the foster parents as his own.

In his adopted home, he learned hunting from his foster father. He killed birds and animals for a living. When Ratnakra grew up, his foster father married him off to a beautiful girl. Thereafter, he had his own children to look after. As time went on, his foster parents grew old. Now he had a huge responsibility towards his parents, wife and children. For their sustenance, he was constrained to rob the villagers who traveled to other villages for meeting their daily needs. After sometime, he even started killing the victims who resisted his attempts to rob.

One day, a strange thing happened. A sage named Narda passed through that path. Ratnakara, as usual, stopped him and ordered him to hand over everything he had. Sage Narda, very coolly and with serenity at his command told him that he had only one Veena and his tattered clothes. He can part with those things. Seeing the composure of Sage Narda Ratnakara was surprised. His mind melted. There was no problem at all. Sage Narda is known for his travels from heaven to earth and acted as a trouble-shooter in many cases which require Divine intervention.

In the meanwhile, Sage Narda, sung a sweet song in the praise of Almighty God. Ratnakara was obviously moved by the grace and poise of the Sage.

Then Sage posed a question to Ratnakara. You earn a living by robbing people and hunting the animals and birds. Stealing and killing animals and birds is a sin.

This way, you commit sin – meaning you are a sinner. Will your parents, your wife and the children partake this sin with you? Saged asked the robber and hunter to pose this question to all your family members.

Subsequently, Ratnakara went to his home. He first of all, went to his foster parents, posed them the question; whether they will partake the sin of robbing and even killing his victims. They retorted that being their son, it was his responsibility to look after them in their old-age. Therefore, they will not share the sin which he committed. He will himself suffer the pangs of his Karmic Deeds.

Then he went to his wife. She too said that as a husband, it was his duty to feed her and his children, she will partake the booty which he brought but not partake the sins which he committed. Ratnakara was obviously moved by the turn of events. He was surprised that everybody wanted his booty but nobody wanted to partake his sin.

He remembered the Sage’s words and rushed for the forest to the place he had fastened him with the tree lest he escapes. He fell into the feet of the Sage and begged for his assistance in his salvation as he was a sinner. Meaning, there was a complete change in him. He, very respectfully, asked the Sage for his mercy and asked for his deliverance. The sage took mercy on him and advised him to chant RAM NAAM and went away. Ratnakara sat under the tree and started chanting the name of RAMA with complete belief and focus. There were change of climates, sunny days changed to dark nights and vice versa etc. but Ratnakara’s penance remained unaffected by these natural changes – withstood everything that came his way.

Then after some period of time, an ANT HILL was made around his body.  One day, Sage Narda passed that path and saw the Ant Hill formed. He was knowing the exact cause. He very carefully cleared the anthill and chanted RAM NAAM near the ears of Ratnakara. Hearing this, he opened his eyes and saw the Sage. The Sage re-named from Ratnakara to Valmiki (meaning Anthill). Thus the saga of Maharishi Valmiki starts.

Rest all is known to us that he penned down the great Epic Ramyana before it actually transpired – from the birth of Lord Rama to his exile to his journey to Demon King Ravana to bring back Sita Maa from Lanka, his battle with demon king along with Sugriv and Lord Hanuman besides his monkey warriors.

Subsequently, after the exile of Lord Rama, Sita Maa’s event of proving her chastity by walking on the fire to her exile to the forests after Lord Rama heard a washerman’s terse and offending comments that he cannot forgive the faults of his wife (infidelity) as done by Lord Rama.  She remained in the hermitage of Rishi Valmiki. Sita Maa gave birth to two sons Luva and Kusha. These two princes were brought up under the care of the Rishi. They were experts in the archery and other arts including all the mannerism which the princes should imbibe. 

Subsequently, there was meeting (Milap) between Lord Rama, Sita Maa and his two sons Luva and Kusha. He wanted that Sita should accompany him to his palace. But Sita Maa wanted liberation from this world.

As she was born from the Mother Earth, she very reverentially asked Mother Earth to open her bosom and in that she got absorbed. Then afterwards, Luva and Kusha ruled their respective kingdoms. As they were brought up in very congenial atmosphere, and they were the sons of Lord Rama and Sita Maa, they too proved to be the best kings to their subject  on the principles – RAGUKUL REET SADHA CHALI AAEE PRAN JAYE PAR BACHAN NO JAYE. (It is the tradition of the Ragukul to be exterminated rather than reneging  from the promise which Is made.

Conclusively, we can say with complete belief that if we determine we also can be like RISHI VALMIKI, the past life is no hindrance in this endeavour.

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VIJAYADASHAMI – ABOUT THE VICTORY OF GOOD OVER EVIL ON 25TH OCTOBER


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VIJAYADASHAMI – ABOUT THE VICTORY OF GOOD OVER EVIL

The most sacred of all festivals
Devout celebrate this day as a victory of goodness over evil
And take lessons so exemplary
That evil cannot have always its sway
Meaning, end of wickedness will come about
Indeed without a shred of doubt
However, powerful may be the perpetrator – an evil doer
Thus become a shining example for us all to follow at any rate
Even in situations seemingly desperate.
Lord Shri Ram, the embodiment of righteousness
With most adorable traits with immense prowess
A reservoir of humility with simplicity in abundance
Tolerance, harmony and elderly reverence
That an offspring should profusely be possessing
For the parents most adoring.
Lord Rama left for exile, leaving everything in Ayodhya
When his father Shri Dashratha
Is constrained to act on the promises made in the past
To his wife Kakai – the mother of Shri Bharata
And step-mother of Lord Shri Rama
Who had saved Shri Dashratha’s life once
By putting her own life in jeopardy
Consequently, extracting two promises for fulfilling
At a time and occasion of her own choosing
Manthra – the courtier of Kakai too showed her true color
In making Queen Kakai realize the promises
Crown for her son Shri Bharata
And 14 years in exile for Shri Rama.
Shri Ramji, as expected
Accepted exile for fourteen long years
And that too without slightest demur
He embraced the life simplest in the forest
Subsisting on the fruits and herbs that existed there
Truly speaking, that is the crux of a lesson for today’s younger generation
Maa Sitaji the consort of Shri Rama
With brother Lakshmana too accompanied Shri Rama.
The demon king Ravana
King of Sri Lanka
With an evil intent
And with utter deception, abducted Sita Maa
The loving consort of Shri Rama
Kept her in his garden called Ashok Vatika
Exhorting Sitaji to marry him
Sita Mata, being an ideal wife
Of an ideal husband – Shri Rama
Sita Maa spurned his proposal with a disdain it deserved above all
Ravana, despite his knowledge of Vedas
And one of the fondest Bhaktas of Lord Shiva
Ruined his name and fame
Along with the knowledge he had had thus attained over a period of time
With his acts so highly wicked
An immorality of highest order – by any imaginable yardsticks
A battle between the two armies ensued
Due to which Ravana lost his everything dear to him
His nears and dears and his forces perished
Including his brother Kumbkarna and dear son Methnada
And finally himself – the so called invincible Ravana!
By the sharp arrows of Lord Rama
There is eternal lesson for all of us from this epic Ramyana
Evil and the evil doers meet their doom
Burn it out, the sooner it is done the better for us humans
As we burn the effigies of Ravana
Along with Kumbkarna and Meghnada
Showcasing that evil meets its end.
Vijaydashmi should establish a kingdom of love
Overflowing with peace, full of tolerance, a feeling of goodwill for all,
A kingdom of love for everybody, leaving none
For it is a celebration for destruction of evil in all its forms
And a win for TRUTH an ultimate ONE.

HAPPY VIJAYADASHAMI / DUSSEHRA (25th OCTOBER 2020)


Vijayadashami or Dushehra or Dushara or Dashara is one of the most prominent Hindu festivals of repute and is celebrated at the end of Navratri. It is an annual feature – on the 10th day of the Hindu month of Ashvin which falls in the month of September – October. Vijayadashami personifies victory of goodness or righteousness over evil or wickedness. Vijay connotes victory and dashmi means falling on the tenth day.


Similarly, Dushara is derived from two syllables: Dus means evil or bad and hara means to destroy or to remove – by its combination, we deduce Dushara as a day which we observe as a sign of removal of evil from our midst. There is, in fact, a lesson for us all – the forces representing evil will lose ultimately.


Reasons for its celebration in the Eastern and Northern states of India:-
Marks the end of Durga Puja wherein the devout remember Goddess Durga Maa over Demon king Maheshasur thereby restoring the law of Dharma. Maheshasura wanted to establish the rule of demons; for this, he killed many sages/sadhus and even defiled their Yajna fires besides killing general populace.
It also marks the end of Navratri, represented by Nine Devis with different traits with unlimited power and elegance.

In many parts of India Ramlila is enacted wherein different artists play various roles (Lord Rama, Lakshman, Bharat, Shatrugun, Sita Maa, Demon King Ravana, brother Kumbhkarna and Babishna, son Meghnadh etc) from beginning i.e. births of Rama and his brothers, Sita Devi is described as the daughter of Prithvi (the Earth) because she was found in a pot by Mithla King Janaka while ploughing the fields and was brought up by the king.. All the situations are enacted as though it was happening in real life till, of course, on a ninth day on the death of demon king Ravana who is symbolized as the personification of evil. On the tenth day, the effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhkarna and son Meghnadh are burnt to show to the masses at large that the evil ends ultimately.


People also take out processions, carrying the statues of Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha etc accompanied with the chants of songs and dances and immersed in the water. After immersion of statues, the devotees pray to Maa Durga for blessing them with her bounties for the entire year.


After Dusheshra people start preparation for Dipawali – another festival in connection with reception of Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana by the Ajodhya gentry. They illuminated their homes and street for welcoming their beloved Lord Rama.


In Northern India, Dashara (ten days) is celebrated to pay respects to Lord Rama. The plays based on the life of Lord Rama and his humble and benevolent rule too Is also depicted in the form of plays and dramas with light and sound accompanied by music and dance. Finally, the effigies of Ravana, Kumbkarna, and Meghnatha are burnt for depicting the end of evil and supremacy of the goodness. In Kullu Valley, there is a big fair and people come to witness this fair with gaiety and enthusiasm to enjoy it.

In South India (Karnataka), Dashehra is celebrated with the worship of Durga Maa. In the south, the festival is dedicated to Lordess of Knowledge Saraswati and worship the books and musical instruments. Children are initiated to studies, it is considered auspicious to start new business ventures and new houses, cars and other properties are purchased.


In Western regions (Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Gujarat), people install their deities and immerse the same on Vijaydashmi. Lord Rama and Goddess Durga are worshiped. The famous dandia dance known as Garba in traditional dresses is one of the wonderful attractions in Gujarat.


In Eastern regions, the Durga Maa statues are immersed in rivers. Vijayadashami has special significance in West Bengal. Besides worshipping Maa Durga they have singing and dance competitions besides competitions on other literary features.

SHARAD NAVRATRI – A NINE DAYS’ SPIRITUAL WONDER FROM 17TH OCTOBER 2020 TO 25th OCTOBER NAVRATRI – A NINE DAYS’ SPIRITUAL WONDER


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SHARAD NAVRATRI – A NINE DAYS’ SPIRITUAL WONDER
FROM 17TH OCTOBER 2020 TO 25th OCTOBER
NAVRATRI – A NINE DAYS’ SPIRITUAL WONDER

Let these Nine Days wonder
Be for us, the huge game-changer
And engender peace and prosperity
With sufficiency in Wellness for all and sundry
This is the most sincerest prayer to Thee
O My Mother Divine – THE DURGA MATA JEE!
The most compassionate ONE.
Nav means lasting for days NINE
Ratri stands for night.
Navratri is the festival of repute is so very well-known
Wherein the devotees with so much devotion
Worship the Great Deity, the Divine Mother – Devi Bhagwati
Devotees of all hues celebrate Navratri
Which is celebrated twice in a calendar year
First, it is in the March – April, as Chaitra Navratri
Thence September – November as the Sharad Navratri
This time from 17th October to 25th October 2020 for days nine
This festival has connection with Durga Maajee’s
The embodiment of power ‘Shakti’
Who eliminates the demonic power, the heartless ones
Demons who kill the hapless (Sadhus) hermits
Even while performing their sacred Yajunas- rituals
They rudely defile the sacredness of Yajna fires
By throwing besmirching agents
Like flesh and filth of all kinds.
Goddess Durga in her red attires
Mounted on the lion so ferocious
With all the weapons of mass destruction
With all the prowess in Her possession
To award punishment to the devils so unkind.
Legends abound about Navratri
Demon king Maheshasura worshiped Lord Shiva
The penance went on for a long period of time
By which Lord Shiva granted him the boon
As Lord Shiva has the trait of getting pleased very soon
With the sincerest Bhakti of a Bhakta
With simplest items like Bel Patra, Berries, etc
Shiva was constrained to grant Maheshasura a boon of invincibility
That nobody – not even the Gods who have immortality
Thence thereafter this demon king started killing innocents without fear of death
As he was having a boon of the Lord of all Lords
With his brutal prowess
Conquered the Seven Worlds – Lokas
Including the renowned throne of Indra
The king of Heaven (Svarga) & Gods – Devas
Termed as the God of Heavens
Responsible for war, storms and rains.
Then there was discussion between the Trinity
Along with others Demi-Gods too in their company
To defeat and kill this demon turned killer and usurper
All of them shared powers together
Created Maa Shakti with their combined effort
The most Benevolent Mother Divine for those who are compassionate
And killer to the brutes with a boundless powers
The Durga, the Warrior Goddess with all the splendor
They contributed differently in bestowing Her with traits rarest of rate.
The war between Maheshasur and Mother Divine
Continued interrupted for Days Nine
On 9th day She killed this wicket demon – Maheshsura.
Navratri symbolizes the victory of good over wickedness or evils
On day NINTH which is termed as Mahanavami
Nine young girls are worshipped by the devotees
These venerated young girls’ feet are ritually washed
With fresh water and given clothes and food to eat
The sacred earthen pot (Kalsh) full of water is established
Covered with mango leaves and a coconut
At the place where we daily meditate
On each of these nine days fasting is observed
Wherein devotees take fruits and milk products
To maintain purity of body and mind
Thus ensure purity of soul.
Personifying and signifying Nine Forms of Godess Durga
Navratri too is linked with fertility of terra-firma
On these days, the farmers observe the fitness of the earth
By testing seed germination in the earthen pots
Devotees observe the fast for nine days strictly
Keeping oneself chaste in thoughts and deeds
With avowed premise of Karma is our Dharma
During these days considered holiest
To ensure purity of mind, body and with it our Soul.
There is another legend attached with it all
King Daksha – the king of Himalayan Kingdom
Was blessed with a daughter named Uma
A most beautiful one
With all the traits of a princess she possessed
She worshiped Lord Shiva most reverently
So that He may accept her in marriage so willingly
Having pleased Lord Shiva, he married Uma
But against the wishes of King Dhaksha.
One day King Dhaksha held a grant Yagna
With no invitation to Lord Shiva
Uma wanted to join the Yagna
And all accompanying celebrations
While Lord Shiva had his own reservations
She came to attend the Yagna
Being attended by Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu
The Lords of Creation and Evolution
Besides all the deities were in the list of invitation
King Dhaksha did not like her daughter’s presence
She felt slighted and hugely insulted at the treatment
Meted out to her in presence of all deities
In utter anger so severest
She jumps into Agni Kund (Fire grate) and thus got perished
A plausible reason why we call her Sati also
Lord Mahadeva (As Virbadhara) punished
King Dhaksha for this injustice meted out.
ON REBIRTH (As Parvati) she marries Lord Shiva again
She comes to her parents’ house to stay for NINE DAYS
That is why we celebrate these Nine Days as Navratri.
Legend also has it that Lord Rama
Worshiped Goddess Durega’s Nine Forms
For Nine Days with deepest reverence
On day 10th Lord Rama could kill Demon King Ravana
This way, 10th day is celebrated as Vijaydashami.
First three days are dedicated to Goddess Durga
In the form of child, young girl and mature woman
Representing three forms of womanhood
Symbolizing victory of evil over falsehood
Next three days are dedicated to Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity
Her name is Goddess Lakshimi
Last three days are commemorated in the name of Goddess Saraswati
The Goddess of knowledge and wisdom which we acquire thru Bhakti
She is in dress, white snowy
Mounted on a white swan
The Navratri is a sign of purity in all its manifestations
Let these Nine Days be observed with great appreciation
For gaining blessings of all powerful Goddess Durga
So that we live in peace and harmony with all.

MEANING OF NAVRATRI

The word NAVRATRI is made up of two syllables; NAV which means NINE and RATRI means NIGHTS. Meditation/prayers and fasting are observed by devotees during these nine days. A lighter refreshment of milk made products besides fruits, if taken at all, to keep our body light and pure mind thus helping us to keep the body and mind pure. This also provides the devout’ freedom from adulteration and contamination both in body and mind besides purifying still more the eternal soul along with keeping it taint-free from external influences.

NAVRATRI – A MOST SACRED FESTIVAL

Navratri is one of the most sacred festivals that the devout celebrate. It is not merely celebrated by observing some particular rituals but the devotees live a spiritually oriented life in all forms and manifestations. The purpose is to follow the way of life which puts more stress on the subjective experience of sacred dimension. We undertake those Karmic deeds during Navratri which transform some of the debit-karmic-deeds to credit-karmic-deeds thus helping in personal growth and development individually and also collectively – those who celebrate it with religious fervor and enthusiasm. Moral and ethical values when followed sincerely could be imbibed as permanent habits to be followed in future too thus Navratri could prove to be a life-changer for the ardent Bhakatas.

OUR PRAYER IN COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS SPECIAL SIGNIFICANCE

As this sacred festival has come during Covid-19 pandemic conditions, our prayers have special significance since when we pray with purity of body, mind and soul our prayers would be heard and answered by our Divine Mother who is the reservoir of benevolence. We all should have belief that in the domain of God, nothing is impossible. She will deliver us from all miseries which are bedeviling us. For this, these NINE DAYS WONDER can do wonderful things for the humanity in general.

PURIFICATION OF BODY, MIND AND SOUL

A lighter refreshment consisting of milk made products, fruits, and nuts, keep the body light and the digestive system get improved thus there is a spread of fragrance of Satoguna and alleviation of Tamoguna and Rajoguna traits. Freedom from contaminated thoughts purifies our mind. Thus observance of fast or vrat (also means resolve) continuously for nine days brings about the stability of our mind and helps in enhancement of our concentration. Besides these, we exercise maximum restraints in our thoughts and deeds and behave in a dignified manner by remaining within confines of decency. All these facilitate generation of the feeling of love and affection for others, enhances peace and tranquility, a feeling of compassion for others and above all a Godly feeling thus purification of our eternal Soul.

OBSERVANCE OF FASTS

The devotees observe strict fasts during the duration of Narratri. All these traits enhance the credibility of an individual devotee who observes the fasts and also offers sincere prayers during these  days with utmost devotion. The fasts help us to purify our mind, provides lightness to our body provides us an opportunity to devotees for prayers to Goddess Durga Maa – an embodiment of SHAKTI or reservoir of huge energy.

MENTION OF GODDESS DURGA IN VARIOUS  SCRIPTURES

Mention of Goddess Durga has been found in Vedas and Puranas. Durg was a ferocious demon and Durga, the invincible warrior who killed Durg with her immense prowess. She is the warrior Goddess since she fought evil and forces which spread death and destruction. She works for demolishing demonic forces who want to establish their writ and establish the reign of terror and mayhem amongst the society besides spreading prosperity and goodwill in general masses. She defeats mythical buffalo demon – Meheshasura who had obtained a boon of invincibility from Lord Maheshwara. She is Goddess Parvati, also termed as Durga Saptashati – the consort of Lord Shiva. With her prowess and powerhouse of energy, she proved herself to be unbeatable with limitless mystical powers which she used to obliterate and destroy the ferocious and evil demons.

Besides observing fasts, devotees organize congregations in the form of fairs and also enact programmes and cultural functions in the form of group dances and devotional songs in praise of Goddess Durga and beseech her blessings and she being such a Benevolent Mother Divine comes to their succor.

NINE DAYS WONDER – FORMS  AND MANIFESTATION OF MATA DURGA JI

First Day (17 October 17th – Pratipada, Ghatasthapana). On the first day, Mata Durga is termed as Shailputri – the daughter of Himalaya and the consort of Lord Shiva.

Second Day (October 18th  – Dwitiya). Mata Durga on the second day is called as Brahmacharini which represents worship. She is the embodiment of huge reserve of power – Shakti.

Third Day (October 19th  – Tritiya, Sindoor Tritiya). On the third day, the Goddess is venerated as Chandraghanta. She is the embodiment of power and beauty.

Fourth Day (October 20th  – Chaturthi, Kushmanda Puja). On the fourth day, Maan Durga is worshipped in the form of Kushmanda – the creator of the whole universe by the power of her laughter.

Fifth Day (October 21st  – Panchami, Skandamata Puja). Here on this day, Skandha – the main warrior of Gods’ army.

Sixth Day (October 22nd  – Shashthi, Katyayani Puja). On the sixth day, Mataji takes the form of Katyayani with three eyes and four hands – all powerful and with immense grace.

Seventh Day (October 23rd – Saptami, Kalaratri Puja). On this day, Maan Durga takes the form of Kalratri – she is shown as black as dark night with four hands and makes the evil doers fearless.

Eighth Day (October 24th ). On the eighth day, the Mata Durga takes the form of Maha Gauri – with beauty besides having calmness and exhibits immense wisdom.

Ninth Day (October 25th) . On a ninth day, Maan Durga is worshipped as Siddidatri – with all the eight siddhis. In this form, she is worshiped by all.

LESSONS FROM NAVRATRI

Different festivals provide the devotees different lessons while the underlying message of all these festivals is to enlighten us humans to follow a path which helps us to have connectivity with Higher Self/Higher Intelligence, by following a spiritual oriented path through meditation, contemplation and prayers. The main purpose of celebration and observance of certain modes of behavior in such festivals is to keep ourselves chaste with our mind focused on God while being spiritually oriented. The purpose is to focus on the special prayers and chants to seek connectivity with God and dispel the thought of anxiety or disillusionment that pervades in our system. As there is purity of thoughts and actions during these festivals, there is every possibility to usher in positive transformation in ourselves which may bestow us peace and prosperity.

PURPOSE OF NAVRATRI CELEBRATION

The main purpose of celebrating the religious festivals is to seek balance in our life at the altar of God while observing all immutable laws of nature and aspire for transformation and enlightenment – journeying from one festival to another one helps the devotees to learn social etiquettes, social adaptability and finally God’s connectivity.

Different states celebrate Navratri differently but the spirit of all the celebrations is similar in nature. For example, famous ‘garva dance’ is organized in the state of Gujarat and devotional songs and dance competitions are organized in West Bengal besides prayers in the specially erected and decorated pandals is a usual phone. People visit the famous temples of Vaishno Devi in Katra (in Jammu province) besides all the temples of Goddess Durga in its different forms/manifestations attract devotees in these nine days.

The main driving force of the Navratri is to purify our thoughts and deeds thereof. In these nine days devout observe strict fasts; remain chaste and desist from telling lies. Wish that people always behave like this all the days!

The first three days are celebrated on the name of Durga Mata – Goddess with immense power. For next three days she is worshipped as spiritual wealth – Mata Lakshmi.

Subsequently, for next three days, she is Goddess of wisdom – the Goddess Saraswati. It bestows spiritual enlightenment besides showering an individual with all-around success.

It is useful for our benefit to know the importance of each day.

BENEFITS TO THE DEVOTEES

Strict observance of fasts keep our digestive system in order and helps maintain our body healthy and with it our immunity system gets improved thereby warding off any infections like Covid-19 pandemic.

Fasts help in purifying our mind because we pray Goddess continuously for nine days/nights. It also enhances our focus on the subject we undertake for fructification.

Purification of body and mind means spiritually directed conscious mind thus a shift from negativity to positivity which assist us to lead a balanced life to withstand ups and downs of our lives.

Congregations in melas and group processions help the people to people contacts thus animosity, if any, gets removed thus generating a fellow feeling and cooperation between people. Contact with each other enhances our outreach in the society and there is prevalence of peace and harmony in the society.

Group dances and spiritual song competitions enhance competitive spirits in the youth and also help them direct their latent energies to productive use.

Devotees, in their zeal to show earnest desire to have total connectivity with Goddess Durgaji, offer singular devotion to Her during these auspicious days, reap the harvest of getting their problems solved and get ETERNAL PEACE  in their lives as a reward of this worship.

Devotees meet the needs of the needy during these NINE DAYS. My pray to all is to see to it that they meet the needs of others on all days and earn the goodwill of  DURGA MAA – who herself is the most benevolent One.

My earnest prayer to the Durga Maaji, the Mother Divine, a reservoir of immense Power (Shakti), to grant all the humankind peace and prosperity, thereby,  a feeling of cooperation and brotherhood between the humanity as a whole.

Last but not the least, my most sincere prayers to the MOTHER DIVINE to bestow Her graces onto the humanity in general so that all humanity live in peace and harmony in these hard days of Covid-19 pandemic.

SINCERITY IN OUR THOUGHTS & ACTIONS


SINCERITY IN OUR THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS

SINCERITY

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https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAjb11vfF8gGcHQecq93FBw


Truth whilst properly used is sincerity,
Its ingredients are godliness, realism and purity,
Sincere person is married to piety,
Who, for truth’s sake, will sacrifice everything,
To keep a word he gives without misgiving,
Also, is the one who for truth’s sake,
Will go to any limit in realizing the truth with all caution and care
Never compromising on ideals he holds dear,
That is why a sincere one is considered dear by others everywhere,
And by extension, our Creator too Loves a Sincere one the Most ever and ever.
Greed touches him not,
He is not swayed by any external influences naught,
Hot and cold, happiness and sadness do not touch,
Maintains equanimity in all situations,
Showiness has no place where he ventures,
Spreads fragrance by his presence everywhere.
His actions and reactions exhibit harmony,
Rational are his emotions with not even a touch of vanity,
Passionately he wins every being with his sweetness,
He gives words and sticks to these at all times and spaces,
That is why his words are trusted by lows and highs,
Consciously, he is his own master to the area he surveys,
Is not dictated by anyone crossing his ways,
Believes in the dictum, ‘charity begins at home’ always.
Cleanses his inner self daily like one brooms a room,
Does not showcase or empty sermons,
But follows high-quality principles without qualms,
His best deeds are the ones which are loved and followed by others,
Bereft of any inner conflicts,
His body, mind and soul works in sync at all times,
For a cause held dear by his conscience,
Rich in integrity and abundance in intelligence,
Holds his head high in the comity of people,
With patience and tolerance plentiful really,
His sincerity is an open book with little secrecy,
Easily to be read by anybody whoever tries,
Abundance in essential sincerity, physical sincerity and spiritual sincerity,
He is more near to our Omnipotent and Omniscient One
Than anyone could conjure even.

SINCERITY IN OUR THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS

Sincerity of purpose is one of the best positive qualities of an individual. Sincere dealings may be in our homes, in our workplace, in our day to day dealings with our peer groups, with formal and informal interactions, etc. If we are sincere in our actions then we need not care about the results of our actions. Sincere actions are self-rewarding and can be attested at all situations. A person who is sincere in thoughts and action does not care for the result of his thoughts and actions since he devotes most of his time on action at hand with focused attention. 

A SINCERE PERSON IS A YOGI OF THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS

A sincere person does everything with focused attention on the job at hand and is detached from the results of his thoughts and actions. In fact he is a Karma Yogi in thoughts and actions. He faces situations and conditions coming his way and surpasses them with zeal and enthusiasm – facing any challenge which comes his way since he thinks sincerity is God gifted trait.

HONESTY IS THE PRIME TRAIT OF A SINCERE PERSON

A sincere person always thinks the welfare of others over his own. The prime-movers for this fellow are uprightness and honesty attached. Temptations have no place in his / her scheme of things. In fact that person is flawless in his behaviour and is self-realized one. Similarly, that person gives more credence to others’ needs and aspirations rather than his / her own needs.

SINCERE PERSON IS ETHICAL AND MORALISTIC IN HIS ACTIONS & DEEDS

A person whose work ethics is to work with utmost sincerity as one of the main constituents will never think about the results of his actions because those actions are based on sincere thoughts and actions thereof. To act with sincerity is his religion and then forgets everything else because ethical and moralistic standpoints are his two pillars of strength.

SINCERE PERSON HAS NO TOUCH OF SELFISHNESS OR WITH NO EGOCENTRIC ATTITUDE

There are some people who have selfish motives as a prime -motives in getting jobs done through other means than legitimate. Much of the corruption that pervades in the society today is due to self-centred approach that we adopt in our lives. We attach too much emphasis on ‘I, my, me’ and less of ‘ours’.

A SINCERE PERSON IS SPIRITUAL ORIENTED ONE

A person who conducts himself with sincerity and with honesty as the two pillars does not fear anybody or anything under the sun since he is more near to God than anything else. He faces all the challenges of life with open mind, fearing nothing whatsoever. Bhagwad Gita has very clearly mentioned: To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.

A sincere person has the following characteristics which guide him  in life:-

• Action Oriented Policy in life. A sincere person never confines himself to theory, he / she believes in action that too positive actions with good implications / bearings on the society in general.

• Sincerity Helps in Self Realization. By adopting sincere approach in life, that person never is misled and follows principles which purify his body off negativities thus paving the way to tap reservoir of latent energy dormant in the system.

• Honest and Sincere Approach. That person never puts off things because sincere one has his priorities fixed. His approach may be enmeshed with some unpredictable difficulties initially yet ultimately will always be vindicated.

• Ready for Action when Action is Really Needed. Honest and sincere person never procrastinates if there is a need of a help to be rendered.

• Sincere person never aspire for material possessions, rather, whatever he ekes through his present capabilities that person is satisfied.

• Greed, rancour, selfish motive does not touch such person in any way.

• Sincere person does not aspire for self-respect but respect follows the person due to positive approach in life. Self-respect will anyhow would be earned when his thoughts and actions bring him dividends.


• Quality of Equanimity. A sincere person always baths in peace both in bad and good situations. This balance of mind brings out good results even in any sorts of challenges which may befall on the individual concerned. Since a sincere person is always a positive oriented in his work ethics, he does not feel overly happy or sad in success or failure. It is because he works with an open mind with a lot of focus on his job at hand rather than any other hurdles coming in his way. He is more inclined to work on the percept that when his thoughts and actions are sincere and honest, he need not fear anything under the sun. He has belief in himself and belief on the God. For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.

ON OUR CHOICES


OUR CHOICES

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We’ve not the infinite choices
From which we have the freedom
To choose the right one
For our choice to be of any substance
We’ve to first of all introspect
With full realization
Which choice is good for us
And which one is not so good for us
Taking into consideration
Our own capacity of adaption
To resultant changes
Which our freedom of choice gives.
Whence our choices are woefully limited
Say, we’ve to choose between two alternatives
One is easily to be chosen
Because of its allurement
Hideous lustrous from outside
With trappings of lust overwhelming
The ones who get attracted by outside shining
Lap it up by its charm from outside
Without thinking about its ultimate results
The other one has goodness as veil
But freedom of choice remains with us
Whether we choose
Revolting shiny one
Or with hidden beauty inside
Freedom of choice is in fact with us.
Then there is the question of doing good karmic deeds
And bad karmic deeds
Choice is open for us
Following a corrupt means to earn
Will earn us Karmic credit points
Whereas alternative one
Brings in its wake Karmic debit points.
Choice remains with us
Which one to follow
Or which one to spurn.
Our Creator loves us immensely
He created us with free will
And gave us choices to choose
In returns, He wants nothing in return from us except love
Now choice remains with us individuals
Whether we reciprocate His love or not.
Even a Guru or a teacher
Knows what to be disseminated to the his students
And what to be avoided
Even time and space are to be fixed
By the teacher concerned.
Then we have the freedom of choice to dream
About the achievements we want to accomplish
But mere dreaming
And doing nothing to realize that dream into reality
By putting in our best efforts under different environs
Will make that dreaming exercise
A nightmarish and futile exercise.
While we think of taking ultimate step of committing suicide
Our choices are either to face the existential problems
Or to take our own lives
Knowing fully well the lives of ours
Has been a very precious gift of our Almighty God
With a definite purpose behind it all
Hence we’ve no right to take our life
But tragedy of it all is
We are very fickle minded
Do not want to face challenges which life throws
And cut short our own lives without a second thought.


ON FREEDOM OF CHOICE


If our experience is any guide, we can say with surety that from our childhood itself, we have so many choices from which we have to choose. Factually, selection of right choice at right time gives direction to our lives. Contrarily, not choosing right choice(s) means we limit ourselves for which we remain repenting – with the thought, wish that we could have sought admission in particular professional institution, then our lives must have been different than what we are presently!! Certainly, of us must be nurturing this thought.


LIMITED CHOICES DUE TO FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS


Sometimes, when we have very limited choices, may be due to financial stringency or due to any other limiting factors, then, we have to take on any choice available or open for us under special circumstances and flow with the current as destined. Life for such people just goes on. Some of us who work hard succeed but those with fickle mindset develop negative mindset and develop psychological and physiological problems. ‘Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand’. BIBLE


It may be about admission of our children to school, then, admission of the children in professional institutions, etc. After schooling, start the choice of professional colleges – here question is which professional institute for admission to be chosen.


NO CHOICE BUT TO PUT ON FACE MASKS AND SANITIZE OUR HANDS


In the Covid-19 pandemic situation, if we want to remain secure from Coronovirus infection, we have to put on our face masks on our faces, sanitize our hands as and when it is required as well as, of necessity, observe social distancing to avoid contracting infection. There is no choice or alternate e but to observe all the necessary precautions. Adopting some other choice means picking up infection for which there is no vaccine available presently.


OUR CHOICE OF DEVELOPING FRIENDSHIP

Then we can choose one thing over other. What we choose and prefer depends on our wisdom. We can befriend a virtuous person or also has choice to befriend a bad character for personal gain. In the former case, we can learn from a good fellow and enrich our own experiences while in the later case we unlearn what we have attained till now. Clearly, we enjoy our freedom of choice between so many good and not so good things.


OUR DUTY AND OUR CHOICE


While finest Dhanushdhari (Archer) Arjuna was in quandary whether he should participate in battle against his own kith and kin Lord that is he was reluctant to fight his own people, standing opposite with deadly weapons. To assuage his doubts, Lord Krishna explained Arjuna why he should fight Kauravas. They who represented evil in all manifestations and forms. Firstly, it was his prime duty as a Kshtriya to fight and secondly as the fight was for removing the evil from the society. Arjuna had no choice but to fight to remove the evil from the society. Then Lord Krishna revealed His Virat Swaroopa (Vast Appearance) and then He said: Dear Arjuna, the Moh/Maya (the illusion) that attaches you to doership – you are doing the killing is wrong, There is no one who kills or spares life. Everything happens due to Him only. Birth, evolution and destruction are His Domains and Arjuna should nurture no doubts on these. Thereafter, Arjuna had no choice left but to fight to remove evil.


RELATION BETWEEN CHOICE AND KARMA


Our freedom to choose as per our own likings or free will also presupposes the need for taking care of Karmic deeds or misdeeds. When we transact something unethical or immoral, we shall have to be ready for its ill-consequences thereof. It should be kept in mind that nothing goes amiss.


INTROSPECTION FIRST BEFORE SELECTING OUR CHHOICE


Choices are not limited. Either we can accept something good or bad willingly or leave it or still more, we can first of all introspect why we should take one thing over other; after going into the merits and demerits about it all. Our choices are as varied as our imaginations could go. In Ramyana, Lord Rama has very clearly mentioned. The advice I have given to you is neither incorrect nor coercive. Listen to it carefully, contemplate over it, and then do what you wish.


INDIVIDUAL CHOICE TO BE ADDICTED TO DRUGS


We can throw muck or criticize a person who is not here with you and lower his modesty in others eyes and you can appreciate others good intention and laud him for what he has done. Clearly choice is ours. The case of taking drugs by our Bollywood stars is case in point. We cannot say, for sure, that intake of drugs was without their choice!??


We have to be ready for results of our choices we adopt or spurn. There are choices open for us to take drugs or anti-depressant pills just to forget the present state of our mind. What we do not realize how to leave the habit of taking drugs when we become addicted to the use of drugs!? Doubtlessly, first puff is drug is somebody else’s choice, but, sure enough, the second and third..are ours.


FRIENDSHIP & ADDICTION


I have observed some so called friends who lure us to take drugs, at first, freely and then when it becomes an addiction, things turn worst for us. The friend who lured us has proved to be hideous enemy. Before adopting something negative, introspect the consequences of anything and everything we do or do not do. “Once, Lord Ram called all the residents of Ayodhya. Everyone, including Guru Vasishth came to hear him.” In the discourse, Lord Ram explained to them the purpose of human life and the way to accomplish it. In the end, he concluded:


CHOICE OF OBEYING ORDERS EVEN AT THE COST OF LIFE


Then there are family traditions which bind us to obey the orders; when name and fame of family traditions and vakues are at stake. While obeying the orders of his father King Dhashratha, Lord Rama had no option or choice but to obey the orders of his father to forfeit his throne and go on 14 years’ exile. It is because he was the obedient son whose family tradition was to fulfill promises when made even at the cost of death. Furthermore, when delving on transferring power to Ravana’s brother Vibshana after the defeat and death of Demon King Ravana, Lord Rama reminded all present the maxim: ‘Rangukul reet sadha chali aai pran jaye par vachan na jaye’. And this promise was made good after Ravana was defeated and killed. Vavishana was anointed as the king of Lanka. It goes to show; when the fulfillment of promise is concerned, gentlemen fulfill promises. Here there is no choice but to remain true to the promise.


CHOICE OF FIGHT OR FREIGHT


After we face any challenge, there are two choices open for us. Either fight the challenge head on or just avoid fighting the challenge. In the former case, there may be ultimate gain but in later case we may lose an appropriate opportunity of life time and may open new vistas.


CHOICE TO FOLLOW A SPIRITUAL ORIENTATED LIFE


We have the choice to follow spiritual oriental life for furtherance of our goals in life. It includes righteous manner of performing of duties, seek partnership or connectivity with God through worships and prayers for our growth and forward movements in our life. Here choice is ours whether we would like to follow sort of life or not. Nobody can force us on this score.


INDIVIDUAL CHOICE TO BELIEF OR NOT TO BELIEVE IN THE EXISTENCE OF GOD


The theists believe in the existence of God. He believes that all the creations are made by the Creator. The atheist does not believe in the existence of God. Such persons believe that all the creations are due to the result of natural laws and believe quote rationality as their defence. To believe or not to believe in the existence of God depends on our choice only. Nobody can force us to follow a particular type of belief.


CHOICE TO CONTINUE AFTER FAILURE TO FULFILL DREAM

There are people who get overly disappointed on their failings – so much so that they do not put in any efforts. Such people should know that in life, it is not always a smooth sailing for us. Sometimes, we get through and in other times result may not be in our favour. Choice is ours, whether to work sincerely or leave the field without putting in any effort for attaining success again. Failure is not end of field of our activity.


CHOICE TO BE HAPPY DESPITE HURDLES


We all are aware that life is not always a bed of roses. Sometimes we face hurdles and pinpricks. Our steely determination will stand us in good stead. Choice is ours and we should exercise the option of attainment of that choice with positive attitude besides hard work. Our hard times is the test of our resolve besides experiences during those days give us opportunity as to how best to steer clear of the hard times and we’ve to thank God for giving us good times. In all these, our choices remain open.


WE CAN TAKE THE ASSISTANCE OF EXPERTS IN THE FIELD


We can also take the assistance from experts with wide and varied experience in the field and follow suit. Others experiences could guide us in selecting our goal to be chosen with precision – but in this our sincere efforts can only help realize that coveted goal.


SPECTER OF SUICIDE AND CHOICES
When people commit suicide, they have option or choice. It is also understood that suicides are committed when we are utterly frustrated physically and psychologically. Since it is a matter of living and not living, we’ve to first of all introspect as to how many of our nears and dears would be adversely affected when we take the ultimate course. Before taking this steep, it should also be realized that this life of ours is a very precious gift of our Creator. Furthermore, there is a specific purpose of our existence then why not to face the ups and downs of our lives and reconsider our decision. We know how much the pain and agony is being experiences by the near relatives of Sushant Singh Rajput who committed suicide or otherwise. A budding and a talented actor has been lost. I just think, if only there was any other alternative?? God knows the best.


OUR LIFESTYLE AND OUR CHOICES


What lifestyle we want to have is solely our choice. No one can force us to pursue a particular way of living. In this, what we want to eat, what we want to wear, what religion or faith or belief we want to follow, what profession we want to follow, with whom you want to have relationship or friendship is our choice, etc. All these things solely depends on us since our lifestyle has direct influence on our life; physiologically and psychologically speaking.





ON OUR CHOICES


OUR CHOICES


We’ve not the infinite choices
From which we have the freedom
To choose the right one
For our choice to be of any substance
We’ve to first of all introspect
With full realization
Which choice is good for us
And which one is not so good for us
Taking into consideration
Our own capacity of adaption
To resultant changes
Which our freedom of choice gives.
Whence our choices are woefully limited
Say, we’ve to choose between two alternatives
One is easily to be chosen
Because of its allurement
Hideous lustrous from outside
With trappings of lust overwhelming
The ones who get attracted by outside shining
Lap it up by its charm from outside
Without thinking about its ultimate results
The other one has goodness as veil
But freedom of choice remains with us
Whether we choose
Revolting shiny one
Or with hidden beauty inside
Freedom of choice is in fact with us.
Then there is the question of doing good karmic deeds
And bad karmic deeds
Choice is open for us
Following a corrupt means to earn
Will earn us Karmic credit points
Whereas alternative one
Brings in its wake Karmic debit points.
Choice remains with us
Which one to follow
Or which one to spurn.
Our Creator loves us immensely
He created us with free will
And gave us choices to choose
In returns, He wants nothing in return from us except love
Now choice remains with us individuals
Whether we reciprocate His love or not.
Even a Guru or a teacher
Knows what to be disseminated to the his students
And what to be avoided
Even time and space are to be fixed
By the teacher concerned.
Then we have the freedom of choice to dream
About the achievements we want to accomplish
But mere dreaming
And doing nothing to realize that dream into reality
By putting in our best efforts under different environs
Will make that dreaming exercise
A nightmarish and futile exercise.
While we think of taking ultimate step of committing suicide
Our choices are either to face the existential problems
Or to take our own lives
Knowing fully well the lives of ours
Has been a very precious gift of our Almighty God
With a definite purpose behind it all
Hence we’ve no right to take our life
But tragedy of it all is
We are very fickle minded
Do not want to face challenges which life throws
And cut short our own lives without a second thought.

ON FREEDOM OF CHOICE


If our experience is any guide, we can say with surety that from our childhood itself, we have so many choices from which we have to choose. Factually, selection of right choice at right time gives direction to our lives. Contrarily, not choosing right choice(s) means we limit ourselves for which we remain repenting – with the thought, wish that we could have sought admission in particular professional institution, then our lives must have been different than what we are presently!! Certainly, of us must be nurturing this thought.


LIMITED CHOICES DUE TO FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS


Sometimes, when we have very limited choices, may be due to financial stringency or due to any other limiting factors, then, we have to take on any choice available or open for us under special circumstances and flow with the current as destined. Life for such people just goes on. Some of us who work hard succeed but those with fickle mindset develop negative mindset and develop psychological and physiological problems. ‘Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand’. BIBLE


It may be about admission of our children to school, then, admission of the children in professional institutions, etc. After schooling, start the choice of professional colleges – here question is which professional institute for admission to be chosen.


NO CHOICE BUT TO PUT ON FACE MASKS AND SANITIZE OUR HANDS


In the Covid-19 pandemic situation, if we want to remain secure from Coronovirus infection, we have to put on our face masks on our faces, sanitize our hands as and when it is required as well as, of necessity, observe social distancing to avoid contracting infection. There is no choice or alternate e but to observe all the necessary precautions. Adopting some other choice means picking up infection for which there is no vaccine available presently.

OUR CHOICE OF DEVELOPING FRIENDSHIP


Then we can choose one thing over other. What we choose and prefer depends on our wisdom. We can befriend a virtuous person or also has choice to befriend a bad character for personal gain. In the former case, we can learn from a good fellow and enrich our own experiences while in the later case we unlearn what we have attained till now. Clearly, we enjoy our freedom of choice between so many good and not so good things.


OUR DUTY AND OUR CHOICE


While finest Dhanushdhari (Archer) Arjuna was in quandary whether he should participate in battle against his own kith and kin Lord that is he was reluctant to fight his own people, standing opposite with deadly weapons. To assuage his doubts, Lord Krishna explained Arjuna why he should fight Kauravas. They who represented evil in all manifestations and forms. Firstly, it was his prime duty as a Kshtriya to fight and secondly as the fight was for removing the evil from the society. Arjuna had no choice but to fight to remove the evil from the society. Then Lord Krishna revealed His Virat Swaroopa (Vast Appearance) and then He said: Dear Arjuna, the Moh/Maya (the illusion) that attaches you to doership – you are doing the killing is wrong, There is no one who kills or spares life. Everything happens due to Him only. Birth, evolution and destruction are His Domains and Arjuna should nurture no doubts on these. Thereafter, Arjuna had no choice left but to fight to remove evil.


RELATION BETWEEN CHOICE AND KARMA


Our freedom to choose as per our own likings or free will also presupposes the need for taking care of Karmic deeds or misdeeds. When we transact something unethical or immoral, we shall have to be ready for its ill-consequences thereof. It should be kept in mind that nothing goes amiss.


INTROSPECTION FIRST BEFORE SELECTING OUR CHHOICE


Choices are not limited. Either we can accept something good or bad willingly or leave it or still more, we can first of all introspect why we should take one thing over other; after going into the merits and demerits about it all. Our choices are as varied as our imaginations could go. In Ramyana, Lord Rama has very clearly mentioned. The advice I have given to you is neither incorrect nor coercive. Listen to it carefully, contemplate over it, and then do what you wish.


INDIVIDUAL CHOICE TO BE ADDICTED TO DRUGS


We can throw muck or criticize a person who is not here with you and lower his modesty in others eyes and you can appreciate others good intention and laud him for what he has done. Clearly choice is ours. The case of taking drugs by our Bollywood stars is case in point. We cannot say, for sure, that intake of drugs was without their choice!??


We have to be ready for results of our choices we adopt or spurn. There are choices open for us to take drugs or anti-depressant pills just to forget the present state of our mind. What we do not realize how to leave the habit of taking drugs when we become addicted to the use of drugs!? Doubtlessly, first puff is drug is somebody else’s choice, but, sure enough, the second and third..are ours.


FRIENDSHIP & ADDICTION


I have observed some so called friends who lure us to take drugs, at first, freely and then when it becomes an addiction, things turn worst for us. The friend who lured us has proved to be hideous enemy. Before adopting something negative, introspect the consequences of anything and everything we do or do not do. “Once, Lord Ram called all the residents of Ayodhya. Everyone, including Guru Vasishth came to hear him.” In the discourse, Lord Ram explained to them the purpose of human life and the way to accomplish it. In the end, he concluded:


CHOICE OF OBEYING ORDERS EVEN AT THE COST OF LIFE


Then there are family traditions which bind us to obey the orders; when name and fame of family traditions and vakues are at stake. While obeying the orders of his father King Dhashratha, Lord Rama had no option or choice but to obey the orders of his father to forfeit his throne and go on 14 years’ exile. It is because he was the obedient son whose family tradition was to fulfill promises when made even at the cost of death. Furthermore, when delving on transferring power to Ravana’s brother Vibshana after the defeat and death of Demon King Ravana, Lord Rama reminded all present the maxim: ‘Rangukul reet sadha chali aai pran jaye par vachan na jaye’. And this promise was made good after Ravana was defeated and killed. Vavishana was anointed as the king of Lanka. It goes to show; when the fulfillment of promise is concerned, gentlemen fulfill promises. Here there is no choice but to remain true to the promise.


CHOICE OF FIGHT OR FREIGHT


After we face any challenge, there are two choices open for us. Either fight the challenge head on or just avoid fighting the challenge. In the former case, there may be ultimate gain but in later case we may lose an appropriate opportunity of life time and may open new vistas.


CHOICE TO FOLLOW A SPIRITUAL ORIENTATED LIFE


We have the choice to follow spiritual oriental life for furtherance of our goals in life. It includes righteous manner of performing of duties, seek partnership or connectivity with God through worships and prayers for our growth and forward movements in our life. Here choice is ours whether we would like to follow sort of life or not. Nobody can force us on this score.


INDIVIDUAL CHOICE TO BELIEF OR NOT TO BELIEVE IN THE EXISTENCE OF GOD


The theists believe in the existence of God. He believes that all the creations are made by the Creator. The atheist does not believe in the existence of God. Such persons believe that all the creations are due to the result of natural laws and believe quote rationality as their defence. To believe or not to believe in the existence of God depends on our choice only. Nobody can force us to follow a particular type of belief.


CHOICE TO CONTINUE AFTER FAILURE TO FULFILL DREAM


There are people who get overly disappointed on their failings – so much so that they do not put in any efforts. Such people should know that in life, it is not always a smooth sailing for us. Sometimes, we get through and in other times result may not be in our favour. Choice is ours, whether to work sincerely or leave the field without putting in any effort for attaining success again. Failure is not end of field of our activity.


CHOICE TO BE HAPPY DESPITE HURDLES


We all are aware that life is not always a bed of roses. Sometimes we face hurdles and pinpricks. Our steely determination will stand us in good stead. Choice is ours and we should exercise the option of attainment of that choice with positive attitude besides hard work. Our hard times is the test of our resolve besides experiences during those days give us opportunity as to how best to steer clear of the hard times and we’ve to thank God for giving us good times. In all these, our choices remain open.


WE CAN TAKE THE ASSISTANCE OF EXPERTS IN THE FIELD

We can also take the assistance from experts with wide and varied experience in the field and follow suit. Others experiences could guide us in selecting our goal to be chosen with precision – but in this our sincere efforts can only help realize that coveted goal.


SPECTER OF SUICIDE AND CHOICES


When people commit suicide, they have option or choice. It is also understood that suicides are committed when we are utterly frustrated physically and psychologically. Since it is a matter of living and not living, we’ve to first of all introspect as to how many of our nears and dears would be adversely affected when we take the ultimate course. Before taking this steep, it should also be realized that this life of ours is a very precious gift of our Creator. Furthermore, there is a specific purpose of our existence then why not to face the ups and downs of our lives and reconsider our decision. We know how much the pain and agony is being experiences by the near relatives of Sushant Singh Rajput who committed suicide or otherwise. A budding and a talented actor has been lost. I just think, if only there was any other alternative?? God knows the best.


OUR LIFESTYLE AND OUR CHOICES

What lifestyle we want to have is solely our choice. No one can force us to pursue a particular way of living. In this, what we want to eat, what we want to wear, what religion or faith or belief we want to follow, what profession we want to follow, with whom you want to have relationship or friendship is our choice, etc. All these things solely depends on us since our lifestyle has direct influence on our life.

WHETHER YOU WANT TO LIVE A PEACEFUL LIFE OR A LIFE FULL OF ANXIETIES IS OUR CHOICE. POSITIVE WAYS OF LIVES RESULTS IN BALANCE IN OUR LIVES AND CONSEQUENCE OF IT IS HAPPINESS.

ILLITERACY LEADS US TO DARKNESS


ILLITERACY – A CURSE

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Ignorant or illiteracy attains
Nothing –  but only one thing
And that important thing is
Non-realization of life’s destination
Or purpose of our existence.
Through knowledge so gained with sincere self-efforts
Our body, mind and soul work in sync
Thereby have full understanding
Why we are here on this beautiful earth.
While illiteracy does not give us
Any leeway for course correction
When it is hugely needed.



Literarily, illiteracy means lack of knowledge or lack of information (information poverty in real sense of terms) or lack or less know-how on a variety of subjects without which a person remains uninformed or remains non-conversant with the current rate of information dissemination which has enveloped the world over with advent in information media.

ILLITERACY IN UNDER-DEVELOPED COUNTRIES


Besides, it has been observed that Illiteracy is one of the main problems in less developed and under-developed countries globally due to handicaps of economic and social norms of behavior. There are people who do not send their children to schools since they are steeped in poverty, in ignorance and backwardness and perhaps do not understand the importance of education for their development. As the people are economically unsound, therefore, of necessity, they send their children to supplement the earnings of their families.

PEOPLE REMAIN ILLITERATE SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY DO NOT KNOW THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWLEDGE

Essentially, there are people who do not understand the actual need of knowledge, therefore, remain ignorant about new strides in knowledge. By not having knowledge, we cannot adjust or change as per the needs of the environment in which we are placed. In Bible it has rightly been said: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.

ILLITERACY IN RURAL AREAS

As in rural areas in India, 70% of the people depend on the agriculture, the people consider the male child as the helping hand for their fields. Here education is considered as the handicap without any realization that with education the farmers would be able to know the latest technology, proper use of fertilizers and manure and other advancements which are taking place in agricultural field to enhance their produce. This way, the workforce could become a useful tool in dissemination of information and remove the poverty of information prevalent presently.


NON-ACCESIBILITY OF COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY & OTHER MODES OF CONNECTIVITY

In the present scenario, the advent of computers, net-connectivity, mobiles, print media, TV as the main medias of education have changed the outlook of the education scene. But all these are available only in the urban and semi-urban societies. Information poverty remains prevalent due to non-accessibility to these tools of education. All these handicaps puts paid to the spread of literacy in the inaccessibility of areas due to lack of communication connectivity issues.


ILLITERACY OF FEMALES

Then other bottleneck is the problem of drop outs. This is mainly due to the fact that the students are not able to bear the cost of schooling in private schools presently owing to job losses and business loses due to Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns. With the exorbitant school fees, cost of books and added sundry expenditure which are entailed, forces the poverty ridden families to discontinue the educational pursuits of their children. The drop-rates are more pronounced in female children than males. It is because the parents nurture a viewpoint that the females, after they grow up, are married off and leave their homes for their in-laws. They do not know that if they educate a female, she helps educating the entire family – in fact one generation in real sense of terms.

It is understood that the first lesson of the child is In the lap of the mother. Therefore, the main aim of functional literacy is to educate the girl-child so that she gives right education including the traditional norms of behavior dear to the family and value system to the child in the initial stage itself.

Different slogans are coined for spreading education. These may be ‘each one, teach one’ but overall result of coined slogans remain paper oriented as these are not implemented in letter and spirit.


SPREADING LITERACY AMONGS ADULTS

Spreading education amongst adults is really a cumbersome task since they lack will to learn, have less motivation coupled with lack of incentives too are handicaps for their education. Mere teaching alphabets and arithematic is not sufficient. Now a day computing, artificial intelligence and other related topics should also form part of their efforts. The adults should be taught the society driven topics. In essence, they should know about the benefits of personal hygiene, how to keep sound health including the importance of Yogic exercises, general wellbeing, besides reading, writing, psychology of adjustment with the society etc. in other words the teaching should be such which enriches the mind and the soul and should help in enhancing the holistic development of the individual concerned. These steps should kindle interest and make their live happier, richer and healthier. For this to be reality, need is to adopt skill based technical education along with temper of ethical and moral development. For this, the teachers should also be educated with requisite experience in the field. Of necessity, if the adults remain illiterate, then, they will not be able to able contributor/partner to the progress of the country concerned.


SKILL TRAINING FOR LESS LITERATE


If we are serious about adult illiteracy from our midst the it is high time that we teach our children must be given some skill training along with academic pursuit so that those children who are not from rich background can earn while they learn to make the dream of education a real one and when they reach their adulthood, they would be able to be self-reliant and not be depend on others for their subsistence. It should also be kept in mind that those who are semi-literate or illiterate could be given training in plumbing, welding, household electricity fittings, etc. could be imparted to these people.


FUNCTION OF GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE PLAYERS FOR REMOVING ILLITERACY

If we have to eradicate illiteracy from our midst, it is necessary that Government and the private institutions should come forward and mutually render helping hand so as to make the dream of education a reality. In fact it is a long road for the distance to be reached but an honest effort could be made to achieve this end.


Illiteracy could be removed by the following steps:-


Girl-Child literacy. Funds should be allocated by the State and Central Government so that girl-child is given education. For this the parents should be made aware of the need for educating girls. This could also be done through holding of functions wherein debate competition and drawing completion should be conducted. Here the parents and the general masses should also be called. Prominent educationalists and leading leaders should give speeches highlighting the need for removing illiteracy of the girl-child. Suitable prizes too should be given to the participants.


Lesser drop-outs. Our all out concerted efforts should be for lesser drop-outs from the schools at primary stage itself. It should never be forgotten that when a student drops-out due to some reason, it adds to the population of adult illiterates which rather than being an asset becomes drag on national resources. It should always be kept in mind that main reason for drop-out is the financial crunch faced by the parents. The Government should provide financial succor to the parents so that they send their children to the school so that the aim of education is realized.


Realization that ignorance and illiteracy go hand-in-hand. People should know that ignorance or illiteracy is curse since an ignorant man is neither beneficial to himself nor to the family or nation when he grows up and not become dependent on others for his meeting his needs while he grows up. It must be realized that our life gets true meaning and purpose of life with knowledge gained; whereas illiteracy leads to lack of self-realization. In Bhagwad Gita, it has rightly been asserted: The manifestations of the mode of goodness can be experienced when all the gates of the body are illuminated by knowledge.


Connectivity and literacy. We are aware that non-accessibility of the connectivity (road and rail), non-availability of adequate computer literacy, net-connectivity and other medias become bottlenecks for spread of adequate literacy. Not only Government but the private players should also render helping hand to realize the dream of 100% literacy.









BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF MAHATMA GANDHI (GANDHI JYANTI)


BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF MAHATMA GANDHI (GANDHI JYANTI)

BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF MAHATMA GANDHI  (GANDHI JYANTI)  ON
2ND OCTOBER 2020

Birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi – also called with love Bapu Gandhi (Gandhi Jyanti) is celebrated in India as a Father of Nation. Gandhiji’s contribution for the independence struggle, through non-violence is well-known to us all.

On this day, an Inter-Faith Prayer is being held at Gandhi Smriti, Tees January Marg, New Delhi. Prayers and floral tributes will also be conducted for him at Raj Ghat where Gandhiji was cremated. In various colleges and schools various competitions in the form of debates on Gandhian Thoughts and painting competitions too are held. While I was studying in a village school, I also used to take part in Inter-District debates etc.

Even UNGA (United National General Assembly), in its resolution on 15th June 2007 adopted a resolution, declaring this day as the International Day of Non-Violence- a rightful and justifiable tribute to a great personality known for his simple living and high thinking.

COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND GANDHI JI’S PHILOSOPHY

This year, the birth anniversary is being celebrated in an atmosphere of fear psychosis caused by Covid-10 pandemic.  The best tribute for him would be to remember his visionary thoughts and also pray for those who have lost their love ones due to Coronavirus infection besides rendering helping hand to those who has lost the only earning hand with this vicious infection. My thoughts also go to the work-force who have lost their businesses and jobs due to this cruel infection. Sure enough, we should do whatever we can to lift them from the financial stringency. It may be in the form of paying the school fees of wards or in the best way possible that we can render. This would be the best tribute for the great visionary, a great thinker and a leader who is known for his inclusive philosophy. Gandhiji, during his lifetime, he fought for the rights of dalits and down-trodden besides he was a man of masses who had a vision for all of them. When Covid-10  pandemic infection is still creating havoc around the world, Babu Gandhi Ji’s thoughts and philosophy of life could guide us.

DIFFERENT FIGHTS AROUND THE WORLD AND THE GANDHIAN THOUGHTS

The hall-mark of Gandhian philosophy centered around non-violence or non-use of force to settle boundary issues. He was against the thought of settling issues by killing others or browbeating smaller countries and grab their land by transgression. The role of China, exhibiting impatience and creating problems for its neighbours by grabbing their lands by force is the case in point.. The ongoing geopolitics of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armania is a pointer that any time local conflicts could involve other countries too including extremist elements killing thousands of people. This fight may spin out of control in the days to come. Then there are conflicts in other parts of the world which are proving that violence could prove counter-productive for the peace and prosperity of the world at large. All these are against the principles of Gandhi’s philosophy; the ongoing fights could be settled by mutual consultation on the basis of give and take and not with use of force and non-violence.

PRINCIPLES WHICH ENDEARED HIM TO THE PEOPLE

He firmly believed that hatred should not be met with hatred, violence with violence, greed with greed, evil with evil, but should love even our enemies. For,  in real sense, they were not our enemies. He was opposed to use of force, hatred and vindictiveness. He was a great innovative and a visionary, a great fighter for cause of poor masses. He believed that no tangible solutions could be brought about by. On the other hand, through violence we complicate the problem, he asserted. That is why he was loved by all.

GANDHIAN RELIGIOUS PHILOSOPHY

The world have only a few chosen few who have made their mark to change the destinies of general masses through their thoughts and actions. The Gandhian thoughts based on the universal love and tolerance, entirely on profound love and affection without regard to any religion, caste, creed, colour or any other narrow-minded considerations.

GANDHIAN PHILOSOPY OF RELIGION

 It would be in the fitness of things to infer that distinctions based on race, caste, creed, colour, region etc have no place in Gandhian thoughts. He admired and respected all the religions of the world. He did not like racism, fanaticism, intolerance, selfishness, etc. He propounded God consciousness, religious minded without any discrimination for other religions.

According to him, God  was kind, just and loving and always responded to prayers and love. Gandhiji was influenced immensely by  Bhagwad Gita and its preaching contained in it. For him, God was truth and love. His faith in God was not shaken. He thoroughly believed in principle of Karma and believed that we get reward for our good karmic deeds and punishment for the bad deeds.  He believed in the percept that man was responsible for his own destiny which could be shaped by an individual.

Essentially, humanity was the foundation or cornerstone of his philosophy.

UNIVERSAL LOVE AND BROTHERHOOD

Gandhian philosophy is based on the universal love and tolerance including reverence for all the religions. He disliked any distinction based on race, colour, nationality and sect. While following his own religious beliefs to the hilt, he respected all religions equally. His belief in the secularism was unparalleled. He considered humans of all hues the same and saw untouchbility as the sin as he thought that God has created man without any bias.

TEACHING OF SATYAGRAH (NON-USE OF FORCE)

He always preached the policy of non-use-of-force (Satyagrah, non-violence). He firmly believed that non-violence is not a weapon of weak but of the strong men who would not tolerate any manifestation of evil or injustice and would reasonably suffer while fighting non-violently. He was of the view that man was a spiritual being, and love and non-violence were the part of his life. It is a lofty weapon.  It is considered as a morally superior weapon but through its use, it could do wonders when used judiciously. Even Nehru agreed that this weapon could do great service if used sensibly.

A REALIST ALONG WITH IDEALIST

Gandhiji was a great realist with idealistic mindset. His thoughts were always on the higher plane. He believed that Satyagrah was possible – with the power of which he made heroes out of men of no consequence in real life that is the reason that we call him as a great reformer with vision.

 IDEA OF WORLD GOVERNMENT

Ganghiji was of the view that World Government could eliminate injustice and oppression prevalent in all the societies of the world. This type of Government could establish the rule of law among nations and exploit world resource on a scientific basis for the use of mankind. It could have armed forces to control the law and order problem, if and when required.

GANDHI BELIEVED IN SIMPLE LIVING AND HIGH THINKING

Gandhiji was in favour of simple and noble way of living and lauded the role of cottage and small scale industries, village and self-sufficiency, respect for manual labour and self-labour. He was not for materialism as a way of living but simple way of living through richness in thoughts.

HE WANTED THAT ALL SHOULD EARN HIS/HER EARNINGS WITH SELF RESPECT

He wanted everybody to be employed and assured of the basic conditions of good life. He viewed that everybody should get food, clothing and shelter as per his/her needs. He was not opposed to the use of machinery to serve man but this machinery should not enslave man to the machine. He loved and respected manual labour. He opined that everybody should be self-reliant in the moral and spiritual sense of terms.

PLACE OF WOMEN IN GANDHIAN THOUGHTS

He never subscribed to the idea that women were in any way inferior to men or less intelligent or less in her wisdom in comparison with men folks. He opined that widows have as much right to marry again as the widowers. He was the proponent of education of girl-child. He was against child marriage. He did not like the use of intoxicants and drugs because these weaken humans.

GANDHIAN THOUGHT ON EDUCATION AND CASTE SYSTEM

Gandhiji’s views on education were also inspired by the consideration for forming a sound character based on simplicity and high thinking. He rejected the caste system based on birth as morally wrong. He was strongly against exploitation of the labour class but he was against strikes and unrest for getting their demands fulfilled.

GANDHIAN THOUGHTS ON VILLAGE LIFE

He was aware that 70 percent of the population lived in the villages. He advocated village autonomy, independent and self-governing through panchayati system (choosing their own Surpanchs and Panchs through voting and a loose federation of villages for the satisfaction of their daily needs. He opined that the general masses should be free and not slaves of a centralized authority.

We should consider Gandhi views on autonomous village, his advocacy of cottage industries, charkha and khaddi, his general opposition to mass production are worth emulation for raising the standard of the village life. He opined that we cannot ignore the villages for inclusive /holistic development of India.

The main ideas of Gandhian philosophy are given below:-

  • Simple living and high thinking was the core of his philosophy.
  • Non-use of force or violence to get things in our favour.
  • Adoption of non-violence in getting things in our favour.
  • Villages are the mainstay of India because more than 70% of people lived in villages only therefore we have to raise the standard of villagers through Panchayati Raj and giving autonomy to the villagers to form their own methodology of governance. For this, cottage and small scale industries are to be given fillip.
  • Non-use of force or violence (Satyagrah) could make difference in our life.
  • If India’s development is to be ensured then villages development should be done with concerted efforts.
  • He believed that man was responsible for his own destiny through his work ethics.
  • Gandhiji believed in Hindu religious philosophy without any discrimination to other religions. He respected all the great religions of the world.
  • In his scheme of things, women should be given a high pedestal as they are not less in any sphere. They should be given equal opportunity in education for their upliftment and growth and development.
  • He was realist and idealistic in real sense of terms.
  • He disliked any distinction based on race, colour, nationality and sect.
  • He did not like racism, fanaticism, intolerance, selfishness, etc.
  • He propounded God consciousness, religious minded without any discrimination for other religions.
  • He believed in the philosophy of non-violence for getting things done.
  • He thoroughly believed in principle of Karma and believed that we get reward for our good karmic deeds and punishment for the bad deeds. 

ON FRIENDSHIP & ENMITY


FRIENDSHIP & ENMITY

For friendship to be enduring
Suffusing with mutual love and caring
It is in the fitness of things
That the foundation of friendship is developed on strong footings
Without any lose ends in between
Since with prevalence of lose-ends
The mutual confidence besides each others likings
In the form of breach of trust
Goes bust
And faith and belief in each other gets shattered
Which if ones broken
Friendship loses its sheen
And slowly but surely
The bubble so very fragile
Of friendship gets busted
Leaving tell-tale signs of friendliness
With bits & pieces of it all left scattered
Remain to be seen here, there & everywhere!
Which may turn into a mud-slinging match
Go at it hammer and tongs
Seemingly, the ex-friends
Once chums with huge warmth
Have turned coolest
Thus turned into worst enemies
Knowing each other’s secrets
Ready to spill the cane of soiled beans
and washing the dirty linen
Which is so obvious
From their demeanor..

ON FRIENDSHIP & ENMITY

There is a truth in the maxim, ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed’. A good and a trustworthy friend is the one who can be relied on in thick and thin for anything whenever there is a need for the same. Friendship is based on amity, harmony in relationship, purity of mind, steadfast in support to the friend in need besides straightforwardness are their forte. Good friends do not hide anything and truthfulness is their credo (in actual practice real friends do not hide anything). Furthermore, friendship is based on purity of relationship, humility, modesty, sincerity, honesty, forgetting and forgiving whenever there are differences in perception besides absence of narcissism in the relationship. For the friendship to be more enduring or durable with sufficient warmth and understanding, it is necessary that true friends solve each other’s problems amicably. But care should be exercised that in all these, neither self-centeredness nor selfish attitude should come in the way.

A TRUE FRIEND OFFERS HEALTHY CRITICISM WHEN NEEDED

A true friend without hesitation offers healthy criticism whenever there is a need for the same on finding something irrational or unethical in the personal relationship which may adversely impact the friendship. Along with this, true friend also is aware of potentials and weaker areas and helps in bridging the gap or removing the weaker areas completely and have full cooperation and understanding of each other’s point of views. Differences, if any, should be settled with mutual discussions and on the basis of give and take.

SHARING AND CARING FOR EACH OTHER

For friendship to be on a stronger footing, it is worth mentioning that we should share anything which is worth sharing lest our friend should come to know about the event from others which is against the trust reposed. If such a thing happens, then that friend of ours may also hide things from us and that would be a starting point in cooling a relationship. As cementing factor of our relationship is based on truth and openness, it is in the fitness of things not to allow suspicion to take roots. Furthermore, the cornerstone for any friendship to be lasting, of necessity, friends should remove all the pin-pricks which may arise from time to time. Essentially, as the friendship is based on emotional-bonds, therefore, nothing should be done to break this emotional-bond which is mutually beneficial for each other. Trust, once compromised or broken, cannot be retrieved so easily.

FRIENDSHIP TURNS INTO ENMITY WHEN EMOTIONAL BOND IS BROKEN

Furthermore, it is also significant to note that if the emotional bond is broken, friendship loses its sheen and purpose for which friendship is established gets broken. If this happens then even the bosom friend may turn into a sworn enemy and the resultant animosity would be huge and may become dangerous since each of the ex-friend knows each other’s secrets. It has been observed that coolness in relationship impacts day to day behavior pattern and attitude towards each other. There is nothing rosy in the friendship – laced in sweetener outside but bitterest from inside.


The following are the reasons for a even a bosom friendship turning into enmity:-

Trust Deficit. One of the foremost reason for friendship turning into enmity is when trust is at stake.
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When each does not respect other. If one friend pays respect other and the other does not respond in equal measure then friendship does not last long.

When Reciprocal Principle Fails. Reciprocity is one of the significant pillars of friendship. In other words, friendship is a two way traffic. If it were one way, then, friendship cannot last for long.

• Three Ws (Wine, Wife and wealth) Create suspicion in friendship. It has been observed that lust for anything proves counter-productive for establishment of friendship on solid footings.

Deception. If and when a person outwardly showcases something else and in his/her mind the person concerned has something hideous and strikes on getting chance. All negative traits put together can impact friendship in the final analysis for good.

ENMITY – A FEELING OF HATRED OR ANIMOSITY

Enmity means a feeling of hatred for others. This hatred or animosity for others is partly due to our intolerant attitude toward others and partly due to others negative characteristics, habits and behavior patterns. Reasons may be any for cultivating enmity, but, the consequences of having enmity with others is always counter-productive.

The enmity of Kauravas and Pandavas was basically due to lust for power and position, anger, greed for wealth, rancor and all the negative traits put together. Here Pandavas personified goodness, tolerance, patience and all the good traits put together (the traits of a good relative or friend). Prince Dharyodhna, his brothers and most cunning Mama Shakuni who with his ill-intention did everything possible to create dissension between Pandavas and Kauravas. The festering enmity between the two families which resulted in Kurukshetra battle where Kauravas lost their everything. This battle was in fact fought for preservation of truth and elimination of evil.

A person who insults others at every given opportunity, place and condition earns for himself enemies around. Such a person sows the seeds of discord between his own colleagues by resorting to his negative traits. These negative characteristics are back-biting, use of abusive language, not being true to his words, being unfaithful, distrustful, showcasing of insecurity in behavior along with negative attitude and habit.

A hostile person, with his acts of omissions and commissions not only harms others but also earns for himself psychological related ailments. Fact remains, a person with negative mindset is impure of mind with fears of all sorts remain haunting him, does not have control over his senses besides he always exhibits his ill-gotten position and status to influence others. Inwardly specter of fear keeps haunting him due to which he loses self-confidence and self-esteem compelling him to behave irrationally to prove his point. Though outwardly, he shows that he is in total control of situation and condition.
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Yesterday, I got proof of hideous and malafide intention of one of the employees of our organization when a colleague of mine used insulting and offensive tone when I enquired about the official work he was assigned. Instead of explaining why he was not able to perform his job assigned, he resorted to use of foul language with loud tone and tenor to hide the true reason, why he was not able to perform his job? Although all this happened in front of all the employees still I remained cool but in my place, if somebody else would have been there, then situation coul have turned worst. It goes to prove that if we remain calm and composed while facing some bully, we can avoid creating situation turning unpleasant and creating enemies in the bargain. Choice is ours – we want more friends or more enemies. Tolerance, patience and keeping silent saves situation to turn uglier, earns for us friends as a reward but intolerance and impatience create enemies for us who may prove very harmful in the long run. This also proves that those who are equipoised or balanced both in honour and dishonor earn for themselves favourable association as friends. The said employee have earned for himself so many enemies with his ill-conceived and irrational behavior including his outbursts at every given opportunity.

Those, who are alike to friend and foe, equapoised in honor and dishonor, cold and heat, joy and sorrow, and are free from all unfavorable association; those who take praise and reproach alike, who are given to silent contemplation, content with what comes their way, without attachment to the place of residence, whose intellect is firmly fixed in Me, and who are full of devotion to Me, such persons are very dear to Me.

HOSTILITY, HATE, ANTAGONISM, ILL-FEELING OR BAD FEELING
,
The hostility that is generated in the mind of our friends and others is due to perception problems, fear psychosis, feeling of sense of betrayal, jealousy based on competition, bullying tactics, showcase of passive aggression to put others in defensive mode, focusing on weakness of the person concerned to tarnish the image, show selfishness openly, backstabbing others by back-biting just to make others socially down, giving no credence to others for their successes rather not mentioning their upward movements, hurl lies at any time for personal gains, talking about the negative things only. Insensitive about the needs of others, creating scare in opposition camp, creating inferiority complex by hurling abusive language even, bullying to bring home the point of view, show no ill-feeling on the surface and secretly working against the interests of others, makes you in angry mood so that you are not able to think rationally, acting like wolf in the lion’s clothing, backstabber and backbiter,

ON CHARITY


ON CHARITY

ADVERSE EFFECTS OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC

As has been observed, human civilization has been passing through intellectual and civilizational change. Most of the people want ‘maximum’ for the ‘maximum number of people’. However, these ambitious plans have been put paid by the downward spiral of economic development caused by Coronavirus pandemic. We all are aware how the  LOCKDOWNS and resultant business and job losses have impacted the general masses globally. These job losses have caused irreparable damage to the social fabric of most of the societies. Though Government has decided to distribute free ration to the people living below poverty line besides certain other steps are taken to alleviate the condition and remove social and economic disparities yet it will take more time for the economic health to be restored fully. Despite all the steps to retrieve the situation, there are still socio-economic inequalities. With uncontrolled unemployment due to job losses, the conditions of the general masses have worsened. In this, the middle class is worst hit. They are the ones who have to shell out taxes on their income, manage their household expenditure besides sundry expenditures to sustain their existence. Therefore, the need of the hour is to provide succor to the needy and take them along. How best we can retrieve the situation is a moot point. In order to ameliorate the condition of the poor,   contributions and donations by the ones who have resources is also a need of the hour. In Holy Quran it has been mentioned: And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

NEED FOR CHARITY/DONATION

Charity or donation should be given by a person who is able to donate from his earnest earnings. A charity given from the ill-gotten affluence will not bring about Karmic credit to the doner. For charity to be credible, pure intention to donate from the legitimately and earnestly earned income will bring addition in Karmic credit account. In Bible it has been very rightly mentioned: And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

CHARTY TO ADD TO OUR KARMIC CREDIT ACCOUNT

It has also been observed that it is not that a person with huge reserve of wealth can donate or give money in charity but a person with large heart with warm feelings for others can also donate in charity even from the paltry resources he/she is having. We accrue more reward in the form of addition in Karmic credit account if we part with what we have with us. It would be relevant to make mention about a employee of our organization. His name is Mr. Arvinder Singh, who donates partly to the daily Langar (Joint Kitchen) organized by the Sikh Gurdwara and partly meets the fees of those school children who due to their hard financial straits cannot pay the school fees but are proficient in their studies. He has set an example for others to follow that it is not the economic affluence by which one can make charities but expansiveness of heart too which counts too. Many of the people have taken cue from his large-heartedness and started giving money in charity for the needy ones.

TO WHOM TO GIVE IN CHARITY?

It is also worthwhile to note; when donating in charity we should know to whom you are giving our hard earned resources. Firstly, he/she should be the right person to donate and secondly the time of donation should be appropriate. Suppose there is an accident and money is required instantly to meet the hospital bills and the concerned person is not having even a penny. Then, it is a most appropriate time. Thirdly, the place where the charity has to be made is also taken into account. If we donate in charity just to showcase your status and position in public place then that donation will not earn you any Karmic Credit. It would be a futile exercise, an exercise done with passion. Fourthly, an intention to donate should originate instantly after seeing somebody in distress. There should not be any reluctance or dilly-dallying about meeting somebody emergent need. Fifthly, and most important one at that, we should not hope or expect anything in return from the charity we have made to that person. It is better if that person is worthy of your assistance and also a rank stranger.

For the charity to be of any substance, we should follow the guidance given in Bhagward Gita. Charity given to a worthy person simply because it is right to give, without consideration of anything in return, at the proper time and in the proper place, is stated to be in the mode of goodness. Then; the charity given in reluctance with the hope to get something in return or in expectation of reward is said to be in the mode of passion.

In Guru Granth Sahib Ji vide its Shabad, the Guru Guru Sahib has highlighted the significance of charity. He has compared Truth and Charity as His white clothes. In the Guru Granth Sahib the five traits are considered as important ones. It is also relevant to say that all the charities should be made in the name of God without witch where is no benefit of charity so given.

These five traits are:-

  • Truthfulness.
  • Honest Living.
  • Goodwill to all.
  • Praise of Lord.
  • Charity in the name of God.

The Ramayan states this too:

  • It reduces the attachment with the material possessions. When we do not have much attachment with the material wealth, then, if we lose material possessions, we shall remain balanced thus bring in its wake good health and wellness.
  • It inculcates a feeling of service (Seva). This service without any expectation is one of the best Karma Yoga that a Yogi performs.
  • It expands the heart – by enhancing our compassion and empathy for the needy ones.

The Skandh Purāna states the following:-

  • From the earning we have earned by earnest means, we should give one-tenth in charity.
  • We should dedicate our charity for the pleasure of God.

Lord Krishna has very rightly asserted in Bhagwad Gita: When charity is given freely from the heart to worthy recipients, at the proper time and at the appropriate place, it is considered to be in the mode of goodness.