Non-violence is the highest virtue according to Hindu scriptures. It has to
be both mental and physical. It is difficult to live without harming or hurting
others, which includes plants, animals and other creatures. The Bhagavadgita
is essentially a response to the moral dilemma one experiences when one's duty
calls for acts of violence. Is it proper? Is it justified? Yes, says the scripture
when you do it in with a specific attitude and for certain valid reasons.
The Chief Justice said today, "It is not our job to protect the people from
the consequences of their political choices.” In short he said it is people's
karma. They must reap the consequences of what they choose.
We are prisoners of the things we seek. We are bound by the things we love
and hate. Until you cut off the bonds, you are chained to the world and its
influences - The Bhagavadgita Complete Translation by
You are where your mind is, to what it is drawn and where it would like to
dwell. You become divine when you stabilize it in divine thoughts. -
Remembering your divine nature, that you are an aspect of Brahman Himself,
and focusing on that spark of thought as frequently as possible is a kind of
worship in itself. It is more effective in your transformation than reading
the scriptures and visiting the temples.
Not losing hope in adversity, humility in prosperity, gratitude in happiness,
courage in pursuit of your dreams and compassion in your dealings with others,
you can bring peace and balance into your life.
Many people assume that pure devotion is sufficient to reach the world of Brahman;
but pure devotion does not arise in one’s mind and heart, unless sattva becomes
predominant and the intelligence (buddhi) is suffused with the brilliance of
Svadhyaya means self-study. It is an important aspect of kriya yoga (YS 2.1)
and one of the five niyamas listed by Patanjali in the Yogasutras (YS 2.32).
Vyasa, one of the traditional commentators of the Yogasutras, defined svadhyaya
as the study of scriptures and relentless practice of japa or chanting of Aum
or specific mantras.
The sky is an illusion because it is not just above us. It is here, there and
everywhere, even inside of you and in every part of you. Yet we habitually
look upwards when we want to see the sky, just as we mentally look heavenwards
when we think of God.
The first step to practicing renunciation and detachment is to cultivate a
flexible mind. Flexibility is not permissiveness. Flexibility means to remain
the same. A spiritual practitioner who is flexible remains on the right side
of things without being judgmental about those that are not. He remains equal
to the dualities of life, while himself practicing yamas and niyamas. It is
like having the heart of a yogi but having the willingness to work in a butcher's
shop as part of one's duty, and still following a strict vegetarian diet.
Rigidity is a sign of attachment and egoism. To be free you must be willing
to flow freely, with the suppleness of a river, without fear or hesitation,
taking plunges where circumstances demand down the valleys and deep gorges
that come your way along the course that leads to the shores of knowledge.
The test of any religion is who practice it and what character and values it
inculcates among its practitioners.
The Bhagavadgita teaches you how to experience real freedom in life through
The religion of the good and the pious is universal. You will find its wisdom
in all the major scriptures of the world religions.
All the answers to all the problems are inside you. They become self-evident
to the extent you extend yourself into the universal mind by removing the barriers
and the impurities that stand in between.
What nature gives you is your fate; what you make out of it is your destiny.
Renunciation is not a negation of life. It is not some morose and lifeless
experience meant for some reclusive people who want to numb their feelings
or harden their hearts because they want to escape from life. Renunciation
is basically a mental practice, which protects you from growing roots into
your own thinking. It is an attitude of staying free mentally from the things
that make you a prisoner of your own mind. Renunciation helps you to remain
light and nimble and live freely in the midst of duties and responsibilities.
It is the best way to keep your mind and heart free and open to the endless
possibilities of life, without fear, guilt, anxiety and uncertainty.
In your quest for the Self, start with the simple assertion that "You, (the
seeing, enjoying and experiencing one), are the Self." That is the starting
point, which Prajapati taught to both Indra among the gods and Virocana among
the demons. Then go on to understand what is that You, where it is located,
what it means, whether it is real and whether you can stay in that in the midst
of life and its distractions. That is all there is to know about the Self,
to be the Self and to arrive at truth.
Truly speaking, Karma is not a mechanism of punishment, but a way of bringing
you in harmony with the universe. If your actions create confusion, disorder,
fear or terror in the world, be assured that such actions will lead you to
the darkest hells, because that is where you find your harmony with the universe.
A snake is safe and comfortable in its little underground hole. A scholar is
comfortable in the company of enlightened minds. Gods are comfortable in heaven,
and the demons in their hells. Nature does its best to sort things out and
put them in their respective categories. Thus through thoughts and actions
you send out a message to the universe what suits you most and the universe
willingly lends you a helping hand in getting you what you want. - (From the
forthcoming book Selected Upanishads).
What limits you is the boundary your draw around yourself mentally. For some
it is the body and for some it is the self-image. Most try to expand it by
extending their senses, knowledge, power and influence. Only at the end of
a long effort you realize that true freedom comes not by extending it with
material means but by shrinking it and erasing it through spiritual practice.
If God does not make sense to you, look for the highest and the best in you
and focus upon that. Take refuge in that and let it manifest your life and
Try to excel in whatever you do, with what you have and what you can, without
being egoistic and vain, not to impress others, not to derive pride, but as
a way of life and self-expression. Let that be your goal, your standard, your
religion and philosophy.
The most precious wealth is the wealth that you store in your mind and use
abundantly for your own good and for the good of others.