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The Goal of Human Life

December 30, 2013

The Goal of Human Life

“Lord Brahma said: My dear demigods, the human form of life is of such importance that we also desire to have such life, for in the human form one can attain perfect religious truth and knowledge. If one in the human form of life does not understand the Supreme personality of Godhead and His abode, it is to be understood that he is very much attached by the influence of external nature.” – Srimad Bhaagavatam 3.15.24

Suta Goswami said: “Life’s desires should never be directed towards sense gratification. One should desire only a healthy life or self-preservation, since a human being is meant for inquiring about the Absolute Truth. Nothing else should be the goal of one’s works.” – Srimad Bhaagavatam 1.2.10

“Suta Goswami said: O best among the twice-born, it is therefore concluded that the highest perfection one can achieve by discharging the duties prescribed by one’s own occupation according to caste divisions and orders of life is to please the Personality of Godhead.” – Srimad Bhaagavatam 1.2.13

“Svayambhuva Manu said: My dear Dhruva, please surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead who is the ultimate goal of the progress of the world. – Srimad Bhaagavatam 4.11.27

“When Maharaja Pruthu became completely free from the conception of bodily life, he realized Lord Krishna sitting in everyone’s heart as the Paramatma. .. He (Pruthu) thoroughly realized that devotional service to Krishna is the ultimate goal of life.” – Srimad Bhaagavatam 4.23-12

“ .. One must render service unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead in one’s heart by His omnipotence. Because He is the ultimate goal of life, and by worshipping Him one can end the cause of conditioned state of existence.” – Srimad Bhaagavatam 2.2.6

Evidences of Reincarnation

December 28, 2013

Evidences of Reincarnation

Videos







http://www.deccanchronicle.com/140521/lifestyle-offbeat/article/3-yr-old-recalls-past-life-murder-identifies-killer-and-locates-his

The most famous case of past life regression through hypnosis is that of Ruth Simmons. In 1952, her therapist, Morey Bernstein, took her back past the point of her birth. Suddenly, Ruth began to speak with an Irish accent and claimed that her name was Bridey Murphy, who lived in 19th century Belfast, Ireland. Ruth recalled many details of her life as Bridey, but, unfortunately, attempts to find out if Ms. Murphy really existed were unsuccessful. There was, however, some indirect evidence for the truth of her story: under hypnosis, Bridey mentioned the names of two grocers in Belfast from whom she bought food, Mr. Farr and John Carrigan. A Belfast librarian found a city directory for 1865-1866 that listed both men as grocers. Her story was told both in a book by Bernstein and in a 1956 movie, The Search for Bridey Murphy.
Source: http://paranormal.about.com/cs/reincarnation/a/aa081103.htm
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Past life recalled – stories
http://paranormal.about.com/od/reincarnation/a/The-Mystery-Of-Past-Life-Recall.htm
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The reincarnation-past life research of Ian Stevenson, MD, of the University of Virginia, provides evidence and proof of reincarnation. Dr. Stevenson’s academic work is presented on the IISIS web site as reincarnation or past life stories. Reincarnation cases are categorized by: Principles of Reincarnation
http://www.iisis.net/index.php?page=reincarnation-past-lives-evidence-case-studies&hl=en_US
==

Religions Evaluated based on Universal Criteria

December 26, 2013

Evaluation of Religions

UNM Students’ Questions -Yogi’s Answers

December 21, 2013

UNM Students’ Questions

Yogi’s Answers

 1. When did people start practicing Hinduism?

            A. From the beginning of creation.  The concept or theory that man was uncultured animalistic meat eater cave dweller in the beginning is not supported by the Vedas. The Vedic civilization was highly advanced spiritually, materially, and technologically.

 2. How did the idea of rta develop?

A. rta means The Truth, or the living style based on the spiritual truths. The Vedas, and its summary Bhagavad Gita says the spiritual science or how to live accordingly to it is given by God – Krishna Himself in the beginning of creation to mankind. The Vedics do not accept man-made religions or ideologies simply because man is not perfect and selfless.

What is the basis of the moral code?

A. Dharma. Dharma has four legs- pillars to stand on (exist): truth, austerity or penance, mercy (compassion), and  external and internal cleanliness.

3. What is the reason behind reincarnation? 

            A.  The cause is you reap what you saw. For every action there is reaction. Our identity is the soul within the body, and soul is eternal. So, it takes one body after another depending upon one’s karma and desires. God love all, and provides one suitable body by which one can enjoy what one desires.

Why do you believe that happens?

A. Why should one not believe it?  There is plenty of evidence to support it.

4. What is the purpose of practicing yoga?

A. To advance spiritually, experience lasting happiness – bliss, and realize God, or go to His kingdom and live with Him, and serve Him. This frees one from the cycles of births and deaths.

5. When rituals or yoga are practiced, is it done in certain places, or anywhere?

A. Dhyan yoga should be practiced in seclusion.

Karma yoga is practiced each moment of life.

Bhakti yoga can be practiced alone or in group joyfully

Gyan yoga and all yogas are practiced preferably in clean places.

No need to practice a yoga while evacuating or urinating, or doing adharma (unrighteous or sinful acts).

6. How were the four aims of life discerned?

A. The four aims of human life were given by God Himself in the beginning to mankind. No one can fall spiritually by pursuing these aims as given in the Vedas or Gita. 

7. How does someone know if the four aims of life have been achieved?

A. One has to learn dharma up to 25 years. Then one earns one’s living by staying within dharma, and enjoy with the senses but within the limits as provided in dharma. Then living so, one qualifies for moksha or freedom from birth-death cycles. How one lived gives clues if one really will get moksha, but it is not verifiable, except by highly advanced yogis.

8. Is it hard to do traditional practices in the modern world?

A. No, not for a serious saadhak (aspirant).  Besides why expect most valuable result with easy convenient practice?  Nothing comes free.  However, in the current Kali millennium Bhakti yoga is easy, all can do it.

Besides, the progress of the world or mankind has to be measured by its spiritual advancement or fall, not by its technological gadgets, or great feats like going to the moon or mars.

9. How are Hindu traditions practiced differently in modern times from ancient?

A. The essence has not changed. Outlook may have changed. Read Srimad Bhagavatam PuraaNa for Vedic stories/histories.

10. Does cosmological speculation directly relate to religious practice?

A. Question not clear to me.  For different planetary positions or seasons, the Vedic culture have specific activities in harmony with nature.

11. How did cows progress from sacrificed to sacred?

A. Cow did not progress, cow eaters fell from high spiritual dharmic level when they began eating cows. Cows are considered sacred in the Vedas. There is rationale for it.  No one can be considered a Vedic if one eats cow.

12. How did you become a Hindu? 

            A. I am born in a Vedic family.

Why not convert to a different religion?

A. I (all the Vedics) have that freedom, but I cannot find a good reason for it. I have 3-4 versions of Bible at home.  In contrast, how many Christians have a Gita copy at home, or if they ever touched or seen it?  I have had lengthy lengthily rational friendly discussions with friends who worried that I will go to hell. They could not convince me to accept Christianity. Nor they could provide me rational answers to my questions. 

Would you ever consider converting to another religion?

A.  I need to be convinced that another religion is better. There is universal criteria for comparing religions. I could share it if interested. Is it not strange that there are armies of missionaries out to convert the Vedics who have no interest, never had or will be, to convert others?

13. Is your religion controversial on the base? 

A.  No. Controversy arises out of ignorance or lack of correct understanding, or greed or different preferences or agendas. Besides, Vedic dharma is universal for mankind. I just have chosen to live per it. If one has doubts, one has to approach a bonafide dharma guru to remove them.  It is not good to live in doubts, says Gita/Krishna. The seekers of the truth (especially the spiritual truths) cannot live in doubt.

 

An Open Letter to Pope Francis

December 18, 2013

Maria Wirth < > wrote:

Seeing so many new churches in southern India I got the idea to write an open letter to Pope Francis. It is on my blog and on several Indian websites. Please see, I feel it is clear and even the Pope might have to agree.

– Maria Wirth

Open Letter to Pope Francis

 Respected Holy Father,

Great hope for a positive change in the Catholic Church is pinned on the Your Pontificate and recent statements indicate that this hope may not be misplaced. The future, your Holiness said in November 2013, is in the respectful coexistence of diversity and in the fundamental right to religious freedom in all its dimensions, and not in muting the different voices of religion.

This statement makes eminent sense and would need to be implemented by all who presently do not subscribe to a respectful coexistence of diversity in regard to religions. However, I sense (wrongly maybe) that it is a plea for other religions to respect Christianity, rather than a commitment by the Church to respect other religions. To be precise, since Christians are occasionally persecuted in Islamic countries, it seems to be an appeal to ‘live and let live’ between the two biggest religions on earth.

Your Holiness is aware that both, Christianity and Islam, claim to be the only true religion and their God, respectively Allah alone is true. Both religions further hold that all people on earth have to accept this claim and join their particular religion to be saved and reach heaven or paradise. Both give a serious warning to those who don’t join: they will land up eternally in hell. These claims of exclusiveness are made without any evidence whatsoever, apart from the fact that the claims contradict each other, as both cannot be true. They require blind belief, and as blind, unreasonable belief is not natural for human beings, for many centuries it was enforced with state power and indoctrinated right from childhood with the fear of hell as the boogeyman.

May I ask Your Holiness to ponder how the respectful coexistence of diversity and the fundamental right to religious freedom is possible as long as these claims of exclusiveness are in place? Were these claims originally made to gain political power or were they made in the interest of the spiritual welfare of humanity? And may I also ask whether Your Holiness personally believes in these claims?

I trust that privately, Your Holiness does not believe in them, as media reported your statement that good atheists also will be redeemed. In other words, they won’t go automatically to hell. However, the Vatican took pains to clarify that Your Holiness did not mean it. Even my mother, 95 and a staunch Catholic all her life, expressed dismay that a perfectly sensible statement by the Pope was watered down.

Your Holiness may feel compelled for worldly reasons to stick to the claim of exclusiveness as dropping it would entail wrapping up all conversion attempts and in the process lose power, wealth and influence. Further there may be fear that other Christian denominations will not go along and will gain an advantage over the Catholic Church. Still another worry may be that Islam will not drop the claim of exclusiveness and will push aggressively for conversion.

However, the Catholic Church was the first institution to put up this baseless claim, which has brought unspeakable disaster upon humankind. From this claim the Church derived not only the ‘right’, but the ‘duty’ to storm across the globe and impose forcefully her ‘belief system’ – in Europe, in the Americas and in Africa and now in Asia. It was no doubt an ingenious ploy to claim that God wants everyone to become Christian. . Mark Twain famously said, “Religion was born when the first con-man met the first fool”. I would change it, “Dogmatic religion was born when ….”.

Some centuries later, Islam followed suit, claiming that Allah wants everyone to accept Islam, and we all know the violent conflicts resulting from those unsubstantiated claims. Since the Catholic Church started this disastrous trend, she needs to reverse it. The welfare of humanity as a whole has to be the concern and not the welfare of a religious institution. Hopefully Your Holiness has the courage to make a real, clear change for the better and will not fall for hairsplitting theological arguments, like ‘redemption is possible but not salvation’, etc.

Most Christians especially in Europe don’t believe anymore in unreasonable claims. The sad thing is that together with the dogmas, many reject belief in God altogether. They have not learnt to listen to their conscience and to enquire into truth, as the Church has played the role of the conscience- and truth-keeper for too long. The consequences for our societies are there for everyone to see.

However, many Christians do start pondering and believe in a ‘great power’, but not in the Christian God. For example, when I asked some fifty Christians in Germany whether they believe that Hindus who heard about Jesus Christ, but do not convert; will go to hell, nobody said yes. Even a priest said no. And not a single German I met was in favor of missionary activity in India. Yet Pope John Paul II declared in India the intention of the Church to plant the cross in Asia in the new millennium and considered India as a field for a rich harvest, which goes completely against ‘respectful coexistence’.

I live in India since 33 years and can assert with full confidence that India has no need of Christian missionaries, and yet huge sums of money are being pumped in to lure converts with material benefits and to build churches. I am aware that Your Holiness is responsible only for Catholics and not for the myriad of other Christian denominations that prey on poor Hindus, but if the Catholic Church made a start of truly respecting Hindus, it would have a big impact.

Maybe Your Holiness is under the impression that Hinduism is a depraved religion and Hindus would do well to accept the Christian God instead of their multiple gods. Such an impression would be completely wrong. There is no other religion that is –unjustly – denigrated as badly as Hinduism. Sorry to say that Christian (including Catholic) missionaries are in the forefront of this vilification campaign. Few people in the west know how profound India’s ancient tradition is. A solid philosophical basis for our existence and helpful tenets for a fulfilling, meaningful life had been known in India long before ‘religions’, as we know them today, came into being. The only addition Christianity brought in anew, are unverifiable dogmas that cannot possibly have a bearing on the absolute Truth. Can an event in history impact the absolute Truth? Will Truth make a distinction between people who are baptized and those who are not? “There is no salvation outside the Church” is, and I may be excused for using strong language, ridiculous.

The Indian rishis had discovered ages ago that an all-pervading Presence is at the core of this universe, indescribable, but best described as absolute consciousness. Further, the Hindu law of karma preceded the Christian dictum “as you sow so you reap’. A Council stopped Christians from believing in rebirth which would explain many riddles that trouble them, for example why there is great injustice already at birth? The advantage of having a perfect person as a friend and guide on the spiritual path was known in India, but till some 2000 years ago nobody claimed that ‘only’ Krishna or ‘only’ Ram or ‘only’ Buddha can lead to salvation and that whoever does not believe it goes to hell. “Truth is One, the wise call it by many names”, the Indian rishis declared and listed different names of gods. That was at a time, when Christianity was nowhere in sight. Surely they would have included ‘God’ as another name and Jesus as an avatar, not expecting to be backstabbed by followers of “God” declaring: “Truth is one and must be called only by one name and is fully revealed only in one book.”

The multiple gods in Hinduism are personified powers that help to access the formless, nameless Presence that is in all of us. Christians in India are told that Hindu gods are devils. At the same time, Christianity tries to revive (possibly inspired by Hinduism) belief in angels, as devotion for the Invisible is easier by focusing on images.

Hinduism is not a belief system. It is a knowledge system. It is a genuine enquiry into what is true about us and the world. Hindus are not required to believe anything that does not make sense and can never be verified. There is complete freedom. Yes, most believe in rebirth, which makes sense. Most believe in an all pervading Brahman (many other names are in use) that is also in humans. Most believe that this divine essence can be experienced in oneself, if the person purifies herself by certain disciplines coupled with devotion. This belief is verifiable. It is not blind. There were many Rishis who realized their oneness with Brahman. In Christianity, too, there were mystics who experienced oneness with the Divine like Meister Eckhart did. Sadly, he was excommunicated by the Church. Why is the Church resisting scientific insight that there is some mystery essence in everything? And why is it difficult to accept that in the long, long history of humanity, there were several, not only one, outstanding personalities who showed the way to the truth?

Holy Father, I request you in all sincerity to be such an outstanding personality who guides his followers on a path of expansion, and does not strait-jacket them into an unbelievable belief system, which among others demands converting Hindus to Christianity. Your Holiness is venerated as the representative of the Highest Power in this universe by over a billion of Catholics. Many of your predecessors were not worthy of this veneration. Utmost truthfulness and integrity are required. Calculations about worldly power must not come in the way. The Catholic Church surely would benefit, not lose out, if it honors Truth and gives up its claim that there is no salvation outside the Church. Truth cannot be cheated; neither can it be contained in a book. Truth is what we basically are. Hindus, whose religion is universal and all-encompassing, respect diverse traditions. They are one of the most cultured, gentle and peace-loving people on earth who live and let live, unless greatly provoked.

Holy Father, if you are serious about respecting other religions, the claim of exclusiveness must be scrapped; and Hindus who have given to the world a deep philosophy and a great culture must be respected. Many of us look forward to hearing truly good news from the Catholic Church under your stewardship. The main issue that plagues the Church is not whether women should be priests or whether divorcees can take Holy Communion .The main issue is the unfounded claim of exclusiveness regarding ‘salvation’. It divides humanity into us who are right and saved, versus them who are wrong and damned. Kindly drop this harmful claim and make your Pontificate truly memorable and beneficial for all humanity.

Yours Sincerely

Maria Wirth

Posted as registered letter to Pope Francis on 10th December 2013 from Puducherry, India

http://mariawirthblog.wordpress.com/

 

Why I Chose Vedic (Hindu) Dharma

December 14, 2013

From: Agniveer < >

Namaste

(Note – Some lines in italics and parenthesis are added by Skanda987.)

Please read the latest part of the path-breaking series that brought several Muslims, Christians and Hindus into the Vedic fold. Please read, circulate and promote Vedas – only option for a universal religion.

http://agniveer.com/why-i-love-vedas-part-2/

“Excerpt: 

You cannot become Muslim and Christian at same time because Islam says God has no son, and Christianity says God has no prophets. And both say that unless you believe in their respective faith alone, you will burn in Hell. So it becomes a game of toss. It is like having two pistols over face. Heads – Islamic Allah shoots you. Tails – Christian God shoots you. And you don’t know which pistol is empty.

But Vedas simply have one agenda for all humans – “Be Humans” (Manurbhava) (Note – The Vedic dharma, however, is not atheist humanism. It is universal religion for mankind. – Skanda987) So technically there is no compulsory specific verse to agree to, when one resolves to follow Vedas. You just need to resolve to be honest and humane (and seeker of the truth, especially the spiritual truth. A Vedic strives to live by these Vedic truths. – Skanda987.)

17. Because Vedas ask us to be tolerant of others (but not the intolerant persons) just as we tolerate our own weaknesses.

So even if we differ from others in views, Vedas urge us to strive for unity and brotherhood. Vedas say that in world there would always be a variety of languages, customs, social norms, ideologies and cultures. But we should seek unity despite that on basis of the divinity that powers all living beings.

Many cults claim to have monopoly over truth and have punishments for those who refuse to believe in these claims of truth. As per Vedas, these are ways of insane. Because no law will force you to follow the law. E=mc2 is law of relativity. But Einstein’s research does not say that if you don’t believe in this formula, you will be killed. Law will simply hold true irrespective of whether one believes or not. So instead of issuing a fatwa on E=mc2, sensible scientists would try to teach relativity to deserving students so that they understand themselves and even question or improve upon the law with a better version. And if there is a genius, he can even reject the law in favor of something more complete. This is the way of Vedas.

18. Because God of Vedas does not sit on a chair on top of the sky.

Since earth is round in Vedas, this concept of 4th or 7th sky or top of sky is irrelevant as per Vedas. Instead God of Vedas refers to the source that empowers all living beings and ensures that they interact with material world as per unchangeable laws. God of Vedas does not twist its laws or show miracles or get angry or sleep or keep an army or court of angels and prophets or grant special favors to anyone. God of Vedas is present everywhere, within and outside us, unchangeable, undying, unborn, impersonal and a consistent law-keeper.

In fact the (the concept of God as) Ishwar or Paramatma of Vedas is a completely different entity from the (the concept of) God in other later era religious books. The similar usage of words is a cause of confusion. Being so, all religions are not same.

19. Because earth moves round the sun in (per the) Vedas

unlike many medieval texts. Earth is not flat in Vedas. Moving a metal wire between magnetic poles generate electricity in Vedas. Gravitational and electrical forces follow inverse square law in Vedas. Orbits of planets are elliptical in Vedas. Binary logic can lead to advanced automated calculation mechanisms as per Vedas.

I am yet to see a religious book apart from Vedic university that is so scientific. All I know is that till recent, some religious cults punished belief in these scientific facts as blasphemy.

But Vedas clearly encourage such blasphemy and going against the trend.

20. Because there is no death sentence for insulting Vedas or any Vedic role model.

Idol worshipers are okay per the Vedas. They, however, are considered worst of creatures by certain cults that harbor terrorism. The Vedas do not consider them stone worshipers.

21. Because all religions have complete freedom to propagate their faiths, but without threats as per Vedas (No one has right to force religion on others. –Skanda987)

Vedas say: Hindu, Muslim, Christian – I don’t care. Simply Be Human (the know the spiritual science as is provided in the Vedas and live accordingly.)

22. Because Vedas ask us to destroy those fanatics who nurture hatred against those who do not follow their faiths.

Anyone who believes that non-believers must be discriminated in any manner is a potential enemy of humanity. Such elements must be purged out of society (or such intolerant ideology must be purged out of the nation, especially the Vedic nation) so that pluralism (as described by the Vedas) is protected.

23. Because Vedas are against polygamy. One man – one woman is the way of Vedas.

The belief that polygamy is divine right of man is “sick” as per Vedas. It is at best a social evil that must be completely eliminated.

24. Because Vedas are against divorcing wife simply by uttering or speaking a word three times.

There can be no difference in marital rights of man and woman as per Vedas. Husband cannot beat the wife. No one can keep concubines or slaves. Property rights are same for both genders. Child marriage is wrong as per Vedas. Widow remarriage is encouraged.

25. Because women in Vedas are free to be doctors, engineers, artists, businesswomen, soldiers, politicians, state-heads, priests, teachers or drivers.

There are no divine prohibitions on career paths of women.

26. Because women in Vedas need not damage their bodies due to lack of Vitamin D caused by staying indoors and covering themselves totally in curtains.

They are free to choose any sensible decent dress without jeopardizing their freedom, health and comfort or requiring approval from some religious agent.

27. Because punishment for rape is death sentence as per Vedas, irrespective of age of culprit.

No illiterate Mohd. Afroz (main accused of Delhi rape case) can go scot-free after raping and murdering a Damini just because his fake school record claims him to be 5 months less than 18 years during his ghastly crime.

28. Because Vedas form foundations of marvelous texts like Bhagvad Gita, Yog Darshan and Upanishads.

Of all the books I have ever read, nothing matches these classics in inspiration, insights, purpose and value-enhancement.

29. Because recitation of Vedic mantras can bring psychological and physiological healing.

Vedic mantras are extremely powerful rejuvenation pills.

30. Because Vedas urge us to live in harmony with nature.

The concept of Vedas is to give as much back to world as much you take it. By our mere existence, we pollute the world. Hence it becomes a supreme duty to take proactive efforts for protecting the environment. Vedas are the first and most vocal advocates of green-technology and “Save Environment” mission. (None of the Vedic practice causes environmental harm to the planet. –Skanda987)

31. Because I cannot be a Christian if I refuse to believe in Jesus. Because I cannot be a Muslim if I refuse to believe in Prophets.

In fact irrespective of my good deeds, I would be forever punished by God for my refusal to believe. Forget God, even in this world, I may be beheaded for blasphemy. If I escape official punishment because of secular laws in that country, still I may be killed by some fanatic. And then that fanatic would be hailed as ‘great’ for killing an ‘enemy’ of religion.

The only option for a rational spiritual person is Vedas – no threats, no punishments, no mandatory beliefs checklist. Only universalism and freedom to have a customized philosophy of life.

32. Because there is no conversion agenda in Vedas.

The Pope says that he aspires all people in world to become Christians. All Christian missionaries indulge in social activities with this open agenda. Zakir Naik says that a Muslim cannot get into Heaven until he has converted other people in Islam. These agents of these medieval religions want to divide world in believers and non-believers and want to reduce population of non-believers – through deceit, war, terror or bribe. They demand hatred against non-believers. Look at all the top terrorists of the world. All have a very clear agenda of destroying non-believers.

Pope says that when one becomes Christian, he must agree that Jesus is the only begotten son of God and performs all miracles including salvation.

Zakir Naik says that when one becomes Muslim, he must agree that There is no Allah but Allah, and Muhammad is his last and only reliable prophet.

So you must believe in things you have never seen, nor anyone you know has ever seen, nor is validated by scientific research. You cannot become Muslim and Christian at same time because Islam says God has no son, and Christianity says God has no prophets. And both say that unless you believe in their respective faith alone, you will burn in Hell. So it becomes a game of toss. It is like having two pistols over face. Heads – Islamic Allah shoots you. Tails – Christian God shoots you. And you don’t know which pistol is empty.

But Vedas simply have one agenda for all humans – “Be Humans” (Manurbhava). So technically there is no compulsory specific verse to agree to, when one resolves to follow Vedas. You just need to resolve to be honest and humane.

However a few popular verses are recited by many to showcase their allegiance to Vedas. Just read what these verses ask one to promise:

Gayatri Mantra – I resolve to direct all my thoughts to the source of empowerment and enlightenment of all living beings to best of my capabilities.

Shuddhi Mantras – I resolve to purify my mind of all forms of negative thinking, hatred, helplessness, lust, greed and strive to live a life that benefits everyone in society. I shall not discriminate on basis of beliefs, wealth, power, education when serving the society. My life is dedicated to a selfless honest service of entire world with pure heart. If I ever even thought of anything with ill intentions towards anyone in world, I humbly apologize and resolve to never do so again.

Just see why Vedas alone form foundations of a universal humane rational philosophy of life. Old is Gold! Oldest is Best!

Vedas demand us to love all, not discriminate, be tolerant of differences with others, fight against those who promote hatred on basis of theological beliefs and work for unity of all peace loving people irrespective of religion.

Nothing except Vedas are so timeless, region-less, religion-less and yet purpose oriented. One can continue the list for “Why I love Vedas!” forever.

The essence is that the only foundation for a universal religion for modern human civilization lies in Vedas – the original source.

It is the only recipe we have to unite the world. (Vedic dharma causes peace to all.)

Let us bring Vedas to every doorstep. Let us bring Vedas to every human.

Lets get Ahead to Vedas!

–          Agniveer

What Is So Good About Sanskrit

September 20, 2012

Why Learn Sanskrit

From: Satish Oberoi < >

There was an article in last Sunday TOI by Gurcharan Das on “The loss of inheritance” – lamenting on the lack of proper Sanskrit teaching in India. (enclosed). Now read what Western scholars say about our own Sanskrit. Time to think, Can we do anything for this!

 

—————————————————————————————————————————

Irish Daily

 

Why does my child study Sanskrit? by Rutger Kortenhorst

 

Rutger Kortenhorst, a Sanskrit teacher in John Scottus School in Dublin, Ireland, speaks to parents of his school children on the value of teaching Sanskrit to children, based on his own experience with the language.

 

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, we are going to spend an hour together looking at the topic ‘Why does my child study Sanskrit in John Scottus?’ My bet is that at the end of the hour you will all have come to the conclusion that your children are indeed fortunate that this extraordinary language is part of their curriculum.

 

Firstly, let us look at Why Sanskrit for my child? We are the only school in Ireland doing this language, so this will need some explaining.

 

There are another 80 JSS-type schools in UK and also around the world that have made the same decision to include Sanskrit in their curriculum (they are all off-shoots from the School of Philosophy).

 

Secondly, how is Sanskrit taught? You may have noticed your son or daughter singing Sanskrit grammar songs in the back of the car just for the fun of it on the way home from school. I’ll spend some time telling you HOW we approach teaching Sanskrit now since my learning from India.

 

But Why Sanskrit?

 

To answer that we need to look at the qualities of Sanskrit. Sanskrit stands out above all other languages for its beauty of sound, precision in pronunciation and reliability as well as thoroughness in every aspect of its structure. This is why it has never fundamentally changed unlike all other languages. It has had no need to change being the most perfect language of Mankind ever.

 

If we consider Shakespeare’s English, we realize how different and therefore difficult for us his English language was although it is just English from less than 500 years ago. We struggle with the meaning of Shakespeare’s English or that of the King James Bible. Go back a bit further and we don’t have a clue about the English from the time of Chaucer’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ from around 700 AD. We cannot even call this English anymore and now rightly call it Anglo-Saxon. So English hadn’t even been born!

 

All languages keep changing beyond recognition. They change because they are defective. The changes are in fact corruptions. They are born and die after seven or eight hundred years -about the lifetime of a Giant Redwood Tree- because after so much corruption they have no life left in them.

 

Surprisingly there is one language in the world that does not have this short lifespan. Sanskrit is the only exception. It is a never-dying constant. The reason for the constancy in Sanskrit is that it is completely structured and thought out. There is not a word that has been left out in its grammar or etymology, which means every word can be traced back to where it came from originally. This does not mean there is no room for new words either. Just as in English we use older concepts from Greek and Latin to express modern inventions like a television: ‘tele [far] – vision [seeing]’ or ‘compute -er’.

 

Sanskrit in fact specializes in making up compound words from smaller words and parts. The word ‘Sams – krita’ itself means ‘completely – made’.

 

So what advantages are there to a fundamentally unchanging language? What is advantageous about an unchanging friend, say? Are they reliable? What happens if you look at a text in Sanskrit from thousands of years ago?

 

The exceptional features of Sanskrit have been recognised for a few centuries all over the world, so you will find universities from many countries having a Sanskrit faculty. Whether you go to Hawai, Cambridge or Harvard and even Trinity College Dublin has a seat for Sanskrit -although it is vacant at present. May be one of your children will in time fill this position again?

 

Although India has been its custodian, Sanskrit has had universal appeal for centuries. The wisdom carried by this language appeals to the West as we can see from Yoga and Ayurvedic Medicine as well as meditation techniques, and practical philosophies like Hinduism, Buddhism and most of what we  use in the School of Philosophy. It supports, expands and enlightens rather than conflicts with local traditions and religions.

 

The precision of Sanskrit stems from the unparalleled detail on how the actual sounds of the alphabet are structured and defined. The sounds have a particular place in the mouth, nose and throat that can be defined and will never change.

 

This is why in Sanskrit the letters are called the ‘Indestructibles’ [aksharáni]. Sanskrit is the only language that has consciously laid out its sounds from first principles. So the five mouth-positions for all Indestructibles [letters] are defined and with a few clearly described mental and physical efforts all are systematically planned: [point out chart]

 

After this description, what structure can we find in a, b, c, d, e, f , g.? There isn’t any, except perhaps that it starts with ‘a’, and goes downhill from there.

 

Then there is the sheer beauty of the Sanskrit script as we learn it today. [Some examples on the board]

 

You may well say: ‘Fine, but so why should my son or daughter have yet another subject and another script to learn in their already busy school-day?’ In what way will he or she benefit from the study of Sanskrit in 2012 in the Western world?

 

The qualities of Sanskrit will become the qualities of your child- that is the mind and heart of your child will become beautiful, precise and reliable.

 

Sanskrit automatically teaches your child and anybody else studying it to pay FINE attention due to its uncanny precision. When the precision is there the experience is, that it feels uplifting. It makes you happy. It is not difficult even for a beginner to experience this. All you have to do is fine-tune your attention and like music you are drawn in and uplifted. This precision of attention serves all subjects, areas and activities of life both while in school and for the rest of life. This will give your child a competitive advantage over any other children. They will be able to attend more fully, easily and naturally. Thus in terms of relationships, work, sport- in fact all aspects of life, they will perform better and gain more satisfaction. Whatever you attend to fully, you excel in and you enjoy more.

 

By studying Sanskrit, other languages can be learnt more easily; this being the language all others borrow from fractionally. The Sanskrit grammar is reflected in part in Irish or Greek, Latin or English. They all have a part of the complete Sanskrit grammar. Some being more developed than others, but always only a part of the Sanskrit grammar, which is the only language complete in itself.

 

What Sanskrit teaches us that there is a language that is ordered, following laws unfailingly and as they are applied your child gets uplifted, not only when they grow up, but as they are saying it! This means they get an unusual but precise, definite and clear insight into language while they are enjoying themselves.

 

They learn to speak well, starting from Sanskrit, the mother language of all languages. Those who speak well run the world. Barack Obama makes a difference because he can speak well. Mahatma Gandhi could move huge crowds with well-balanced words. Mother Theresa could express herself with simple words which uplift us even now.

 

The language of the great Master Teachers of mankind from times past is all we have got after centuries and millennia, but they make all the difference. We can enter the remarkable mind of Plato through his words. If your daughter or son can express themselves well through conscious language they will be the leaders of the next generation.

 

Sanskrit has the most comprehensive writings in the world expressed through the Vedas and the Gítá. The Upanishads -translated by William Butler Yeats have given people from all over the world an insight into universal religious feelings for more than one century now.

 

To know these well expressed simple words of wisdom in the original is better than dealing with copies or translations as copies are always inferior to originals. We really need clear knowledge on universal religion in an age faced with remarkable levels of religious bigotry and terrorism arising from poorly understood and half-baked religious ideas.

 

Culture

 

Vivekananda, a great spiritual leader from India revered by all in the World Religious Conference of 1880 in Chicago said:

 

You can put a mass of knowledge into the world, but that will not do it much good. There must come some culture into the blood. We all know in modern times of nations which have masses of knowledge, but what of them? They are like tigers; they are like savages, because culture is not there.

 

Knowledge is only skin-deep, as civilization is, and a little scratch brings out the old savage. Such things happen; this is the danger. Teach the masses in the vernaculars, give them ideas; they will get information, but something more is necessary; give them culture.

 

Sanskrit can help your child to express universal, harmonious and simple truths better. As a result you will really have done your duty as a parent and the world will reap the benefits in a more humane, harmonious and united society. Sanskrit can do this as it is the only language that is based in knowledge all the way. Nothing is left to chance.

 

Just think for the moment how confusing it is for a child to learn to say ‘rough’, but ‘dough’. And why does the ‘o’ in ‘woman’ sound like an ‘e’ in ‘women’? How come the ‘ci’ in ‘special’ is different from the ‘ci’ in ‘cinema’?

 

Teachers may well say ‘Just learn it’ as there is no logical explanation, but it only demonstrates to a child that it is all a bit of a hit-and-miss affair. What else does this randomness in the fundamental building-blocks of language teach a child about the world? That it’s just a confusing, random chance-event? How can this give anyone any confidence?

 

Now go to a language where everything is following rules. Where nothing is left to chance from the humble origin of a letter to the most sophisticated philosophical idea. How will that child meet the world? Surely with confidence, clarity and the ability to express itself?

 

I have seen myself and others growing in such qualities, because of our contact with Sanskrit. I have just spent a year in India. Though it felt a bit like camping in a tent for a year, it was well worth it.

 

For many years, we taught Sanskrit like zealots i.e. with high levels of enthusiasm and low levels of understanding, to both adults in the School of Philosophy and children in John Scottus School. We did not perhaps inspire a lot of our students and may have put a number of them off the study of Sanskrit. It felt to me like we needed to go to the source.

 

Sanskrit teachers worth their salt need to live with people whose daily means of communication is in Sanskrit. I had already spent three summers near Bangalore at ‘Samskrita Bharati’ doing just that and becoming less of an amateur, but it really needed a more thorough study. So I moved into a traditional gurukulam for the year. This meant living on campus, eating lots of rice  and putting up with a few power-cuts and water shortages, but by December 2009, I made up my mind that I would step down as vice-principal of the Senior School and dedicate myself to Sanskrit for the rest of my teaching life.

 

It felt like a promotion to me as quite a few could be vice-principal but right now which other teacher could forge ahead in Sanskrit in Ireland? [Hopefully this will change before I pop off to the next world.] With Sanskrit I’m expecting my mind to improve with age even if my body slows down a little.

 

Sanskrit is often compared to the full-time teacher, who is there for you 24/7 whereas the other languages are more like part-timers. The effects of studying Sanskrit on me have been first and foremost a realistic confidence. Secondly, it meant I had to become more precise and speak weighing my words more carefully. It also taught me to express myself with less waffle and therefore speak more briefly. My power of attention and retention has undoubtedly increased.

 

Teaching method

 

Now, let me explain for a few minutes, HOW Sanskrit is taught. To my surprise it is not taught well in most places in India. Pupils have to learn it from when they are around age 9 to 11 and then they give it up, because it is taught so badly! Only a few die-hards stick with it, in time teaching the same old endings endlessly to the next generation. This is partly due to India having adopted a craving to copy the West and their tradition having been systematically rooted out by colonialism.

 

For learning grammar and the wisdom of the East, I was well-placed in a traditional gurukulam, but for spoken Sanskrit I felt a modern approach was missing.

 

Then I found a teacher from the International School belonging to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry. His name is Narendra. He has developed a novel, inspiring and light method to teach grammar, which doesn’t feel like you do any grammar at all. At the same time it isn’t diluted for beginners so you don’t end up with partial knowledge. I also followed a few Sanskrit Conversation camps, which all brought about more familiarity.

 

Narendra says he owes his method to Sri Aurobindo and his companion The Mother who inspired him to come up with the course we now follow in Dublin. This is one of the many things The Mother said to inspire him:”Teach logically. Your method should be most natural, efficient and stimulating to the mind. It should carry one forward at a great pace. You need not cling there to any past or present manner of teaching.”

 

This is how I would summarize the principles for teaching Sanskrit as we carry it out at present:

 

1. Language learning is not for academics as everyone learns to speak a language from an early age before they can read and write and know what an academic is. So why insist in teaching Sanskrit academically?

 

2. The writing script is not the most fundamental thing to be taught. A language is firstly made of its sounds, words and spoken sentences. [The script we use -though very beautiful- is only a few hundred years old.]

 

3. Always go from what is known to what is new.

 

4.  Understanding works better than memorisation in this Age. Learning by heart should only take up 10 percent of the mental work, rather than the 90 percent rote learning in Sanskrit up to the recent present.

 

5. Don’t teach words and endings in isolation; teach them in the context of a sentence as the sentence is the smallest meaningful unit in language.

 

6. Any tedious memory work which cannot be avoided should be taught in a song.

 

7. Do not teach grammatical terms. Just as we don’t need to know about the carburetor, when we learn to drive a car.

 

8. The course should be finished in two years by an average student according to Narendra. This may be a little optimistic given that we are a little out of the loop not living in India, which is still Sanskrit’s custodian. At present I would say it is going to be a three-year course.

 

9. Language learning must be playful. Use drama, song, computer games and other tricks to make learning enjoyable.

 

We have started on this course since September and it has certainly put a smile on our pupils’ faces, which makes a pleasant change. I now feel totally confident that we are providing your children with a thorough, structured and enjoyable course. Our students should be well prepared for the International Sanskrit Cambridge exam by the time they finish -age 14/15- at the end of second year. We will also teach them some of the timeless wisdom enshrined in various verses. At present we are teaching them: “All that lives is full of the Lord. Claim nothing; enjoy! Do not covet His property”- in the original of course.

 

The future

 

Let us look at the 500 – year cycle of a Renaissance. The last European Renaissance developed three subjects: Art, Music and Science to shape the world we live in today. It had its beginning in Florence. The great Humanist Marsilio Ficino made Plato available to the masses by translating it from Greek to Latin. We live in exciting times and may well be at the beginning of a new Renaissance. It also will be based on three new subjects: Some say that these will be Economics, Law and Language.

 

Language has to become more universal now as we can connect with each other globally within seconds. NASA America’s Space Program is actively looking at Sanskrit in relation to I.T. and artificial intelligence.

 

Sri Aurobindo said “.at once  majestic and sweet and flexible, strong and clearly-formed and full and vibrant and subtle.”.

 

What John Scottus pupils have said:

 

It makes your mind bright, sharp and clear.

 

It makes you feel peaceful and happy.

 

It makes you feel BIG.

 

It cleans and loosens your tongue so you can pronounce any language easily.

 

What Sanskrit enthusiasts like Rick Briggs in NASA have said:

 

It gives you access to a vast and liberating literature.

 

It can describe all aspects of human life from the most abstract philosophical to the latest scientific discoveries, hinting at further developments.

 

Sanskrit and computers are a perfect fit. The precision play of Sanskrit with computer tools will awaken the capacity in human beings to utilize their innate higher mental faculty with a momentum that would inevitably transform the mind. In fact, the mere learning of Sanskrit by large numbers of people in itself represents a quantum leap in consciousness, not to mention the rich endowment it will provide in the arena of future communication. NASA, California

 

After many thousands of years, Sanskrit still lives with a vitality that can breathe life, restore unity and inspire peace on our tired and troubled planet. It is a sacred gift, an opportunity. The future could be very bright.

 

Rick Briggs [NASA] You may well have a few questions at this stage after which I would like to introduce you to a plant in the audience. A parent turned into a blazing ball of enthusiasm over Sanskrit grammar: John Doran. I would like him to wrap up.

 

I’ll give NASA’s Rick Briggs the last word from me:

 

One thing is certain; Sanskrit will only become the planetary language when it is taught in a way which is exciting and enjoyable. Furthermore it must address individual learning inhibitions with clarity and compassion in a setting which encourages everyone to step forth, take risks, make mistakes and learn.

 

Modern Paradox as shown by George Carlin

March 4, 2012

George Carlin

This is a master piece.  If you have not read it take the time to read it now.

If you have read it take time to read it again!

 

Isn’t it amazing that George Carlin – comedian of the 70’s and 80’s – could write something so very eloquent…and so very appropriate?

A Message by George Carlin:

The paradox of our time in history is that

we have taller buildings but shorter tempers,
wider Freeways , but narrower viewpoints.


We spend more, but have less,
we buy more, but enjoy less.


We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.
We have more degrees but less sense,
more knowledge, but less judgment,
more experts, yet more problems,
more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry,  stay up too late, get up too tired,
read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. 

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life.
We’ve added years to life not life to years.


We’ve been all the way to the moon and back,

but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.


We conquered outer space but not inner space.
We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.
We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.


We write more, but learn less.
We plan more, but accomplish less.

We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.
We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever,

but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion,
big men and small character,
steep profits and shallow relationships.


These are the days of two incomes but more divorce,
fancier houses, but broken homes.


These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.


It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom.
A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete…

Remember;
spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Appreciation – learn to

March 4, 2012

Appreciation – learn to.

A message from India

This is a powerful message for our modern society. We seem to have lost our bearing & our sense of direction.

One young academically excellent person went to apply for a managerial position in a big company.

He passed the first interview; the director did the last interview. The director discovered from the CV that the youth’s academic achievements were excellent all the way, from the secondary school until the postgraduate research, never had a year when he did not score.

The director asked, “Did you obtain any scholarships in school?”

The youth answered “none”.

The director asked, “Was it your father who paid for your school fees?”

The youth answered, “My father passed away when I was one year old, it was my mother who paid for my school fees.

The director asked, “Where did your mother work?”

The youth answered, “My mother worked as laundry woman.

The director requested the youth to show his hands. The youth showed a pair of hands that were smooth and perfect.

The director asked, “Have you ever helped your mother wash the clothes before?”

The youth answered, “Never, my mother always wanted me to study and read more books. Furthermore, my mother can wash clothes faster than me.

The director said, “I have a request. “When you go back today, go and clean your mother’s hands, and then see me tomorrow morning.”

The youth felt that his chance of landing the job was high. When he went back, he happily requested his mother to let him clean her hands. His mother felt strange, happy but with mixed feelings, she showed her hands to the young man.

The youth cleaned his mother’s hands slowly. His tear fell as he did that. It was the first time he noticed that his mother’s hands were so wrinkled, and there were so many bruises in her hands. Some bruises were so painful that his mother shivered when they were cleaned with water.

This was the first time the youth realized that it was this pair of hands that washed the clothes everyday to enable him to pay the school fee. The bruises in the mother’s hands were the price that the mother had to pay for his graduation, academic excellence and his future.

After finishing the cleaning of his mother’s hands, the youth quietly washed all the remaining clothes for his mother.

That night, mother and son talked for a very long time.

Next morning, the youth went to the director’s office.

The Director noticed the tears in the youth’s eyes, asked: “Can you tell me what have you done and learned yesterday in your house?”

The youth answered, “I cleaned my mother’s hand, and also finished cleaning all the remaining clothes’

The Director asked, “Please tell me your feelings.”

The youth said:    

1. I know now what appreciation is. Without my mother, there would not have been the successful me today.     

2. By working together and helping my mother, only I now realize how difficult and tough it is to get something done. 

 3. I have come to appreciate the importance and value of family relationships.

The director said, “This is what I am looking for to be my manager. I want to recruit a person who can appreciate the help of others, a person who knows the sufferings of others to get things done, and a person who would not put money as his only goal in life. You are hired.

Later on, this young person worked very hard, and received the respect of his subordinates. Every employee worked diligently and as a team. The company’s performance improved tremendously.

A child, who has been protected and habitually given whatever he wanted, would develop “entitlement mentality” and would always put himself first. He would be ignorant of his parent’s efforts. When he starts work, he assumes that every person must listen to him, and when he becomes a manager, he would never know the sufferings of his employees and would always blame others. For this kind of a person, who may be good academically, may be successful for a while, but eventually would not feel sense of achievement. He will grumble and be full of hatred and fight for more. If we are this kind of protective parents, are we really showing love or are we destroying the children instead?

You can let your children live in a big house, eat a good meal, learn piano, watch a big screen TV. But when you are cutting grass, please let them experience it. After a meal, let them wash their plates and bowls together with their brothers and sisters. It is not because you do not have money to hire a maid, you want them to understand, no matter how rich their parents are, one day their hair will grow gray, same as the mother of that young person. The most important thing is your children learn how to appreciate the effort and experience the difficulty and learn how to work with others to get things done.

 You would have forwarded many mails to many and many of them would have back mailed you too…but try and forward this story to as many as possible…this may change somebody for the better.

 

Keeping away from wrong-doing

February 29, 2012

Keeping away from wrong-doing

The urge to indulge into bad thoughts and evils acts is such a fiery spark that can set on fire or consume anything that may come near to it. Anyone who is bent on playing with blazing fire definitely risks getting burnt. Any individual whose mind is occupied in cheating, deception, arrogance, hatred, dishonesty, anger, animosity, etc. would ultimately reduce themselves to the ranks of hooligans even if he/she were a learned individual.

 Only they can think virtuously whose life is well-organised and well under control and, who is earnestly trying to cultivate only good qualities in their life. Right way of thinking basically flourishes along with good virtues such as being a firm believer in truth, love and affection, generosity, simplicity, kindness, helping nature, self-reliance, welcoming nature, etc.
Both good thinking and good virtues essentially flourish from the same soil and are nurtured by the same nutrients. Do remember that good thinking cannot survive for very long and would soon wither away when it gets deprived of good virtues. Therefore, those who wish to be clever or bright must develop and have good virtues as well.

-Pt. Shriram Sharma Acharya

Translated from – Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya’s work

Buddhi badhane ki Vaigyanik Vidhi (The scientific methods of enhancing brainpower) page 23