Our next meet up will be on Sunday, June 3rd, and we have an interesting speaker, Kumar Padmini, who will be talking to us on a verse from the Katha Upanishad ( the book that was translated as "A Dialogue with Death" by Eknath Easwaran..we have this book in our library). In spite of the title, the book is more about life than death :)
Na tatra suryo bhati na candra tarakam
nema vidyuto bhanti kutoyam agnihi
tameva bhantam anubhati sarvam
tasya bhasa sarvam idam vibhati
There the sun does not shine, nor do the moon and the stars. These streaks of lightning do not shine there either, (so) what to speak of this fire? That, shining, makes all others shine. By virtue of its luminosity, all these (manifestations) are illuminated.
My own understanding of this verse is that at an individual level, the self or consciousness (or life energy) resides in all of us, without which the organs of the body or the mind, cannot function. At a macro level, the same energy resides in everything, whether it is sun or moon or stars, without which they cannot function!
It may be worth noting that in vedic astrology, all these planets (and earth) are actually considered conscious beings !
Anyway, great topic and relevant...most of us consider us weak and burdened with issues...our problems are much bigger and we are always too small to handle them...we are never good enough for Mr. Mind... scaring us with this or that... ..and here is this verse telling us everything is shining only because of the Self, which is present in us as the Observer!
Happened to hear about his wonderful lady called J Z Knight , who is channeling a spiritual being called Ramtha, who lived about 35000 years ago! Not sure whether this being has any connection to Rama of Indian mythology! Amazing information on how neuro-science, quantum physics, brain and religion are combined in her beautiful channeled information.
J Z Knight is the founder of Ramtha's School of Enlightenment
Change Your Mind Change Your Life - Larry King : Interview with J Z Knight
Gita verse 2:48 starts with " yogasthah kuru karmani" meaning "perform actions, being established in yoga". Ofcourse, yoga doesn't mean physical yoga here, but being established in Self, which is one's true nature.
Just thinking loud here....Why do people blame God when something goes wrong but don't thank God when everything is good and great? Meister Eckhart, the German theologian, philosopher and mystic says "If the only prayer you ever said in your entire life is "thank you", that will be enough." Thousands of planes fly and land safely, but if one goes down, God suddenly becomes the culprit !!! Children goes to school every day all over the world, and when there is one school shooting, suddenly God is at fault for not protecting the innocent children..God is obviously responsible for World hunger, global warming, poverty in Africa, child abuse, homosexuality, natural calamities, not to speak of every silliest of inconveniences that can happen to us in day to day life (including if the traffic signal doesn't turn green, soon enough !!! :) :) :) Why can't people learn to thank God, when things go well, to be fair?
Why do Fundamental Questions Arise? Amma Bhagwan
The answer may be that it is just the nature of our minds.. We heard of the expression "doubting Thomas" which is a reference to Apostle Thomas, who refused to believe that the resurrected Jesus had appeared to the ten other apostles, until he could see and feel the wounds received by Jesus on the cross.
In Gita again, Krishna says "samshayatma vinishyati" meaning a person who is always doubtful is destroyed.
Again, this emphasizes the fundamental spiritual position that faith is needed... at least as much as a "mustard seed"...if not a pumpkin seed :)...to move mountains! Mind will continue to ask questions....we probably need some logical explanation to satisfy the immediate curiosity, but ultimately all doubts are not ceased until one recognizes one's own true nature.
For those of you who don't know about Brahmakumaris (BK), they are a spiritual organization completely run by women! You don't see guys talking about spirituality in BK:) Check out https://us.brahmakumaris.org/ .
They are headquartered in Mount Abu, Rajastan, India.
Had the good fortune to meet up with a BK teacher when I first started meditation.. I did it only for about 3-4 months, then dropped off.
They suggested that I buy a meditation aid at that time..which was a bulb with a orangy covering and when lit, will give out a light like the picture below.. The instruction was to look at the light and then focus on the brow-chakra ..Found it very interesting when I started, and practiced it very sincerely for some time.. Was even thinking of going to Mt. Abu once, but never happened :)
( I was looking up online for additional info on this now, but couldn't find much)..Not sure whether they changed it these days.
Based on our understanding of third-eye and activating the mid-brain area by focusing on Ajna chakra makes complete sense. Orangy light is also associated with a lot of healing powers. Great mediation technique.
BK consider the supreme godhead as Shiva Baba, as the god of all religions...., is considered as a spiritual guide of BK, whose objective is to awaken the humanity and remove evils. Shiva Baba is a supreme soul and a point of light
Beliefs of Brahma Kumaris are:
Happy Mother's day!
Karen Armstrong, born 1944, is a former Roman Catholic nun, well known for her books on Abrahamic religion. Her most famous work is
"A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam." When she was 17 years old, Karen Armstrong was in search of God. To find Him, she entered a Roman Catholic convent and became a nun. When she started her new life, she faced a number of struggles, including the fact that she couldn't pray.!
"Most of us can relate life only to a MFS reality (Money food and sex). There are people who sit in wheel chairs and still look at the interest rates on their deposits and yelling at people around them for not taking care of them enough!" So many people are obsessed with the world even at the fag end of their lives ...but to die with that kind of ignorant consciousness in somewhat unfortunate..
Death is just the end of the physical body...but life continues in a different form and dimension. To recognize our own unlimited aspects while alive, would be the greatest thing that can happen to a human being.
We have to be committed to the model of flowing with the higher mind or higher self, then we will see that we have a much bigger rewards instead of a small mind directed logical and survivalistic life. This is called evolving from a mind intelligence to a soul intelligence.
When Jesus was talking about "eternal life", the people were asking for "fish" and "bread"..They were poor and was more worried about their daily sustenance. Who wants eternal life ?!! Most people cannot relate to it as they are burdened by life itself...and the numerous problems..
Pilgrimages are often advised in many religions.. When things are completely beyond the logical mind, visiting certain spiritual power centers have given many people great insight to right course of action. Divine can see what humans cannot. A new direction opens, and a greater life path is unveiled.
The question was why are the prophetic people/saints have to face a painful death (like Jesus was crucified, Bahai founder was assassinated, even saints like Ramana /Ramakrishna had cancer and had to face a very painful death..
The answers we provided were;
- you cannot basically get an intellectually satisfying answer to this question (Kumar). No guarantees in life.
- you should not judge a person by the way the person is dying.. Our understanding of a smooth death is limited and we should not be thrust on saints (Vijay)
When Ramanujam, the famous mathematician went to England, Prof Hardy asked him how he got his equations....and wanted to know the steps.
Ramanujam could not provide the steps ...all he said was that he got the equations from a goddess, which obiously does not fly in the western world!!!!
This is something that we can see with many spiritual people...THEY JUST KNOW....no steps involved!! No logic or reasoning... no steps...
Saints use logic later to explain things they know..so that a common man can understand it or it will be better perceived by the rational world.
"Life is tale a told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,signifying nothing!” -Shakespeare
God is rich and it is said that if you take one step towards God, God takes 1000 steps towards you! But the first step is needed from us.
Osho was once asked "Why spiritual people are poor?" the answer he gave was "because they are spiritual people.. not material people". He even sais at point the "spiritual people are spiritless people" meaning they kind of lost their motivation and resigned to whatever is happening in the material world!!
A true spiritual person ideally should be more successful than a material person!! (Wish) If we can manifest our thoughts, have miracles in our lives and if we have the wisdom from revealed scriptures, we should have the ability to more successful than one who do not have that understanding!
The Baha'i Faith regards all the Holy Books to be successive chapters in their essence of the same God, Whose Authors are the Divine Instruments of His Will. "All the Prophets of God proclaim the same Faith." and "This is the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future." Baha'u'llah