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25 December, 2010


What happens when a person dies? 

His gross body perishes in that form. The material of the body merges with earth. Science declares that something cannot pass into nothing. The law of indestructibility of matter, the law of conservation of energy states it. The same law would apply to the subtle body as well. The subtle body of the person comprises his thought, feeling and desire. The resultant of his mental and intellectual forces. His inner energy comprising subtle matter. Applying the same law to the subtle body, you would realise that its energy cannot vanish into nothing at the time of death. In this world there are innumerable death occurring everyday. And innumerable births. The mental energies of those persons cannot disappear to appear all of a sudden. That would be against the established law of science.

Life is a series of experiences

Life of a series of experiences. The progression of life is determined by desires. Desires drive you from one experience to another. In philosophic terms an experience is dead and another born at every moment. Thus your desires drive you through a continuous procession of birth and death. This procession will continue in perpetuity until the desires are eradicated from your personality. Desires are the cause and the experiences of life are the effect. At the moment of death a person is left with innumerable, unfulfilled desires. He may vanish from your sight but that does not mean that his desires are extinct. The desires have to be eradicated to prevent further manifestation. The cause has to be removed to erase the effect. When the desires are completely exhausted the cycle of birth and death ends. That is the state of Self-realisation, God-realisation.

Thus numerous desires of different sorts remain unfulfilled when people die. At the time of their death these desires have not been exhausted. It would be irrational to presume that all of them disappear into nothing. Now, look at the world from another angle. Different types of people are born with distinct tendencies, inclinations, desires. Every human being enters the world with his pattern of thought, feeling, desire. And people are born with a variety of desires. These variegated desires could not have emerged from nowhere. To accept that they have come out of nothing would again be as irrational as to presume that they disappear suddenly. Such presumptions would be violating the code of science.

Hence the great thinkers of the past made a careful scrutiny of this world and found hordes and hordes of desires disappearing and appearing perennially. After a thorough investigation of this phenomenon they brilliantly connected the unaccounted gain of desires of the born to the unaccounted loss of desires of the dead. A sheer audit of the accounts of life. They applied the law of causation which governs the entire universe at all times. Took the desires of the born as the effect. This observation is in accordance with the law of indestructibility of matter, the law of causation, the law of karma. This ingenious correlation of cause and effect projects the theory of reincarnation. It is only a scientific deduction from the available data. But cannot be proved experimentally. Hence presented as a theory.

Child determines Parent

Another popular belief is that the newborn inherits the tendencies of its parents. That the law of heredity establishes it. The law of karma does not oppose the concept of heredity. It corrects the general misconception that the equation between the parent and child emanates from the parent. It is not the parents that determine the nature of the child. It is vice versa. The child determines the parents. The law of karma explains how the resultant effect of one’s mental and intellectual energies would find the right body, parents and environment. With no extraneous power deciding this choice.

If desires are the cause for the continuity of life, how can one take birth in an environment or circumstance not to his liking? Take a form of life different from his desire? Why would a person be born poor when he desires to be rich? Why would anyone desire to be born physically handicapped? If desires decide your life’s pattern how is it not so in actual fact? The world that you experience does not seem to always relate to your desires. This apparent paradox arises when you do not correlate cause and effect properly, fully. Your desires no doubt decide the course of your life. But then it is not a particular desire that decides. It is the compound of all your desires. The total effect of your desires decides the course. It is called the resultant desire.

The parallelogram law of forces in physics explains this phenomenon as illustrated below in figures 1 and 2. Consider an object in position O free to move in all directions. Two equal forces act upon it. One force horizontally along OA. The other vertically along OB. The object will then move, neither in the direction of OA nor OB, but diagonally along OR. There is no force operating along OR. Yet the object moves in that direction. The force that drives the object along OR is called the resultant. The resultant force is the effect of both the forces.

Let more forces OF1, OF2, OF3, etc. be applied on the object. Several forces of varying strength and direction. Then the resultant would be the total effect of all those forces. Let it be OR’. Then the object will move along OR’. Here again the resultant force may not be in the direction of any one of the forces acting upon it. Yet the object will move in that direction. The same phenomenon takes place in your life. Your life is ordered by your resultant desire. The total effect of all your desires. Innumerable desires operate in you. Each has its own strength and direction. But you will move in the direction of your resultant desire. Which may not be in the direction of any one of your desires. That should explain why your life may not always be in line with any particular desire. That is the law of life which applies to every individual throughout the world.

Besides the above analysis and conclusion, it would be interesting to observe what exactly happens to a person at death. To his gross, subtle and causal bodies and Atman, the Self within. It is obvious that the physical body has not gone. It lies there. And the Atman, of course, cannot go anywhere since It is all-pervading. It exists everywhere. Being so. It should exist in the dead body as well. Besides, movement of an object is possible from a place where it exists to a place where it is not. As the Atman pervades everywhere there is no place where It does not exist. Hence It cannot move. Thus, the physical body of the person and the Atman are very much there at the time of death. It is only the other two components of the individual viz., the causal and the subtle bodies that move out. Therefore, the transference of the causal and subtle bodies from one gross body to another is designated as the death of the former body and the birth of the latter.

Example of the sun and its reflections

The concept of birth and death becomes clearer with the example of the sun and its reflections. The sun’s rays are all-pervading. Wherever there is a reflecting medium there will be a reflection of the sun. Hold a mirror in a frame in broad sunlight. You will find a reflected sun in it. Remove the mirror from the frame and fix it in another frame. Instantly, the reflected sun in the first frame vanishes and appears in the second. The image is dead in the first and born in the second. The reflected sun moves from the one to the other. Brought about by the transference of the mirror.

Equate the example to the phenomenon of birth and death. The sun above represents the Atman. Its all-pervading rays would then be the pure Consciousness everywhere. The frame would be the gross body. The glass and the reflecting material composing the mirror would represent the subtle and causal bodies respectively. The Atman functioning through these bodies projects the individual. Thus, the transference of the subtle and causal bodies from one gross body to another determines the death and birth of the individual. The vasanas, desires are eradicated the individuality is dissolved. His cycle of birth and death ends. He attains spiritual Enlightenment.

Without the cognition of the law of causation and a clear understanding of the consequent theory of reincarnation, you could run into trouble. Here is a true story. A lady in her advanced age developed cataract in her eyes. She was losing her eyesight. At that time of her life a misfortune befell her. Her only daughter expired. She was terribly upset. She lost all her interest in the world. She would not meet anybody or go anywhere. Meanwhile her cataract ripened. She was practically blind. Her family and well-wishers appealed to her to undergo surgery. She refused to do so. She chose to deny herself eyesight for the rest of her life. She would say, “Am I to restore my eyesight to gaze at emptiness? The beauty in my home is gone. I have nothing more to see.” They were all confused. And did not know how to persuade her to go through the surgery. They approached a swami, a sage for help. The swami met her personally. The wise man explained to her how the resultant desire works. “Remember, you are entertaining a powerful desire not to see the world.” the sage said to her. “You are old. Death may overtake you any day. If you continue to deny yourself eyesight, there is a fair chance you will be born blind.” The lady sprang to her feet. And went through the surgery the same day.

The significant part of the episode is that a person could be born blind even though he does not desire it. The resultant of all his desires becomes the cause leading to that effect. Therefore, it would be in your interest to scrutinise at all times the type of desires you entertain. Avoid negative thoughts and desires. Try to turn them positive. If you practice that, you would not be a victim of self-inflicted complications in life. Your life would then become more meaningful, purposeful.

Imagine a person who is brutal, bloodthirsty. He develops a passion for destroying, killing. He becomes a dangerous killer. The society does not allow him manifest his destructive nature. The law prohibits it as well. His desires are frustrated. The frustrated desires must find their way out. This is not possible in his present embodiment, environment. Hence his resultant desire will forge itself into an appropriate embodiment for fulfilment. Thus his own desires could possibly cast his next incarnation as a tiger or a lion. Wherein the embodiment and environment becomes befitting, conducive for fulfilling those desires. No doubt, a human being cannot easily fall into an animal incarnation. A human possesses fine emotions and subtle thoughts which animals lack. Those thoughts and desires in him would strongly influence the resultant desire towards human incarnation. Notwithstanding it all, he could still force himself into a lower species by persistently indulging in such destructive passion.

There is also conjecture in spiritual lobbies that a person may not be reincarnated immediately after death. That his casual-subtle body may take a while before it finds the appropriate gross body and environment. The interim period after death and before the next birth would resemble sleep or dream. This observation again has certain validity since it is seen happening to other living species. The seed fallen from a tree is not always subject to immediate germination. An egg laid by a bird takes time to hatch. So too a human may experience a period of sleep or dream before his next incarnation.

People the world over are unaware of the relentless law of Karma. They entertain all sorts of desires indiscriminately. Plunge into action in pursuit of their passions. Thoughtless of the dire consequences. And end up with calamities in their life. Unaware of their responsibility for the misfortune, they bewail the stars and planets. Blame everything, everybody in the world except themselves. In desperation some go to astrologers, palmists and spiritualists for help. Others pray to the gods to mend their fortune. Not realising they have brought the misery upon themselves. And that they have to redeem themselves.

Source: Vedanta Treatise by Swamy Parthasarathy


The universe displays a graceful progression of events. All evolution follows a perfect sequence of rise and fall. A rhythmic motion of construction and destruction. Night follows day and day follows night. The seasons appear and disappear in regular succession year after year. Birth, childhood, youth, old age and death make a progressive chain. Cause and effect project themselves endlessly. The law of causation works with mathematical precision. Yet people hold fanatical beliefs that there is no life after death or that there is. Such irrational beliefs lead you nowhere. The subject of birth and death is deep, unfathomable. You cannot dismiss it thus by such speculative notions. You must study the subject carefully. Death and birth are merely a change of state. A movement from one experience to another. There is nothing terrible, abominable about death as people view it.

Birth and death are two sides of a coin. There can be no birth without death. And no death without birth. Morning dies. Evening is born. Evening dies, night is born. Night dies, morning is born. This chain of birth and death goes on perennially. So does the chain of birth, growth, decay and death continue. The phenomenon of birth and death brings about change. The world is in a continuous flux of change. Creation and destruction are the warp and woof of the world. The play of these two powers maintains the mineral, vegetable, animal and human kingdoms.

Creation, destruction and maintenance are three facets of the same phenomenon. They are not separate from one another. In the chain of creation and destruction of the different facets in the day, the day is maintained. Likewise in the appearance and disappearance of the seasons, the year is maintained. In the progressive ages of life, the individual is maintained. The entire universe therefore is an expression of the three powers of creation, destruction and maintenance. The devotional people find it difficult to conceptualise the precise manifestation of nature. So the scripture has personified these powers as gods. Brahma as the god of creation. Shiva as the god of destruction. Vishnu, god of maintenance. Also indicated to the intellectuals that they are one by combining the three gods in the form of Dattatreya.

Some believe that when a person dies nothing remains. That death is the end of the personality. And that there is no trace of him thereafter. Others disagree with this view. They do not consider death as finality. They believe in the continuity of life. And that the present incarnation is only a link in the chain of his entire life. Yet others posit the existence of imaginary realms of heaven and hell where they believe humans go to after death. These beliefs are not based on rational analysis and derivation. Instead, you must collect relevant data, study them carefully and draw intelligent conclusions from them. Only then would you get a clearer idea of the phenomenon of birth and death.

There is another strange phenomenon concerning death. Though death is inevitable and everyone knows that all living beings are certain to die, none believes it in practice. Young or old, healthy or unhealthy, even the terminally ill feel that death is far away. It is a wonder that nobody practically believes in death. Even at a ripe old age people keep amassing wealth, enlarging their worldly relations, behaving as though death would never take hold of them. Intellectually they may concede. But from a practical point of view they ignore their imminent end. It seems paradoxical. On the one hand a person is so certain of his end. The very thought of death sends a quiver through his entire frame. His body turns cold at the mere mention of death. While on the other it does not seem to bother him at all. He writes poetry, flourishes his art of portraying death! What could be the reason for this paradox? How is that the looming danger of death does not actually impede, disturb his life? Everyone expects to live on and on without being concerned about the end. The reason for this innate assurance of longevity is the immortal nature of the Self within. Every human being is quintessentially the Self. That being so, Its immortal nature colours his material layers. Which makes his individuality assume a sense of immortality. And keeps him free from the thought of death.

Source: Vedanta Treatise by Swamy Parthasarathy

18 December, 2010

Law of Karma

Law of Destiny

       The law of destiny defines the status of a person at any moment of his life with reference to his past from that moment.

Law of Karma

       Whereas the law of karma is an extension of the law of destiny into the future. Both the laws are based on the principle of cause and effect.

      The law of destiny states that you are at present the product of your past. The law of karma reaches further to state that you are not only the product of your past but the producer of your future as well. Destiny covers only the past and present while karma cover the past, present and future. With reference to your past you are a product, a master. You are the son of your father, as well as the father of your son. You are a son-father, product-producer at the same time. Looking back into your past you develop pessimism. Looking ahead into your future you gain optimism. With the knowledge of the law of karma you begin to realise that your shortcomings and difficulties are the creation of your past unintelligent activities. And that you have now the opportunity to create a better future for yourself. That you are the master of your destiny.

       A human being therefore is bound by his own past while he is free to act as he wills. Freedom and bondage seem to coexist in one person. Thus you are a product of your past. You also possess a free will to act as you please. There are two forces operating in your life. The one from the past that has shaped your destiny, known as prarabdha. The other which gives you the freedom to choose your action, purushartha. Your purushartha chooses your course of action. And the actions executed already by your purushartha self-efforts result in your prarabdha destiny. Your destiny is thus the cumulative effect of all your past self-efforts. Whatever has been the nature and quality of your effort in the past, the same will be reflected in your present destiny. If your physical, mental and intellectual activities have been positive you meet with a positive destiny. If negative, you meet a negative destiny. If partly positive and partly negative, your destiny takes the same proportion.

       Destiny is similar to your bank balance. And self-effort to your capacity to earn or lose money, to credit or debit your account. Your bank balance at any point of time is the aggregate of all your credits and debits prior to that moment. Regardless of your balance showing credit or debit, your capacity to earn or lose remains independent of it. You could earn more and increase your balance. Or withdraw more and decrease it. Likewise, regardless of your present status you could put in positive effort and evolve spiritually. Or indulge in negative effort and devolve. The law of karma goes on.

      Hence it is your effort that makes the difference to your destiny. Few understand this law. They meekly attribute their success or failure to God. Not realising that God is merely the substratum of activity. And has nothing to do with the nature or quality of activity. God is like the sun above. The sun is the source of activity. Sinner or saint draws his vitality from the sun. The sun provides them both the energy to act. The sinner in a vicious way. The saint in a virtuous way. Thus beings act according to their independent nature. You cannot commend or condemn the sun for their particular deeds. The sun stands clear from vice and virtue of the world. So does God though supporting everything remain immaculate, free from the happenings in the world.

      Your destiny at present is the effect of all your past self-efforts. For example, if you had exercised your free will in the past in merely gratifying your senses and leading a sensual life, then you would be a sensual person at present. That is your destiny. 

       Instead, had you chosen to live a disciplined life and practised the higher values you would now be a spiritually evolved person. Moreover, regardless of what state you are in at present you tend to continue the same way. A sensual person pursues his sensual activities. A spiritual person continues to be spiritual. Which gives the impression that your present choice of action is influenced by your past. If that be so, how can self-effort be free? Where does free will fit into the law of karma?

       An alcoholic is addicted to alcohol because of his heavy drinking in the past. If the past were to influence his present action he will continue as an alcoholic. How then can he claim to have the freedom to choose to drink or not to drink? Likewise a person is benevolent, noble because of the virtuous life he has led. Here again, if the past influences his present action he will continue to be virtuous. Thus if it is accepted that one’s past completely influences one’s present, then the good will continue to be good and the bad will continue to be bad. But this is not so in practical life. People are subject to change. The good are known to have turned bad, so have the bad turned good. What then is the relationship between prarabdha destiny and purushartha self-effort? A question that has been disturbing the spiritual lobbies for long. The exact relationship between the two is earlier understood with the following two illustrations.

       The first comparison is a motorboat. The speed of the motorboat is 16 kilometres per hour in still waters. The boat is in a river moving downstream. The water in the river flows at a speed of 2 kilometres per hour. The speed of the boat downstream will then be 18 (16 +2) km/hour. While moving upstream the speed of the boat will reduce the 14 (16-2) km/hour. Thus the speed of the boat varies from 18 to 14 km/hour depending upon its movement down or up. But all along, the actual speed of the boat is independent of the speed of water. Yet when it moves in the river it becomes 18 downstream and 14 upstream.

      Now, compare the original speed of the boat to your purushartha self-effort. And the speed of water to your prarabdha destiny. Your self-effort is ever free. Your destiny cannot alter your self-effort. Just as the speed of the water cannot change the original, independent speed of motor. Nevertheless, in effect the boat gains 2 km/hour downward and loses 2 upward. Similarly, even though your self-effort is independent, it is in effect altered by your destiny. When you apply your self-effort in the background of your destiny, the effect produced is different. Your self-effort makes its free choice in the background of your destiny. The combination of your effort and destiny produces a different effect.

Source: Vedanta Treatise - Swamy Parthasarathy

LAW OF CAUSATION - The Supreme Law

The universe is an expression of innumerable laws of nature. They are physical, chemical, biological, psychological, philosophical and several other laws. These are all impeccable, infallible, each having a cause-effect relationship. A cause for an effect and an effect for a cause. The meticulous functioning of the countless laws is the law of causation. They seem to bow in obeisance to some mysterious controller, governor. That unknown, unseen governor is indicated as Brahman, the Supreme God. The infinite power that holds the laws together. Acting like a monarch to whom obedient subjects pay homage. The English poet John Milton puts this idea across succinctly in his sonnet On His Blindness:

His state is kingly: thousands at His bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest.

The phenomenon of this world is therefore an endless expression of cause and effect. The incessant play of the law of causation. Which has been functioning from the very beginning. A coconut seed always produced a coconut tree and a coconut tree produced a coconut seed. A chicken produced an egg and an egg, a chicken. Where there is no cause and effect, there is no world.

The law of causation governing the macrocosm applies equally to the macrocosm. Every human being is subject to this law. It operates at the physical, mental and intellectual levels. If the physical body has gone through a proper discipline of yoga and exercise it would presently be hale and healthy. And if the body has had no proper physical training, been sensually indulgent it would be pale and sickly. Similarly, the flow of thoughts and emotions towards the positive or negative would determine the nature of the present inner personality. So what you are now is a result of what you have been doing in the past, dating back from this moment. And what you would be in the future would depend upon what you do from this moment. It is an irrefragable law.

The above law has no sway over the supreme Self. It can only control the material equipments, affect your physical, mental and intellectual personalities and not the Self within. Your real Self is above is above the law of causation. It is not subjected to cause and effect. You must therefore leave the precincts of your body, mind and intellect and get to your divine centre. Be your Self. You will then govern the world instead of the world governing you.

The law of causation governing humanity falls under two categories. They are known as the law of destiny and the law of karma. The law of destiny deals with your past and present status. Whereas, the law of karma covers your past, present and future. It covers the law of destiny and goes beyond, into the future to explain your life in its entirety. Study it on its own merits. Examine the logic and reason that supports it. By a thorough grasp of the immaculate functioning of the law you can steer your personality to the highest order of life.


The constitution of each human being is a cumulative effect of his past thoughts, desires and actions. His past activities are the cause. His present personality is the effect. The effect is called destiny. Your destiny at any time is therefore the result of your past. Your past activities are fait accompli. You have no control over what you have accomplished earlier. You cannot alter them now. You will have to face the result set by those causes. Hence your present destiny is fixed. You naturally become a victim of your own past activities. If you have had a proper course of education you would be a literate now. If not, if you have neglected your study and learning you would be an illiterate. Likewise, if you had gone through a proper course of spiritual discipline you would command success and peace in your life. If however, you had chosen a material and sensual life you would be mentally agitated and sorrowful. You reap what you sow. That is the law of destiny.

People are not aware of this imposing law of nature. In their ignorance they believe destiny is something which is predetermined. Some accept it as a plan ordained by God. Others presume it is a play of stars and planets. Yet others hold it as a stratagem of luck and accident. These are all preposterous presumptions.

Destiny is ruled by a scientific law relating to cause and effect. You are the creator of your destiny. There is no extraneous power controlling your life. No God shaping your destiny. God has nothing to do with the type of thought, desire and action emanating from you. He does not determine their nature. No doubt God is the supreme power which enables you to think, desire and act. But the quality of your activities is entirely your making. You are the architect of your life. You are responsible for its positive or negative character. You make or mar yourself.

Spiritual ignoramuses believe that God does everything. That whatever happens, happens with the will of God. That God has created the world and determined the course of each one’s life therein. And consider a human being a victim of God’s determination. They do not believe that he has any part to play in moulding his life. Whereas, the atheists aver that a human being is wholly responsible for whatever happens in life. That human effort is everything. And there is nothing else to it. Vedanta resolves the difference in their points of view. God is, no doubt, the substratum, prime mover of all activities. As petrol is to movement of all cars. But petrol does not determine the mode and course of their motion. It is the engine that provides the power in the car. The driver determines its direction, course. Similarly, the human mind and intellect determine the nature and direction of activities. And they in turn fabricate his destiny. Not God.

The responsibility of your life therefore lies in your hands. Entertain positive thought and feeling. Perform positive action. You meet with fortune. Whereas with negative thought, feeling and action you bring about misfortune upon yourself. You mould your destiny. You get what you deserve. It is an unfailing law. Richard Chenevix Trench puts it across beautifully. The stone that is fit for the wall is not left in the way.

Source: Vedanta Treatise - Swamy Parthasarthy

08 December, 2010

Matha, Pitha, Guru & Deivam

Matha (Mother), Pitha (Father), Guru (Teacher) and Deivam (God)

     Nature's constitution is such that for every alignment there is a pay-off, and for every non-alignment there is a price-to-pay.  And it is the law of the nature that Matha, Pitha, Guru and Daivam, has been given these exalted chairs in life.  Irrespective of their relationship with you, your relationship with them has to be right.  It is not what you mean to them, but it is what they mean to you that makes all the difference.  Hence, you hold your feelings towards them right, irrespective of their feelings towards you.  But then, why this exalted status to Matha, Pitha, guru and Daivam.

       The four are the creators of your life.  Without that formless presence, Deivam, nothing exists.  You owe your existence to that formless presence.  The causes behind your form are Matha and Pitha.  Your form is from them.  You are your Father's sperm and your mother's blood.  And, the bridge between your form and that formless presence is your Guru.  You owe your mental, intellectual, emotional and spiritual development to your Guru.  What's not possible for those who have the vibrations and energy of their Guru? Also understand, Matha is the first relationship you recognise.  She shows you who your Pitha is.  Pitha takes you to the Guru.  And, the Guru leads you to God.  And all the four together complete you.

       Certain chairs are powerful. Whether it is man-made systems or the nature’s law, you have to give certain chairs their prescribed status. You ignore these chairs (positions) at your own peril. You respect these chairs (positions) for your own benefit. Nature’s constitution is such that for every alignment there is a pay-off, and for every non-alignment there is a price-to pay. Matha, Pitha, Guru and Deivam have been given these exalted chairs in life. It is not what you mean to them, but it is what they mean to you that make all the difference. Hence, you hold your feelings towards them right, irrespective of their feelings towards you.

       It is satyam that so much about your life will turn right by just getting your feelings towards Matha, Pitha, Guru and Deivam right. The four – Matha, Pitha, Guru and Deivam, are the creators of your life. Without that formless presence, Deivam, nothing exists. You owe your existence to that formless presence. The causes behind your form are Matha and Pitha. Your form is from them. You are your father’s sperm and your mother’s blood. And, the bridge between your form and that formless presence is your Guru. You owe your mental, intellectual, emotional and spiritual development to your Guru. And all the four together complete you.

       Aum, known as praNava mantra, is considered a sacred sound in the Indian religions. The sanctity of MathA, PithA, GurU and DeivaM is also that, if you assemble the last letters from them, you have AAUM.

       Who is god? The one without a second is god. You can have motherly relationships in life, but there is only one Matha – the one who nurtured you in her womb. That’s not replaceable. Matha is, one without a second. You can have many godfathers in your life, but there is only one Pitha – the source of the sperm, from whom it all began. That’s not replaceable. Pitha, is one without a second. There can be a multiple teachers, but only one Guru. Guru is the beacon to a spiritually aligned life. Guru is the one who liberates us. The more you become surrendered to the Guru, the more you feel your freedom. What you share with a Guru is not a relationship; it is connectivity. It is much beyond the physical realm. It is truly spiritual. Guru is, one without a second. Whether you follow the faith of ‘See all in that one god’ or the faith of ‘See that one god in all’, all faiths agree that there is only one god. ‘All in one’ or ‘One in all’, god is the one without the second.

      Though three of the four are embodied, they still enjoy the divine status, not for who they are, but for what they represent. That chair (position) of the ‘one without a second’ presents divinity. In fact, if you cannot experience divinity in the three forms – Matha, Pitha and Guru, you will not be able to experience divinity in that formless presence – the Deivam.

Begin and end your day with salutations to Matha (Mother), Pitha (Father), Guru (Teacher) and Deivam (God). Simply express your gratitude to the four creators, and again it is satyam, you will see a sea change in your life.

Source: An article from Frozen Thoughts magazine.

05 December, 2010


If only we can be as good to man, as we are to god, no prophet or messiah would ever be required to visit this plant.

It seems… A Master and a disciple had gone deep inside a forest to perform penance. For six months they stayed withdrawn from the village life. Then they returned back to the village. As they were approaching their hut, the disciple noticed that half the roof had been blown away by the winds. He was disturbed. He thought, “What is the use of doing all this penance? There is no spiritual justice. After six months we return to the village to take rest and here we find half the roof missing. Now we won’t even have proper shelter.” As he was going through his mental cribbing, he noticed that his Master’s response to the same situation was very different. His Master went down on his knees with hands raised in gratitude, and he was praying aloud. “Lord, your ways are your ways, my Lord! After enjoying nature for six months we have returned. You want our transition to be smooth. So you have already opened half the roof for us. Like what modern day architects try to achieve in their building, ‘Even when we are inside, we should feel we are still outside’. Thank you lord. Thank you so much. Your ways are your ways, my lord.” The disciple didn’t know how to react to the Master’s response.

They settled in the hut and by the end of the day they spread their mat to sleep. Like it happens to any complaining mind the disciple was feeling too restless. He kept twisting and turning. Like it happens to any grateful mind, the Master effortlessly slipped into sleep. His face blossomed with peace even in sleep. The winds had built the clouds and the clouds had turned into a down-pour. All drenched, the furious disciple stormed out of the hut, screaming, “Inside or outside- how does it make a difference?” Wet, cold and shivering, the disciple observed the Master was also coming out of the hut. The Master raised his hands above his shoulders gesturing gratitude and started dancing in the rains. He prayed aloud again. “Lord, your ways are your ways, my lord! For six months, during our penance, we haven’t taken bath. And here, you are, cleansing us with your divine showers. Thank you lord. Thank you so much. Your ways are your ways, my lord.” The disciple now knew how to react to the Master’s response.

The disciple approached the Master and said, “There is a limit to every thing and this is the limit. You are going on thanking god for everything that’s a going wrong, as if were the right thing to happen. Why are you doing this?”

The Master paused his dance and told the disciple, “Do you know something? I don’t even know if god exists! I don’t even know to whom I am praying! All I know is only one thing: My approach is keeping me happy and hence it is the right approach. Your approach is making you miserable and hence it is the wrong approach. The proof of right approach is in the happiness it delivers. Gratitude, to the known or the unknown factor, sustains happiness. Complaining, to someone or in your own thoughts, create misery.”

The Master resumed his dance, praying aloud, “Lord, your ways are your ways, my lord. It is in giving me such disciples you help me to understand life better. Thank you my lord. Thank you so much. Your ways are your ways, my lord.”

The disciple stared at the Master for sometime. Nodded in affirmation. He then joined the Master in his dance. Now the disciple prayed aloud, “Lord, your ways are your ways, my lord. It is by giving me such a Master you help me to understand life better. Thank you my lord. Thank you so much. Your ways are your ways, my lord.”

This whole story is a classic exposition of man’s view towards god. How man feels for god and how man relates with god is truly unconditional. The benefit of doubt is always to god. If there is anything that’s good, then it is because of god. If there is anything that’s bad, then it is because of man.

If her love culminated in marriage, then it is, God always gives her the choicest of blessings.” If it didn’t, then it is, “The rogue betrayed her.” If he got his promotion, then it is, “I had returned from Tirupati after offering my prayers. So I knew it would happen.” If he didn’t, then it is, “My boss is very biased towards North Indians.” The basic outlook is, “Either Jesus saved my mother or the doctor’s mistake killed her.” The conviction is, “My son got through his engineering because of Allah’s mercy, or he didn’t because he took his studies too lightly.” Strange isn’t it, when people say, “Because of her infertility we couldn’t have a child for five years. Then, God opened his eyes and blessed us with an angel.”

Why is that all the praises are to the lord, and all the blame is to man?

Even when the bad, the ugly and the worse happens to man, he has enough philosophies to shield his god. “He has something better for me.” He must be having a larger picture for me.” He knows when to give, whom to give, what to give and how to give.” “God up[sets your plans to execute His plans for you.” And, of course, “Your ways are your ways, my lord.”

The more and more I observe man, the more and more I am convinced, “Not only man is a creation of an extraordinary god, but also, god is a creation of man’s extraordinary faith.”

Not one bit this Awakening is directed at the faith of man. So many of my Awakenings have already been on the power of faith and the role of that Existential Force in the script of man. This Awakening is just a plea, asking man to love men, as he loves his god. What is this thing called love that can love the father, but not his children? What is this naivety of being unconditional to god, who doesn’t need it; but not willing to be unconditional to man, who needs it? You can be imperfect with a perfect god, and yet, you always try to be perfect in your faith in Him. You need to be perfect with the imperfect man, and yet, you resolutely remain imperfect in relating to the imperfections of man.

We consider God to be a zero-defect creator and yet there is so much allowance for God in the scheme of your life. We know man can never be zero-defect and yet we seem to be so unpardonable towards every mistake of man. When we can be so good to a God that you are yet to experience, then why not be good to the man you experience on a daily basis.

The love, the gratitude, the acceptance, the forgiveness, the non-egoistic approach, the trust, the faith, the patience, etc., etc., you have for God, if only you can also have for man… Your God will celebrate you a lot more when you love his children as much as you love him.

It seems… There lived a man by name Samuel in a small village. Samuel was a man of love, affection, integrity and innocence, who helped people at all times and by all means. He preferred to serve the masses instead of attending the Sunday Mass. One day an angel appeared before Samuel with a book in her hand. Opening the book, the angel read the names of Paul, Peter and Mary and asked Samuel, “Could you please show me the house of these people.” Samuel asked the Angel, “What book is this?” The angel replied, “This is the book which contains the names of those people who love God.”

Out of curiosity, Samuel asked the angel, “Could you please check for my name too.” The angel said, “sorry, your name does not figure in it.” Hearing this Samuel got depressed. Seeing him, the angel said, “There is another book in the Heaven which I shall bring tomorrow, may be your name figures in that.” The next day the angel came with the other book and as she opened it, the name Samuel topped the list. Again out of curiosity Samuel asked the angel, “Now what is this book?” The angel replied, “The book which I brought yesterday contained the names of those people who love God. This book, which I have brought today, contains the names of those people whom God loves.” The hands that help are holier than the lips that pray.


Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lilly in bloom,
An Angel writing in a Book of Gold:

Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said,
“What writest thou?” The Vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord
Answered. “The names of those who love the

“And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,”
Replied the Angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerily still; and said, “I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow-men.”

The Angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had
And, lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest!

----- James Henry Leigh Hunt.

In the above magnificent Poem, Leigh Hunt depicts the true aspect of devotion to God. Abou Ben Adhem, a simple soul, professes no love for God. He only claims that he loves his fellow-men.

Abou dreamt of an angel writing the names of those who loved God. He asked the angel if his name was one of them. The angel replied that it was not so. Abou then requested that his name be written as one who loves his fellow-men. The angel wrote and vanished. The next night it returned with the list of names whom God loved. In that list Abou Ben Adhem’s name was foremost.

Devotion to God, is therefore, directly related to one’s love for fellow-beings. God resides in the core of every being. He is the homogeneous Conscious-principle manifesting in the heterogenous variety of beings. To recognise and worhip Him in His Universal expression is true devotion.

It is always easy to love that unknown child in a war-torn zone the no more embodied mystic, and the sacred saint. But the true merit of your love will be when you can love your own children, the difficult-to-bear spouse, and can’t stand-her mother-in-law… unconditionally. If I can be the voice of your near and dear ones, then I would say, “Even without your love, your God is complete. But I am complete only with your love. Even if I am not perfect, can you still complete me with your love? And please remember, I need your love much more when I am wrong than when I am right.”

Did I begin by saying, “If only we can be as good to man, as we are to god, no prophet or messiah would ever be required to visit this planet.” Let me correct myself. In fact, prophets and messiahs became so because they were as good to man, as they were to god.

Source: Frozen Thought magazine Aug 2010.


Con Petire

The Native Americans more popularly known as ‘Red Indians’ have a wonderful diverse culture compared to the current inhabitants of the ‘new’ America. We can also call the Native Americans’ culture as ‘American Indian’ culture.

In today’s business world, corporate policies are so often dictated by the concern of “Stock Market” response. Also of concern are the quarterly reports and how the media is going to respond to the same. Competition is often perceived as ‘pain’. When the going gets tough in the market place because of strategic or policies of the competition, the phrase used to describe the scenario is ‘cut-throat’ competition – as if competition denotes ‘destroyer’. The reality more often than not is that there is a limitation in our understanding or in our response to the changing scenarios in the market place. The competition has understood or responded better than us. They could grab or create opportunities better than us. Period!!!

The Native Americans dealt with the unfavourable circumstances, let it be natural calamities or an onslaught by an adventurous tribesman or an attack from outside, with different thinking. The warrior culture of the tribe Lokota Sioux believed to ‘respect and honour’ opponents for they are always helping you to become better. They are guiding you to bring the best out of you. God has given you few precious jewels hidden inside. They (competition) help you dig these jewels out. They believed if we get ego involved with our competitors, we become weak, lose focus and alertness. We also lose out on happiness. They were told to enjoy the fights because in the fight they are not defeat their competition, but their own weaknesses to emerge stronger.

On researching the origin of the word ‘competition’ I stumbled upon something that made me smile. The English word competition links to the Latin origin of the word competition – Con Petire, which means ‘to search together’.

It is obvious that the world of competition was never to cut each other’s throat, but to intensely search for excellence. The objective is to stop complacence and arrogance; to grow together in honour, respect and gratitude towards consistent never-ending improvement. If only we succeed in understanding the true meaning of the word ‘competition’, the word will become a safer, progressive, successful and a happier place to live in.

To sum up, when I am willing to put the required intelligent efforts, competition=GAIN. When I want to escape putting the required intelligence and efforts, competition=PAIN.

Source: An Article from “Frozen Thoughts” magazine.