Friday, May 20, 2016

Welcome to the Buddha Purnima issue of e-Sanai

by Sri Sandip Dasgupta

Dear fellow devotees,

Welcome to the Buddha Purnima edition of our electronic magazine.

In everyday life, we often come across people who say that they have been following a certain spiritual discipline in their life – yet they have not found or realized God.  Some people say that they have been worshipping at the temple all their life – yet they haven’t made any progress in life.  Some people say that they have been piously counting beads for many years or doing Japa – yet they haven’t received any benefit.  Some of us have tried meditating on God for many years – again to no avail. Why is it so? 

According to Sri Sri Babathakur, all the above methods seek to find God as an object – and hence we are not able to reach him.  According to our Master, a Sadguru knows the Absolute truth and is able to guide us to that Absolute truth – and that Absolute truth is that Atman is the Supreme subject, who resides in each and every one of us.  The nature of that Supreme Atman is infinite, blissful, homogeneous and all-pervading.  So, to realize God – we have to change our approach from seeking Him as an object.  Instead we have to assume that He is the supreme subject and every one of us is His manifestation.  This is the ‘Science of Oneness’ as realized by our Master – Sri Sri Babathakur.

To attain that Oneness (that is our True nature), Sri Sri Babathakur has urged us to live in ‘Sama Sara’ instead of ‘Samsara’. ‘Samsara’ consists of manyness and differentiation – and it leads to unhappiness, rivalry and competition.  On the other hand, if we live in ‘SamaSara’ – we are constantly reminding ourselves that we all are manifestations of the same one, all pervading Atman.  All actions belong to that one Lord – hence all the results of actions also belong to the Lord.  Sri Sri Babathakur has urged us to give up all the results of our action to the Lord – instead of constantly asking/praying for more.  This is His august proclamation that will lead to Supreme Happiness.

In one of His discourses (given on May 18, 1994), that was published in “Sri Sanai” magazine on the occasion of Sri Panchami, 2016 – he says:

-  Not wanting anything is the Supreme wanting
-  Not knowing anything is the Supreme knowing
-  Not becoming anything is the Supreme becoming

At first glance, these statements may appear to be a little odd – but once we analyze these with the light of ‘Science of Oneness’,  we will find that when we realize our Absolute state – there is nothing to be wanted, nothing to be known and nothing to become.  This is because when one attains the state of Absoluteness, there is no second entity – so you cannot want anything else, know anything else or become anything else.

Once again, Sri Sri Babathakur has shown us the path to realizing our own inherent Supreme Bliss – now it is up to us to meditate on His words and follow the path that has been shown by Him.

On this Holy occasion, can we all strive towards remembering His words, reflect on them and live in ‘Samasara’ ?

Joy Babathakur! Joy Babathakur! Joy Babathkur!

Acceptance Leads to Remakable Results

by Sri P.C. Lahiri

Ten years ago twin girls were born to a young couple living in a cohesive joint family in a metropolis in India. One child started displaying very odd mental and physical behavior. Investigations revealed that the child as being highly autistic, her autism rating 8.5 to 9 on a scale of 10. Autism is a lifelong neurobehavioral disorder, characterized by impaired social communication skills, excessive rigidity, and strong emotional tendencies which can be homicidal in highly autistic children. The diagnosis sent shock waves through the family. However through extensive study and deep internal deliberations (rather than courtesy of any significant external intervention), the couple was able to “accept” the situation “as it appeared”. At that time they were not in touch with the teachings of the Master (Prajnanpurush Sri Sri Babathakur). What followed is the subject matter of this piece, presented in light of what was revealed to and has been narrated by the Master.

The well-educated and ambitious modern-day mother quit her well-paying and emotionally satisfying job to take care of the child herself without depending on helping hands. Good and proper treatment of an autistic child is astronomically expensive. The whole financial burden fell on the father. Undeterred, the couple went about their respective tasks with full determination and effort. In the beginning, almost every step they took was followed by a setback.  Frustration, anger and helplessness mounted, but they carried on with every bit of life left in them, always supporting and encouraging each other.  Late in the evenings, they would share their experiences, draw inspiration from each other and get ready to dive headlong into the tasks of the next day.  A stage came when they stopped anticipating results and with further continued practice, they finally arrived at a state where none of them was even looking at results. “Acceptance of all that appeared and as it appeared” in and around their daughter was the key mantra for both of them.  It is an amazing example of a two-man army unknowingly following the principles revealed by the Master against all odds.  It is not that the Masters of yore did not talk about the principle of “acceptance”; those directions however are lost now, being buried in the folds of time due to lack of use/misuse. There was a need of presenting this Supreme Principle all over again in a form suitable for this age and in a perfectly scientific manner.

Nature is subservient to the perfect Masters.  Master has revealed that nature sits like a pet dog at the feet of Supreme Realizers waiting to fulfill Their command of any kind.  However the level of desirelessness and the state of absolute Unity is so perfect and complete within Them (the Masters), that not even a thought arises of using the open offer. An example of this state appeared in the life of Jesus Christ just before the end of the mundane existence of His physical body when death by crucifixion was ordered; had even a thought arisen within Him, all perpetrators would have been burnt alive then and there.  However what came out was a prayer Oh Father! Please forgive them for they do not know what they do. This is also a perfect demonstration of Absolute Acceptance without any second thought whatsoever. What followed after crucifixion is the golden history of spiritual development of humanity. The other angle to this has reference to that revelation of the Master wherein He calls His body-instrument as the Sanai (a musical instrument like flute) in the hands of the Supreme Divine Mother. He further states that Mother plays It any which way She wants to fulfill Her ‘sportful dramatic sameside game of Self-Consciousness’. This means that each and every word that has emanated from the lotus lips of the Master is for the fulfillment of the ‘sportful dramatic sameside game’ of this universe and beyond. Hence isn't obvious that anyone sincerely following the path revealed by the Master has to receive all round support sooner or later, without asking for it or even looking for it?

That is exactly what happened in the life of this couple and continues to happen. Their acceptance of everything related to their daughter and consequently changing/re-adjusting their lifestyle in totality, resulted in rare achievements and fulfillment. The father as a consultant started getting higher paying assignments along with strong recommendations, which in turn has created a continuous chain of assignments. There is always help/suitable advice available at hand for activities centered in and around their daughter without asking. When they need an idea or a specific solution to new issues that keep cropping up, support arrives. There have been miraculous incidents in this direction. The child now attends a proper school of able children as the “lone student with special needs” allowed in the whole school. The fact that she has been admitted to a regular recognized school is an unprecedented phenomenon in itself.  The mother drives the child to school, is with her during the school (by special permission) and at the end of it, drives her back home. If the child’s development continues on expected lines, then a time may come when she will be able to manage herself all alone in school.  Her twin sister has accepted everything in totality at this young age to become her best friend and playmate.  She has been and still is compassion personified when her sister goes through regression, a typical emergency situation with autism.  She has accepted in totality the fact that her sister gets and always will get all the attention.  At the age of 10, she comes across as a cool, calm, mature and very steady child.  The parents have now become a “go to” couple for many others all over the world.  They openly share their knowledge and experiences without any hesitation and go out of the way to help others in all possible ways. They are now finding joy and happiness in whatever they are doing.  Recently a young upcoming female film maker and director produced a National Award winning documentary on this case featuring real life situations at home, school, therapy sessions, playtime etc.

In this connection I would like to share a principle that was revealed to and subsequently narrated by the Master. People who look at faults of others are ghataks (killers/treacherous persons), those who look at their own faults and make sincere efforts to rectify them are sadhaks (efficient ones/devotees), those who have corrected faults and filled the gaps in life are siddhas (accomplished/perfected ones) and those who freely make available their perfection to one and all are maha-siddhas (supremely accomplished and perfected Ones). Let us apply this principle to the case in hand. When the calamitous truth dawned on this couple, they accepted the calamity wholeheartedly, joined hands, and went about working towards all possible solutions like sadhaks, instead of blaming others for their own fate. As life unfolded before this sincere, devoted and hard working couple, they made right use of the experience to become the accomplished ones (like siddhas) in their area of operation.  Going further with the same intensity, they have now become benevolent leaders (like maha-siddhas) who treat all affected families and persons similar to their own case.

It has been a very inspiring experience for me and continues to be so. If the above can happen by the wholehearted acceptance of a very difficult lifelong situation, then why cannot one fully realize the Absolute within by ‘all-acceptance & all-embrace’ formula revealed to and narrated by the Master. The basic principle to be applied in both cases is the same. The wholehearted acceptance of a calamitous lifelong family scenario can be expanded to the wholehearted acceptance of all or the wholehearted embrace of all.

Submitted at the lotus feet of the Master.

Ease In Old Age

by Smt. Susmita Devi

Becoming ‘old’ in body – i.e. if one could call the age of 76, old (for I just read in the news paper about a lady celebrating her 116th birthday!) – definitely has its advantages. 

Ramen and I have been so lucky (or as devotees of Sri Sri Babathakur, we say: ‘by Guru’s Grace’) to now be living in a retirement home called ‘Homage’, which can be interpreted as:

-  Reverence to the acquired knowledge of the world gathered over a number of physical years
-  Simply – if one were to split the name ‘Homage’ as ‘home + age’ - an institution for the elderly.

Here, I don’t just mean retirement from work outside the home, but retirement also from the strenuous job of being a housewife (who incidentally has even less leisure time than one working outside the home).  On the contrary, it is a time to do things one did not have the time for during one’s ‘goings-on’ age.

Retirement from income-generating or household activities does not at all mean to remain bored, gossip all day long, or stick one’s nose in others affairs just to pass time. Nor does it mean that one should do nothing – in other words let Tamas (inertia, dullness) reign.

Being a member of an old-age institution need not imply that one’s mind has gone numb.  Neither should it hint at a diminished quality of life.  Often the contrary is true, given the number of ‘duties’ one has to engage are few.  Boarders may gather for various activities like singing, story-telling, religious gatherings (satsang) or discussions on a wide variety of topics based on their life experiences.

The institution we stay in really functions as a ‘home’ due to the care provided and the environment created with the elderly in mind. In Homage, one can feel ‘at home’ because the uncomplaining staff and inmates takes care of each other - as well or maybe even better than relatives would.

To pass on the care for the elderly to professionals is a relatively new phenomenon in India.  Just 30 odd years ago when I arrived in India, the fact that family elders would not reside with the younger generation was unheard of.  Socio-economic conditions however have changed quite drastically since then.  These days, migration for work (either within India or abroad) is often necessary to sustain the family.  So who will look after the welfare of the elder generations?  Old age homes are often the solution to socio-economic problems of the present generation of the middle class.

The ‘home’ Ramen and I live in is situated on the banks of the mighty Ganga (although it is officially called Hoogly).  Many of the boarders’ children live and work abroad or in other Indian cities, where the elderly may not like to spend the remainder of their days.  Others like Ramen and myself have no children from whom we might expect care.  It is therefore ideal to live in a place where housekeeping is taken care of by others.  Your only care is to pass your days as agreeably as possible, eventually pursuing a hobby.

We do so for example, by admiring the golden sheen of the rising sun on the ripples of the Ganges from the balcony overlooking it, or by enjoying the sprinkle of silver adorning the water undulating on the river during the late afternoons.  The ever refreshing breeze blowing onshore from the Ganges purges our minds of negativity, and one cannot but be peaceful during such musings.

I have tried to make people aware that not getting any younger is not full of misery if one can adjust. We have done it by following Sri Sri Babathakur’s ‘Formula of Four-fold A’ (Accept, Adjust, and Accommodate to reach the Absolute).  The remembrance of the above quote and its practice in one’s daily life is particularly conducive to the well-being of the house inmates (and to all in general) in the sense that it eradicates unnecessary discontent.  After a while, only the extreme of thoughts or sayings may disturb the mind. Commonplace squabbles, arguments, disgruntlement and discontent simply vanish.

Internet Facilitates Spiritual Living

by Sri Ajit Halder

We all want to lead a peaceful life.  Spiritual living gives us the inner moral strength to face all of life’s problems and difficulties and enables us to enjoy life with a tranquil state of mind.

Spirituality is a concept that includes a sense of connection to something holier than ourselves and it is a state in which we are connected to God.  Being aware of God and living in God- consciousness empowers us spiritually and contributes to our overall joy and happiness.

There are various paths leading to a spiritual life.  One can experience spirituality by being a member of a ‘satsanga’ group of devotees (assembled to listen to a religious discourse given by a religious Guru or to render devotional songs), reading inspirational literature such as the Ramayana or the Mahabharata, listening to a recitation of hymns or better still by reciting stotras. Any of these activities touches our soul, and we experience a spiritual connection with the authors of sacred books or the singers of devotional songs and receive the divine message.

Some may find their spiritual life to be intricately connected to the temple of their ‘Ishta Devata’ (chosen deity) as they regularly visit the temple to receive the blessings of God. Spiritual practices may include prayer, meditation, and the reading of sacred text like the Gita. The spiritual approach helps one to see beyond outer appearances and improve one’s vision of the divinity.

One of the main teachings of spirituality is to look within oneself and gain awareness of the fact that the inner soul is a reflection of the Supreme Soul (which is eternal and deeply profound). This feeling is significant, and one finds a higher, nobler meaning and purpose in one’s existence. Often we find ourselves lost, confused and feeling dejected.  Spirituality helps us to have Faith in the Lord as a source of inner strength and have confidence that God will never forsake us in times of distress.

Modern life is busy tackling worldly matter and we may be so engrossed in mundane affairs, that we hardly find time to engage in activities leading to a spiritual living.  We however need not feel downcast for the Internet can help us cultivate spirituality in many ways.

The Internet is the ‘window’ to the world of knowledge, offering one ready access to spiritual discourses and wise thoughts. It is available 24 hours a day, and one can repeatedly access the selected source thereby ensuring that knowledge eventually grows on us.  Anyone wishing to lead a life of spirituality can use the Internet to:

-  Read scriptures and holy sermons;
-  Listen to the recitation of Gita’s verses and devotional songs; 
-  Join  in teleconferencing (satsanga on the airwaves) and improve on spiritual knowledge by  exchanging views and learning from other like-minded devotees; 
-  Undertake virtual pilgrimages by visiting the sites of popular religious shrines on the Internet;
-  Receive news of religious events at home and abroad and to request religious offering to one’s chosen deity in temples sited on the Internet;
-  Establish new contacts or renew contacts of already known devotees (via e-mail) – you feel as if you’re in the company of fellow devotees and are never being left alone;
-  Access applications like ‘Skype’ or ‘Facetime’ to send and receive videos on spiritual discussions and to listen to the ‘Prabachans’ of distinguished speakers on religious matters;
-  Realize that there is a captive creator trapped within each one of us.  If we realize God within us, we are spiritual.  It typically involves looking within ourselves and reaching higher levels of consciousness to find the meaning of life.

The use of the Internet enables us to achieve what has been discussed above.

A final word about the Internet bringing individuals situated far apart, closer by conquering space and time.  These two entities have been in existence long before humans appeared on Earth and are always singing the glory of God. This thought adds to the important concept and practice of Spirituality, the linking of human spirit with the Universal Spirit facilitated by the Internet use.