Shri Krishna Arpanam Astu 

After almost a month of intensive pilgrimages and family travel, many late nights, groggy mornings, out-of-the-regular diet regimes, and (this time around) particularly demanding children-related obligatory duties, I most gratefully slipped back into my usual (often non-negotiable) daily routine of solitude, quietude, and study. The inexplicable relief! 

The first sighting on my morning walk after such a long gap, a “welcome gift” from my beloved Botanical Gardens, was this beautiful water lily in full bloom belting out, as it were, my Krishna’s standing instruction in Chapter 5, verse 10 of the Bhagavad Gita… 


padma-patram ivāmbhasā

meaning …

Be in this world just like the lotus is. 

It is born in the (many times murky) water. It blooms, blossoms, and thrives in that water. It wilts away and dies in that very water, and YET! All through its fast-fleeting existence – it is not marred or affected by even one single drop of that water. 

Another definition for the world is dvandva – which means pairs of opposites. For at the heel of every joy is sorrow. For every gain, there is a loss in tow. Every pleasure is shadowed by pain; every rise hovers around a fall. Nothing stays the same forever. We are caught in a whirlwind of uncomfortable transcience from the womb to the tomb. When we meet with what we like, we jump with glee – when faced with challenges, we sink in despair. We find ourselves on a frightfully never-ending roller coaster ride – whether we enjoy its thrill or not. 

Is this any way to live? That too in the human apparatus? Relegated to chance, bereft of choice in any aspect of our lives? 

The oft-overlooked gift of human birth is our Buddhi – Intellect, which, if awakened, has the power to guide the otherwise wayward mind to reign in the senses enough to meet the world for what it is rather than leave them to the mercy of our unrealistic expectations of what it should be. An incessant expectation that is riddled with disappointments every step of the way. 

And when we can do that, we slowly but surely see ourselves rise above our joyful or sorrowful affectations from the world – one scenario at a time. We become in tune with Shri Krishna’s take on what Yoga truly is when He declares in verse 48 of Chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita – 

समत्वं योग उच्यते

samatvam yoga uchyate 

Meaning equanimity of mind is Yoga. 

This equanimity, serenity, and objectivity of mind develop our ability to stay unscathed amidst the seemingly merciless lashings of an unrelenting world. This even keel poise transforms our otherwise extremely impressionable personality into that lotus that remains unaffected by water or the slush that pollutes it. 

A tough ask? No – not really. 

I am stepping out, having experienced its possibility in irrefutable bits and pieces in and through what was a complete break, a Cosmically orchestrated pause from an otherwise untampered with (to the point of fault) “Spiritual” lifestyle. 

And what I realized was is with prior intelligent, periodic, well-employed vairagya (renunciation) and relentless abhyaasa (practice), maintained for a considerably long duration of time, whether you are firmly anchored to the altar of your Soul or being pulled far, far away from It into the depths of the material world, you gradually begin embodying the state of – 

योगरतो वा भोगरतो वा 
सङ्गरतो वा सङ्गविहीनः |
यस्य ब्रह्मणि रमते चित्तं
नन्दति नन्दति नन्दत्येव ‖ 20 ‖

yogarato vā bhogarato vā

saṅgarato vā saṅgavihīnaḥ |

yasya brahmaṇi ramate chittaṃ

nandati nandati nandatyeva ‖ 20 ‖

… as expressed in verse 20 of Shri Adi Shankaracharya’s universally chanted hymn Bhaja Govindam

As in, your mind, intellect, AND intention remain docked in the highest within you that you have thus far accessed, no matter what, whom, or where your body is engaged with. 

Does that mean we go through life mechanically with no zest or enthusiasm? No, not at all. This is a sorry misconception about adopting Vedanta in our day-to-day lives. One teaching at a time, Vedanta builds us up to engage in this world with a disinterested interest, a dispassionate passion, and unsentimental sentiments. Have emotions, It says, but do not get emotional. Because getting emotional with every up and down we encounter becomes our unsolicited ticket on that much-dreaded roller coaster ride. 

Oliver Goldsmith concludes his inspiring poem The Village Preacher by describing the extraordinary stance a highly evolved soul holds in and through his interactions with the world. 

To them his heart, his love, his griefs were given, 

But all his serious thoughts had rest in Heaven. 

As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form, 

Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm,

Though round its breast, the rolling clouds are spread, 

Eternal sunshine settles on its head

So you see, it is not that we do not engage with the world at all. Then what is the point of being in the world in the first place? The dignity and grandeur of human birth ask us to step back and see who is calling the shots? Is the world dictating the script of our lives, or are were writing our stories in ways that will prod us along an upward trajectory of the evolution of our Consciousness? 

The world will be as it is – exactly as it is. And, it is not what we meet in the world that will determine the course of our lives but how we meet it. Lotus! 

And so, while the break was good and, in hindsight, necessary – to now be back again with the birds, the bees, the trees, the buds, the blooms, the lakes, the cascades, and above all, the huss shhh … the stillness and silence within and without that brought about such deep contemplations over a single sighting is something I wouldn’t put aside to be lured into the frenzied madness of the world again! 


Unraveling the Mystique of Bhagavad Gita Dhyanam

Bhagavad Gita Dhyanam is recited before reading the holy Bhagavad Gita. It’s composed by “Sri Madhusudhana Saraswati”

There are nine verses in which the Saint pays his respect to the Bhagavad Gita (Song of the lord), Veda Vyasa (The Author), Lord Krishna (the Preceptor) and Mahabharata (the Epic)

Bhagavad Gita Dhyanam:

Om Paarthaya Pratibodhitaam Bhagavata Naaraayanena Svayam
Vyaasena Grathitaam Puraanamuninaa Madhye-Mahaabhaaratam
Advaitaamritavarshinee Bhagavateem-Ashtaadashaadhyaayineem
Amba Tvaamanusandadhami Bhagavad Gita Bhavadveshineem

Namostu te Vyasa Vishalabuddhe Phullara Vindaayata Patranetra
Yena Tvayaa Bharatataila Poornah Prajvaalito Gyaanamayah Pradeepaha

Prapanna Paarijaataaya Totravetrai Kapaanaye
Gyaanamudraaya Krishnaaya Gitaa-Amritduhe Namaha

Sarvopanishado Gaavo Dogdhaa Gopala Nandanaha
Paartho Vatsah Sudheer Bhoktaa Dugdham Gitaamritam Mahat

Vasudevasutam Devam Kansa Chaanoora Mardanam
Devaki Paramaanandam Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum

Bhishma-Drona-Tataa Jayadrathajalaa Gandhaaraneelotpalaa
Shalyagraahavatee Kripena Vahanee Karnena Velaakulaa
Ashatthaama-Vikarna-Ghora Makaraa Duryodhanaa Vartinee
Sotteerno Khalu Paandavai Rananadee Kaivartakah Keshavaha

Paarasharya Vachassaroja Mamalam Gitaarthagandhotkatam
Naanaakhyaanakakesaram Harikathaa Sambhodhanaa Bodhitam
Loke Sajjana Shatpadairaharahah Pepeeyamaanam Mudaa
Bhooyaada Bhaaratapankajam Kalimalapradhvamsi Nah Shreyase

Mukam Karoti Vaachalam Pangum Langhayate Girim
Yatkripaa Tamaham Vande Paramaananda-Madhavam

Yam Brahmaa-Varunendra-Rudra-Marutah Stunvanti Divyaih Stavaih
Vedaih Saangapadakramopanishadair Gaayantiyam Saamagaaha
Dhyaanaa Vasthita Tadgatena Manasaa Pashyanti Yam Yogino
Yasyaantam Na Viduh Suraasuraganaah Devaaya Tasmai Namaha


Collective Human Consciousness

As a law student, I come across many case studies dealing with conflict of interests among persons. All the disputes arise from either personal vengeance and revenge against another person or greed for wealth & property, so much so that human loses regard even for his near & dear ones, his closest family members and blood relations. These cases give me an insight into basic human psychology – what factors shape human behaviour and mindset, how man perceives threat and reacts according to his perception, how vulnerable man becomes on the thought of losing something, how different human beings perceive and respond to the same situation differently, and so on. It also reminds me of a phrase from Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya’s composition ‘Bhaja Govindam’ which translates as, “So long as a man is fit and able to support his family, see the affection all those around him show. But no one at home cares to even have a word with him when his body totters due to old age.” This basic human tendency which Adi Shankaracharya observed ages ago, stands true even today, which shows that the fundamental human characteristics never change. As social engineers, we have interactions with humans and thus get exposed to varied perspectives, thought processes, beliefs and instincts of people forming the society. We also get to examine the conscious and subconscious intent, motive, fears and deep desires of people, either in manifested or unmanifested form.

After studying these cases closely, I have felt that the root cause of all the conflicting interests, disputes, enmity, hatred and toxicity is ‘avidya’ or ‘ignorance’. When man considers this world to be permanent and gets deeply engrossed in worldly virtues, he lives in a state of blissful ignorance. He creates his mental, physical, emotional, social dependence on materialistic things, which are temporary in their virtue. Man becomes vulnerable when he forgets that he is too temporary to have permanent problems in life, and that temporary things cannot give permanent happiness. That’s where Bhagavad Gita has a role to play.

Bhagavad Gita is not merely a scripture but a book of life, which has answers to all the questions which we seek throughout our life. Our struggle in life mainly deals with three aspects – human’s conflict with another human (Adhibhautika), human’s conflict with nature (Adhidaivika), human’s conflict with self (Adhyatmika) – and Bhagavad Gita deals with all these challenges and provides solutions to overcome them. The Kurukshetra in Mahabharata is symbolic of the battlefield of our life, the characters of this great epic are symbolic of the dynamic human tendencies & temperaments, and the Mahabharata represents the battle of life! When we take the role of Arjuna, our life becomes ‘Kurukshetra’, when we take the role of Duryodhana, our life becomes ‘Rannkshetra’, and when we come in the role of Shri Krishna, the same life becomes ‘Dharmakshetra’ – it all depends upon how we perceive life and the choices we make. We don’t see things as it is, we see things as we are. At times we become blind like Dhritarashtra, at times we develop an inflexible point of view like Bhishma Pitamah, at times we knowingly choose the wrong path like Duryodhana, at times we renounce righteousness for the sake of our attachment like Karna, at times we are placed in a dilemma like Arjuna. But when we seek the advice of Shri Krishna and follow his guidance, we rise above all the problems and emerge victorious in the battle of life. And this is why Bhagavad Gita stands relevant even today and applicable universally.

Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana and various other scriptures are a treasure trove for us which have been preserved by generations since time immemorial. They give direction to our life and help us decipher ‘how to live life’. The wisdom of these scriptures transcend place and time. At any place, in any era, these teachings are aptly relevant because they catalyze the process of attainment of true knowledge and thus elevate human consciousness.

Human mind is very powerful, what it can conceive it can also achieve. But when that mind works in the negative direction, it leads to immense destruction. So channelizing that mind in the positive direction is very essential for the well-being of society and peaceful co-existence of all creatures in the world. Spirituality makes us realize that other than our true nature (aatma), everything is temporary. True happiness and bliss lies not in materialistic pleasures but in knowing oneself and the purpose of life. When we rise above worldly pleasures and seek divine knowledge, we get to know the master plan, the bigger picture of life, the absolute reality. We realize that neither our achievements nor our failures are permanent, so there should be no arrogance of achievements and no worries for failures. We then stop comparing ourselves with others because everyone has a different journey, and when comparisons end, all the associated feelings of jealousy, insecurity, competition, ego, greed come to an end. We become focused towards our own actions and shun negative, wrong acts.

I again quote Adi Shankaracharya’s excellent composition ‘Bhaja Govindam’, wherein he urges man to give up his thirst to amass wealth and devote his mind to thoughts to the real; and to be content with what comes through actions already performed in the past. Free yourself from the illusion of the world of Maya and attain the timeless truth. This universal consciousness when imbibed by the society as a whole, ends duality and conflict of interests among people. The root cause of all disputes is wealth and property, because of which people spend half of their lives as labourers and the rest half as watchmen, forgetting the fact that they will go empty-handed. History has made it evident time and again that a rich man fears his own son, this is the way of wealth everywhere, it makes even the closest people disloyal and treacherous. One should reflect at all times that wealth is not welfare, truly there is no joy in it. Permanent bliss lies in true knowledge and wisdom, it is a treasure which no one can steal from you and the treasure which forms a part of your ‘chitta’, your deep memory, the unconscious mind, and it transcends lifespans. Wisdom is one such thing which accompanies you even after death to your next life, all other things are perishable and are carried only till the grave. Once we are able to discern between ‘nitya’ and ‘anitya’, we will get complete clarity as to what we have to do in life and what we have to refrain from doing.

All religions deliver the same teachings in different forms, spirituality is the common factor of all these teachings which opens our ‘trinetra’ or ‘aagya chakra’ and helps us see the bigger picture of life, i.e. absolute reality and universal consciousness. Spirituality transcends religions, faiths, beliefs, ideologies, ways of worship, cultural identities, and unites everyone under one umbrella. When people will rise above these limited identities and come to experience one consciousness in every creature, the world will become a better place to live in where law will have no relevance, laws will be replaced by self-regulation and people will become mindful and conscious of their actions. Such a world can be created by efforts on part of every individual, because little drops of water make a mighty ocean.


Unlocking the Power of Music: Exploring the Ancient Tradition of Music and Silence

Life Is Music – Music is a form of art. When different kinds of sounds are put together or mixed together to form a new sound which is pleasing to human beings, it is called music. Life is also music if through our awareness we can put everything together in organic unity then silence is taking birth as a new sound, freshness through this body. The body will be a vehicle to carry universal sound. Once you have tasted this universal sound you will be intoxicated.

Give life to things which are beautiful. Don’t give life to ugly things. You don’t have much time, much energy to waste. With such a small life, with such a small energy source, it is simply stupid to waste it in sadness, anger, hatred, in jealousy. Use it in love, use it in some creative act, use it in friendship, use it in meditation; do something with it which takes you higher. And the higher you go, the more energy sources become available to you. At the highest point of consciousness, you are almost a god. It is in your hands.

Music is the only language that comes very close to silence, the only sound which is able to create the soundless. It has to be understood that music has no meaning. It is sheer joy and celebration. It is the only art that can somehow impart the inexpressible.

The ancient tradition of music is that it was born out of meditation. The people who meditated could not find any way to impart their experiences. They invented different instruments so that something can be said without creating a meaning in you but certainly a joy, a dance.

It must have been a tremendously valuable revelation for those who in the beginning discovered a language which is not a language. Sounds in themselves have no meaning. Meaning is man’s imposition on sounds. Sounds are natural. The wind blowing through the pine trees has a sound and music of its own. Or a river, descending from the mountain through the rocks, has its own sound and its own music.

Meditators, listening to the inner silence, must have felt the tremendous difficulty of how to share it. It was in those beginning days that music was discovered. The discovery is simple: take away the meaning from the sounds and instead of meaning, give the sounds harmony, a rhythm which penetrates the very heart. It says nothing, but it says the unsayable too.

The ordinary idea of music is that it consists of sounds, but that is only half the truth – and of lesser importance. As the music becomes deeper and deeper, it consists of silences between two sounds.
An ancient proverb in China is, “When the musician becomes perfect he throws away his instruments” because instruments can only create sound. The silence is created by the musician. But at perfection, the same sounds that were creating small pieces of silence start becoming a disturbance. A strange idea, but perfectly meaningful, and significant. It applies to every art. When the archer becomes perfect he throws away his bow and his arrows; just his eyes are enough to look at a flying bird and the bird will fall down. The bow and arrows were only a preparation.
The same applies to music, to painting, to all the arts which man has discovered. At the ultimate peak, you don’t need the steps, the ladder which has helped you to reach the peak. It becomes irrelevant.

Every one of us has experienced that some time we think and it happens. What is at that time we are unconsciously at the peak of our awareness and totally silent. At that moment what we think happens. Meditators consciously reach the peak so they are throwing the medium, which they have used to reach their highest state of consciousness. What is the difference between us and them only one thing they become perfect through consciousness and we become perfect out of practice. This means when we practice we don’t watch ourselves but meditators while practising watches themselves also. This is consciousness and awareness. In that awareness, you will be able to hear the sound of AUM without any medium of music.


Spirituality and Relationships

We are living in very challenging times nowadays. Each and every person is struggling in life. Especially relationships are very vulnerable these days. Be it marriage or other family members, its tough to maintain a healthy relationship for long.

The percentage of Divorce and family disputes has risen immensely in the past 10 years. New concepts of Live-in relationships or open marriage are in trend.

Why? Why are we facing these challenges? Have you ever thought about it?

Let’s try to understand, some people say it is because of so much exposure i.e., social media, etc. Some believe that Western influence is the reason. Or in the case of marriages people often say that nowadays girls are earning and living life on their terms or girls have refused to adjust the cause. 

All of these do contribute to the scenario, but there is a different perspective also.

Only girls or boys are not responsible for it, people believe human values have gone down. We are not in alignment with our own souls. We have come far from our own basic values. Our integrity is lost.

And Spirituality is the only way to reverse this situation.

Why and how?

You may feel that spirituality means Sanyasa, it will detach you from the material world. No it doesn’t mean like that. Spirituality is reaching to your highest potential. Spirituality activates wisdom, clarity. It becomes your own internal GPS (Guiding System). It develops discernment within you. It connects you with your higher self. It can make your relationships beautiful. It can give you wisdom to tackle difficult situations wisely.

  1. Spirituality says the concept of the inside out. It says you can work on yourself only. You cannot change others but it also says that if you purify yourself it will reflect in your environment. It’s the law of the universe what you give out in universe, comes back to you in manifolds. So if you spread love, you will receive love. If you spread hatred, you will receive the same.
  2. Spirituality is based on the theory of Karma. Another universal Law of cause and effect.  Karma of past and the present will jointly create the future. When you are connected with the higher source you become aware of your thoughts, words and actions. You do karma consciously.
    • For example – in Jyotish, it is said that while reading horoscopes desh, kaal, vaatavaran needs to be considered. It means that the effect of the country, era and environment you live in can give results of the same yoga differently. For instance – it has been observed that yoga of becoming an addict or gangster did not manifest because the child lives in the holy city and his family has sown seeds of dharma and sanskara since childhood then his mind, thoughts actions are wise and his conscious did not allow him to do wrong and in the reverse case, in case of a child born in a very advanced country and parents were busy in their career, the child has grown up without any affection, proper guidance and protection, the same yoga clearly manifested in child’s life.
  3. Spirituality leads you to your higher purpose. When you have a higher purpose, your perspective towards life changes. You don’t get disturbed by petty issues. You can see things in top view and get solutions.
  4. We Indians are very fortunate that all the precious knowledge is our heritage. Our shastras can guide us to do the rituals, practices to achieve everything in life.
  5. Guru parampara is the base of our culture. When we have a Guru in our life, he can direct our path to the destination with the right guidance and protect us from falling down.

Spirituality works in two ways:

Practice for self

Practice for self means: becoming closer to our real own self. The original human being which God has created, the pure one, the pious one, who is wise, courageous, compassionate and know how to balance and be in neutral state emotionally.

Our shastras guides us to purify ourselves, how to apologise and ask forgiveness for our past karmas. Few relationships are the result of our deeply rooted karma.  Even in that situation it guides us to face it gracefully and move on.  A human life is much more worth than a relationship or any exam or career. It teaches us to utilize this birth to achieve moksha.

As it is said – “Bade bhaag manushya janma paava.”

If we follow few practices daily. The percentage of suicides and depression can decrease significantly.

Practice for others

Practice for others means working for the people, Society, country, and environment. As our shastras says we are indebted towards our parents, family, people in the world, our country where we are born or live and towards mother nature. This whole universe works as a combined effort.

 Someone sow seeds, some people manufacture things, and some supply it to others. A single person cannot survive. We need to have people around. We have to pay our debts towards all of these. We can do it by serving them and helping people, animals, and nature in any possible way we can. It can build our good fortune account also because it is good karma.

If you purify yourself and work for others, you are creating a bright future for yourself and your coming generations as well.

There are many more solutions given in different modalities of spiritual practices.  Other than traditional methods, we can make our life better in form of simple habits and prayers. For example, prayers for forgiveness, gratitude and happiness for self and others can bring a remarkable change in relationships and other areas of life.

Change comes when we accept our karma. It means whatever the situation, it’s the result of my own past or present life karmas. When we accept our karma, we take charge of our life. Because if we have created the karma, then I can only change it. Otherwise, we complain, crib or blame others for all our problems. In this way, we give authority to others and how can other people change my life? So firstly take charge in your hands by accepting your karma. Then you can see the difference in a situation for the good.

If each and every individual thinks and live in sync with spirituality then definitely the world will become a better place.


Adveshta Sarvabhutaam – Hate no Being

That vivid memory of my 15-year-old self in lemon-yellow cotton overalls, messy hair yet wide expectant eyes sitting amongst veiled Indian marwadi women in a Satsangh (religious discourse) that my father encouraged me to attend at his friend’s house, saying it would interest me, which it did. 

“We know the ferocity of a lion,” said the woman moderating the discussions, “so we never go anywhere near him. We leave him alone in his cage.” Of course! I thought – that’s a no-brainer! “And, so it is with our fellow human beings,” she explained. “Each has his own unique nature – which either resonates with our own or creates a total discord. We must know to discern and embrace or avoid accordingly.” Yes. I affirmed triumphantly. That is what I do. Everyone I don’t like, I avoid. I’m good with this philosophy. 

But then, as I grew in age and my interest in the shastras deepened, along what would be a long and arduous spiritual journey, I inadvertently stumbled upon Shri Krishna’s very first pre-requisite for a true bhakta (devotee) in verse 13 of chapter 12 in the Bhagavad Gita.

adveshta sarvabhutanam meaning one who has no hate for any being? Read that again. A true devotee is not someone who merely loves everybody but does not dislike anybody! Any body! Not a single body! Haan? I wondered! How is that even possible? 

But with a gradual expansion of my understanding, I recognized that a chain’s strength lies in its weakest link. The entire chain could be made of solid gold – unbreakable – but if it is connected at any place with a link of cardboard – tug at that point, and it breaks! And so it is with us. We could be large-hearted people who generally love one and all. Still, a deliberate indifference, a strong dislike, or worse, hate for even one would be enough to consume us whole and pollute our otherwise beautiful personalities. 

Those being the early days of my seeking, my bubbling enthusiasm pushed me to instantaneously put into practice everything I was learning without understanding it fully. I began “loving” it all – good, bad, or indifferent. “Can hate no being” was the shruti (background music) echoing away through my conscience no matter how crude a person or absurd a circumstance stood before me. And though my Intellect gloated at this newfound benevolence that I was running around bestowing upon my world – my heart was shrinking within, stifling, suffocating me – weeping. Why? Because I “loved” that which I knew in every ounce of my being to be unlovable. Repeatedly hushing my better judgment, I began throwing myself as a doormat to be trampled upon by all I instinctually knew to be wrong. 

“To thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man,” said William Shakespeare. I was anything but true to myself in this fraudulent act of loving that I was so triumphantly on about. Consciously I was acknowledging, embracing, and yes, condoning evil every step of the way – because Shri Krishna declared, adveshta sarvabhutanam in the book I revere most in my life. And imagine what a waste all of that forced love was because I was not being true to anyone. I was a mithyachara – a hypocrite – harboring some feelings within and expressing something entirely different without. 

Years later, when the turmoil within reached its peak and my restlessness, I could bear no more, that whole scene of my very first satsangh flashed before me. And the moderator’s analogy of the lion played out once again in my thought processes. Unconsciously, I began boring deep into it … until aha! Eureka! The rest of the teaching on its own unraveled right there and then! 

The lion is ferocious, and yes, we leave it alone in the cage. No doubt, we do not go and hug it, but neither do we hate it nor begin pelting stones at it. We admire its ferocity from afar and go our own way, filled with great awe and reverence for its uniqueness. 

And that is what was meant by Shri Krishna’s adveshta sarvabhutanam! Alas! It all came together for me. Everyone we encounter will have their own nature, some completely opposed to ours, perhaps detestable – in fact, even detrimental to our existence. But here is where the teaching comes into play. Do not engage. But do not hate. Stand up for yourself, vehemently oppose, yes, but what? The action – not the actor! “Punish the sin, not the sinner,” as is popularly said. 

Throughout the Bhagavad Gita, Shri Krishna emphasizes love, oneness, forgiveness, and the like, and yet! He insists that Arjuna picks up his bow and arrow to fight! Both those teachings addressed two different aspects of Arjuna’s personality. While the body was meant to do what it was meant to do – in his case, fight the war to re-establish righteousness under the guidance of a very unbiased and objective Intellect – his mind was to be surrendered in love to Brahman, the eternal Atman that was the same in him and all the other bodies he was to annihilate on that battlefield. 

“I have dedicated 60 years of my life to teaching Advaita Vedanta to countless people and authored numerous books on the subject to expound its import. But today, you can keep all that philosophy aside if you haven’t been able to make sense of any of it and hold onto this one understanding. A will be A, B will be B, and C will be C. Not understanding who is what and how to manage who is what gets you into all sorts of trouble. Get this right, and you will cruise through life. I promise,” said my Teacher and Guide the last time I saw Him in person. 

And really, THAT is the bottom line. Understand yourself, assess the world, and engage accordingly. Hating no body! 


Happiness is the Choice

We are born by chance, and one fine day we will die by chance, but between birth and death, everything (whole life) is a choice. We make choices and choices make us. Three basic principles of life work throughout life- 1st Principle- is “People are choice makers”; every moment we make choice; 2nd Principle – is “Not choosing one is actually choosing another one” this means if you are choosing to read this means you are not choosing something else to read, and if you are choosing that you are not choosing this! 3rd Principle – “Choices are the cause and life is the effect” (keeping these 3 principles in mind and read this message.)

There are seven major choices that we make in life that determine our holistic happiness.

1st Choice: Every morning we make a choice – body or the buds (taste buds)? Every time whenever we do something we have a choice – what do I want to eat? Is this something which is healthy or something which is only appeasing my taste buds? When the morning alarm rings assure you to the chosen your body over comfort and you change, you gain health as a result.

2nd Choice: Assure, that your profession should match your disposition. When you do what you love to do some profession which you actually are born for. Then you don’t need to work for a single day ever in your life and your life will be seamless. Otherwise, you will have to do two jobs throughout your life – 10 hrs you will be working for your abdomen and then again 10hrs you will be working for doing something for your heart. So, why do 2 jobs throughout life? Choose 2- 1 job where your disposition, your personality traits, what you love, and your gifts and blessings should match with your profession. This is what Lord Krishna says in Gita – “Swadharma! do Your Swadharma for which you are born for, then you will gain satisfaction in life!”

3rd Choice: At any moment choose a relation over a situation. There will be many places /situation come in your life then you have to choose between relationships on a situation, then always choose a relationship. If right now this is the last moment of your life, whom or what are you missing the most? Think about! So, assure every moment give your best to all the relationships you care for. This is the 3rd choice that will make your life emotionally secure.

4th Choice: Every moment there is a choice between response or reaction. Somebody said something either you immediately say something blah… blah… blah…! Without thinking, there is no time gap, no brain in between reacting to a situation, it is called addiction. But between addiction and reaction some zone of freedom I exercised. This is called response. I give enough time before I say or do anything etc. In Bhagwad Gita, Addiction means Vikarma, Reaction means Pratikarma, and Response means Karma! Karma gives you Emotional stability(Samattvam).

5th Choice: Fight or Flight in any situation what do you choose? E.g., Mohandas K. Gandhi was insulted at a railway station, he was thrown on the railway station just because of his skin colour. But the person who stood up and fight for rights, he was Mahatma Gandhi! That was a choice, and this choice gives us strength.

6th Choice: Have or don’t have, what do you focus on every morning? Do you focus on, things you have or do you focus on, things you don’t have? Every morning, if you get up and think about the things you are blessed with, your whole day goes in happiness and you feel Gratitude.

7th Choice: Accept or Expect! When you keep expecting you become a perpetual beggar. But when you accept the things you have you become a saint. Once you Embrace things you feel happy and peaceful.

  1. When you choose Body over Bud – you get Health!
  2. When you choose Disposition over Profession – you feel Satisfied!
  3. When you choose Relation over Situation – you feel Emotionally Secure!
  4. When you choose Response over Reaction every moment – you feel Emotionally Stable!
  5. When you choose to Fight rather than Flight – you feel Strength!
  6. When you choose what You Have rather than what You Don’t – you feel Gratitude!
  7. When you Accept things rather than Expecting from people – you feel Peace!

Law Of Karma

I am very much inspired by one talk delivered at UCC 2022 by Dr. Vikrant Singh Tomar on “Law of Karma”. This Law of karma is the key to understanding and living life and achieving our purpose of life.

Q. Did you ever suffer something that you don’t think you deserve?

Q. Did you ever get something that you thought you would never get but somehow by God’s grace you got it?

Q. Did you ever think this thought came to you about why bad things happened to good people?

Q. Have you ever thought that why an infant child died of disease, what wrong he did ever for getting the disease and dying out of it?

Q. Why do I attract this abusive relationship or these difficulties or these patterns again and again in my life?

If you have ever thought of these questions, then the answer lies in the Law of Karma. To understand this, we need to understand, “What is the purpose of life”? The answer is the elevation for liberationWhat is liberation? Liberation means freedom from all types of fear! Why do I fear? Because I do not know my true divine natureWhy I don’t know my nature? because of Avidhya, Ignorance. What to do now? Get Vidhya, the right knowledge (Para Vidhya i.e., knowledge about true nature)…“Sa Vidhya Ya Vimuktye…!”  This means true Vidhya liberates us so get Vidhya and direct experience. With Vidhya and experience, to realize our true nature. To learn or to get Vidhya we need to go to University, the university is the “Universe!” And that’s why we come to the universe to learn. But the moment when we enter into university, act to get the direct experience. This Karma has two meanings – one is, every thought, feeling, word, and action is karma, which is also called Purusharth (my efforts), second is the results of karma also called Karma (whenever I do something we get results). Results can be Visible and Invisible. Visible results can be seen, I didn’t study I get failed but the invisible results of my good deeds are called Punnyam will fructify later and the invisible results of my bad deeds are called Papam I also get later. Invisible results of positive deeds and negative deeds are called invisible variables. All my deeds come back to me and this Papam and Punnyam get accumulated which is commonly called Akashik Records or Sanchit Karma. So, this accumulation of all my deeds ever is called sanchit karma and the particular part of that sanchit karma will be fructified in this birth which is called Prarabdha karma. So Prarabdha karma is those choice-less situations in which I find myself as a result of all the accumulated karma that I had many of my lifetimes. Whenever I am in front of these choice-less situations, Prarabdha, am I helpless?? No! I don’t have a choice of what situation will come but I have certainly a choice that how will I respond! So my response to this situation is called Kriyamaan Karma i.e., Purusharth! Now, how will I respond? This will decide whether we learned in this University called the “Universe”. So what are the basic rules here if I want to deal with the Laws of Karma?

There are four Laws of Karma we need to remember:

  1. “Every Karma will have an effect”, whatever I think, act, speak, or feel will have an impact back on me. i.e., whatever goes around comes around. Swami Vivekananda said – “Good -Good Bad – Bad and non-escape the Law”. Do good get good and do bad get bad!
  2. “Law of Karma is more Powerful than Law of Land”. The law of the land i.e., rules and regulations may leave you but the Law of Karma will never leave you ever. Many people are experts in the documentation. How much corruption they do no matter, they make documents clear. They will never be caught in the eye of law of land on the basis of the paper. If the law of land could not seize them, it does not mean that the law of karma will also not seize them. As long as Yudhishthira remained on earth, he remained the king, but he too had to go to hell, even the Pandavas went to hell Law of karma is more powerful than the law of land because it is accounting from the Antahkaran (subtle body).
  3. “Law of average does not work here”. It means I did a bad deed and I did a good deed, they won’t get equal or nullified. There is a separate punishment for a bad deed and there is a separate prize or reward for the good deed. Just like the judiciary system, if you did good deeds you will be applauded and if you did bad deeds, it won’t be nullifying if you did good deeds, separate punishment for the bad deeds. Yes, it may happen that if we have done a lot of good deeds, then when the adverse situation comes in the form of papam, we will get some courage to bear them.
  4. “Three Factors theory”. The results of any work depend on 3 things – Drishyakaraka (visible), Adrishyakaraka (invisible – Punny and Paap), and Purushartha (effort). So whatever results are coming in your life, they are coming out of these three things only.

Now the question comes, who is this doer? Our body cannot be a doer, because it is just an instrument. The hand itself doesn’t do wrong things, but when the mind says, then the hand moves towards doing wrong. The Causal body (Vasana) is dormant, so the rest of the subtle body i.e., (mind, intellect, chittahamkarameans our Antahkaran is the real doer. So Law of Karma will apply to the doer.

Remembering these four laws, now let’s we understand how will I know whether I have learnt here in this University to realize myself.

  • Lesson No.1– My present is the result of the past and my future is the result of the present. Understanding this, we are in such an encouraging situation that the Law of Karma tells us you take charge if we are really learning here. Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future! So, need to understand this and take charge and act now!
  • Lesson No.2– Whenever you get confronted by negative or problematic situations or people, call them learning opportunities, because never forget we have come here to learn, it is a University. Difficult times difficult people, these people are the people who you really need it. And at times the person whom you needed the most will teach you a lesson that you need actually nobody! So every person and situation is there to teach us something provided if you focus on learning rather than blaming people. The Law of Karma is not a punishment system it is our evolutionary plan.
  • Lesson No.3– Remember “there is not a single blow undeserved!”, Swami Vivekananda said. This means we deserve it for our improvement. So take charge of it.
  • Lesson No.4– Accept all choice-less situations, Tathata!  Means things are such! So complete acceptance.
  • Lesson No.5– Things will repeat, situations will repeat, patterns will repeat till we don’t learn the lesson.

We need to learn the lesson from University called the Universe, and the degree is called Moksha, situations are test papers, people are teachers, some people are really tuff teachers, they really check your patience and see whether you really learned something. So have gratitude to those masters who are creating difficult situations for you. Remember Universe is infinitely compassionate. We are not doomed for our bad deeds to have been born here, we are not original sinners, we are sent with love to learn that all material elements are subject to decay and strive diligently.

Next time whenever you fail tell yourself it’s never too late to start, next time whenever somebody hurts you say thank you, next time, whenever you face a difficult situation, see it as a tuff paper and an opportunity to learn, next time whenever you meet difficult people call then a tuff teacher checking your real merits, next time whenever you in choice-less situation accept it fully, next time when you get a blow call it journey of life and when we leave life with this awareness, we won’t accumulate new karmas because this we will remember our purpose of life that to realize the true nature then we become fearless., because nothing to worry we came here learn and go.

— Dr. Vikrant Singh Tomar


In India, Even Stones are Revered: Exploring the Unique Culture of Worship

Often in life, we find ourselves pondering a curious question: In India, even stones are worshiped?  Some folks find this idea confusing because they see it as blind devotion, thinking it pushes our society towards the mindless pursuit of money. They believe that honouring a stone can manipulate feelings and harm our society.

But, before we jump to conclusions, let’s take a moment to think deeply. Is this view entirely correct, or is there a deeper truth we’re missing? The tradition of worshiping stones has been around for thousands of years, so there must be a good reason behind it, more than just superstition.

It’s quite surprising when well-educated people in a highly intellectual society raise these questions. However, perhaps the intrigue lies in this very mystery. Could it be that there’s ancient wisdom hidden within these age-old practices? Maybe there’s an ancient philosophy that has adapted and evolved to remain relevant in our modern world.

Today, let’s start a journey to discover the concealed spiritual wisdom from India that supports these traditions. As we dig deeper, we might begin to grasp why these practices have endured and why they continue to hold deep meaning for countless people. Within this cultural treasure trove, we find evidence of the enduring strength of ancient Indian Santana wisdom, bridging the past and the present and offering lessons that transcend time itself.

Bharat and Bhagwan

Spiritual significance in the name ‘Bharat’ is where rules and sentiments intersect. The word ‘Bharat’ is composed of two words – ‘Bha which means deep meditation, and ‘Rat’ which means absorbed. This signifies that Bharat is a land deeply engrossed in profound meditation. The name is associated with the land of King Bharat. This land not only upholds the importance of laws and rules but also equally respects the sentiments of its people. If rules govern the material world, the emotions of the public are undeniably tied to spirituality.

Many have experienced that Bharat (India) is a place profoundly supportive of one’s spiritual development. Why is it that people come to India for spiritual upliftment? It’s because India is widely acknowledged as the ‘Sahastrara’ of the Earth, a place where the aura of sentiments and feelings pervades, contributing to our spiritual growth.

Out of immense respect for these sentiments, people refer to their deities as ‘Bhagwan’. In common practice, it is observed that when individuals form emotional (bhawnatmak) bonds with someone or something, they often start considering it as Bhagwan (the God). For the sake of example, during difficult times, when a stranger aids us and helps us out of a predicament, we may express gratitude and even see them as a divine savoir, believing they assumed a form of Bhagwan (God) to rescue us from our plight. We connect our emotions (Bhawna) with God (Bhagwan), and why shouldn’t we? After all, it is our human nature to have feelings (Bhawana), and it is these very emotions that define our humanity.

Manifestation of the Creation

Consciousness had a seed from which this entire universe emerged, and we refer to that seed as ‘Maya’. Initially, the subtle universe took shape, followed by the emergence of the tangible, material universe. Anything created in this universe undergoes two distinct stages. Initially, it takes shape within the creator’s mind, in a virtual realm of imagination, and subsequently, it manifests itself in the physical world. Similarly, consciousness, in its subtle form, transformed into the observable, material universe – an event we know as the ‘Big Bang’ or Mahapralaya.

In essence, this transformation implies that the gradual development occurring in nature led to the shift from the subtle to the gross, or from consciousness (subtle universe) to gross universe. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, “Nature develops itself by gradual changes”, also aligns with this gradual progression in nature. Initially, there existed a gross form, namely a stone kingdom, followed by the mineral kingdom where consciousness remained dormant (100% Awidhya). Whether it is stone or mineral, both fall under the category of Annamayakosha, characterized by complete materiality and possessing only a physical body. Since dormant consciousness resides within, it implies a state of complete ignorance (Blissful ignorance), thus rendering the stone unaware of its own existence. Through the gradual progression of nature, the stone also evolved. After billions of years, its dormant consciousness was awakened, leading to its transformation into a plant kingdom which has Annamaykosha with Pranmaykosha. In this new form, consciousness persisted, coexisting with some residual ignorance (Awidhya).

The sequence persists as the animal kingdom emerges, embodying the AnnamayakoshaPranamayakosha, and Manomayakosha, symbolizing the corporeal, vital, and emotional aspects. Ultimately, with the development of intellect (Buddhi), the human realm emerges, embracing all the five sheaths (Panchkosha), including the AnnamayakoshaPranamayakoshaManomayakoshaVigyanmayakosha, and Anandamayakosha.

Remarkably, we, as consciousness, were once akin to stones billions of years ago. We are humans who have manifested within the consciousness embodied by stones. This connection fosters an emotional attachment to stones, leading us to express our sentiments (Bhawana) and gratitude, deeming them as divine or God (Bhagwan). This is why we hold stones in reverence. In the end, it holds true that God (Consciousness) resides within not only living things but in every particle across the universe, epitomized by the concept, mahawakya called “Aham Brahmasmi!“. In the timeless model of Sanatanwisdom in India, nothing exists without purpose; everything serves a spiritual role. The key lies in shedding the veil of ignorance within and perceiving with the radiance of inner wisdom.

Credits: Book  Vedanta Va Jeevan Prabandhan (Hindi Edition) by Dr. Vikrant Singh Tomar (Author)


Harmony with Nature: Insights from Spiritual Texts

In today’s busy life, humans have turned into machines and are unaware of how far we’ve drifted from nature. It is important to think about what our scriptures suggest. We know from history that Ram Ji went to the Jungle, Pandavas also went to the Jungle, Buddha also chose a Peepal tree. What did they get from the Jungle? Ram Ji achieved enlightenment (Aatmgyana) i.e., Shri Hanuman Ji, and transformed into God Rama. Similarly, the Pandavas too experienced spiritual growth and encountered God who gave them many divine powers during their exile. Buddha attained enlightenment under a tree and became Lord Buddha. These great figures were deeply connected to one common thing – Nature, which has always been our great teacher. Even today, we go in the lap of nature to be inspired and rejuvenate.

Surprisingly, for many centuries, we remained ignorant and ruthlessly exploited nature. It was only towards the end of the 20th century that humanity realizes the importance of preserving it. Unfortunately, we encountered disappointment in this effort. This modern civilization has pulled us away from nature. Despite numerous campaigns, national and international conferences, protocols, treaties etc., at both small and large scales, we have still been unsuccessful in safeguarding and conserving nature.

It is evident that, humans are one of the best and most intelligent creations of the nature. But today, we face a big challenge in restoring nature’s beauty. It’s been a matter of discussion about protecting nature since ancient times, like in the Vedic era. Now it’s important for us to look back at this history. If we don’t take action now, it may soon be too late to reverse the damage. So let’s explore the Vedantic or spiritual philosophy in this context.

Nature and Vedanta:

Vedantic wisdom, which is thousands of years old, has already spoken about the guidelines for NatureThe entire human life is a spiritual journey that comprises four stages: Brahmacharya Ashram, Grihastha Ashram, Vanaprastha Ashram, and Sanyasa Ashram and each with its specific guidelines and responsibilities. This system allows our lives and society to progress in a harmonious way, ‘आत्म -मोक्षार्थम जगत हिताय च !’. With regard to nature, in the Brahmacharya Ashram, the focus is on exploring the nature; in Grihastha, people may use nature for their needs; in Vanaprastha, the aim is to enrich nature; in Sanyasa Ashram, the goal of life is to detach from the nature and attention towards spiritual evolution. Hence, according to the Indian Santana Scriptures, it is advised that only one generation should exploit the nature at a time. The Grihastha utilize nature because this ashram serves as the foundation for all other ashram.

Nature and Bhagwad Gita

Lord Krishna has also explained the ‘significance of nature’ in the Bhagavad Gita. The entire universe is the Yajna of Lord Brahma where every entity diligently fulfills its unique Dharma by serving as an instrument [3.10]. Interestingly, in the universe, no one questions what we will gain from fulfilling duties; it is we, humans, who often ask about the rewards of our actions. Due to our failure to perform actions with a selfless service or spirit of dedication or Yajna, in what condition have we left the planet? It’s a regret of our intellect! In reality, if ants disappeared from Earth, it could lead to the planet’s downfall within a few years but, if humans were to vanish, our Earth would become more beautiful. That is why the Bhagavad Gita [3.11] says to the worship of deities or Devtas (Gods) like Vayu Deva and Agni Deva, etc., because every particle of nature has contributed to our existence. As a result, we carry a debt to nature, and the Karmas or actions we take to repay this debt are referred to as Yajna. So, live in harmony with Universal forces (nature) and these forces will nourish or sustain you. Those who do not contribute to maintaining this balance, i.e., those who only take from nature without giving back, can be considered as thieves ‘अप्रदायः भुङ्क्ते स्तेनः …!’ [3.12] and what they are having (eating) is a sin, ‘अधम भुञ्जते …!’ [3.13]

To understand these we don’t require any specific educational qualifications! Instead, we should just follow the life system established by our sages, and saints, and considering it as the guiding principles or Dharma of our lives. Therefore, we should make an effort to follow the ancient wisdom of India in our lives; it would be a sincere respect and gratitude to Mother Nature. If we can be instruments of our nation’s laws, why can’t we serve as instruments of divine laws or cosmic laws?

In 19th century, a great social reformer, Swami Dayanand Saraswati encouraged people through a slogan – “Back to the Vedas!”. He found that the Vedas contained important teachings about equality and numerous reforms. In simpler terms, he believed that to protect nature and its creations, we must turn to the Vedas. According to him, no modern philosophy or theory could save the universe, and he raised voice for the wisdom of Sanatan, or ancient, knowledge.

We must understand that by incorporating the wisdom of ancient philosophy into our lives, only then can we establish that humans are the finest creations in the universe. As the Vedas originated in the land of India and have become our sacred scriptures, hence it is natural for us to follow their principles. Swami Vivekananda also supported these sentiments, stating that it would be more appropriate to refer to Indians as ‘Vedantic’. If we try to understand his perspective, he strongly believed that the advancement of humanity resides in the principles of Vedanta. By identifying people as Vedantic, it would strengthen their bond with the ancient scriptures. Hence, it is relent to acknowledge that these scriptures serve as a means to help us remain aligned or connected with our natural selves.

Credits: “Vedanta Va Jeevan Prabandhan” (Hindi Edition) by Dr. Vikrant Singh Tomar (Author);