November 28, 2013

Wish-fulfilling Tree

"Am I in need of fruit?
I have the Fruit that makes this life
Fruitful indeed. Within my heart
The Tree of Rāma grows,
Bearing salvation for its fruit.

Under the Wish-fulfilling Tree
Of Rāma do I sit at ease,
Plucking whatever fruit I will.
But if you speak of fruit -
No beggar, I, for common fruit.
Behold, I go,
Leaving a bitter fruit for you."

As Sri Ramakrishna was singing this song he went into samadhi. 
 Again the half-closed eyes and motionless body that one sees in his photograph. 
 Just a minute before, the devotees had been making merry in his company. 
 Now all eyes were riveted on him.

November 14, 2013

Pray For What You Want

Zen in it's simplicity, a note in a fortune cookie gave me much to ponder. Could the universe be trying to tell me something? Today it seems even my food was preaching Vedanta philosophy. This bold demand to pray was fascinating to me especially coming from a cookie. It sounded a lot like what my Swami would say. For by definition, prayer is talking to God in a spirit of love. Through daily personal prayer we connect with our spiritual reality and develop virtues that enrich our lives and purify our spiritual channel to God. Prayer empowers us to take control of the way we respond to any of life's given situations. Through prayer and meditation our spirits are guided on a purposeful journey. As a result, prayer naturally extends to our actions (i.e."Work"). A fundamental teaching in all the world's religions is that our actions should reflect our prayers so that our deeds, our very lives, may be purposeful, virtuous, and beneficial to our fellow man. Living in a prayerful state occurs when every decision we make, every action we undertake, every word we say, is motivated by the remembrance of God. And that's the way this cookie crumbles!

November 2, 2013

Ramakrishna and Goddess Kali

Kali and Sri Ramakrishna in the Panchavati 
grove at the Dakshineswar Kali Temple

Why is Mother Kali so radiantly black?
Because she is so powerful,
that even mentioning her name destroys delusion.
Because she is so beautiful,
Lord Shiva, conqueror of death,
lies blissfully vanquished,
beneath the red soled feet.
There are subtle hues of blackness,
But her bright complexion
is the mystery that is utterly black,
overwhelmingly black, wonderfully black.
When she awakens in the lotus shrine
within the heart’s secret cave,
her blackness becomes the mystic illumination
that causes the twelve petal blossom there
to glow more intensely than golden embers.
Her lovely form is the incomparable
Kali black blacker than the King of Death.
Whoever gazes upon this radiant blackness falls eternally in love
and feels no attraction to any other,
discovering everywhere only her.
This poet sighs deeply,
“Where is this brilliant lady, this black light beyond luminosity?
Though I have never seen her, simply hearing her name,
the mind becomes absorbed completely in her astonishing reality."
Om Kali!  Om Kali!  Om Kali!

 - by Ramprasad Sen -

Version by: Lex Hixon From Mother of the Universe 
“Visions of the Goddess and Tantric Hymns of Enlightenment”