January 23, 2014

Swami Vivekananda : Vessel for God

Swami Vivekananda
(January 12, 1863  -  July 4, 1902)

This is your cup — the cup assigned 
to you from the beginning. 
Nay, My child, I know how much 
of that dark drink is your own brew 
Of fault and passion, ages long ago, 
In the deep years of yesterday, I know.

This is your road — a painful road and drear. 
I made the stones that never give you rest. 
I set your friend in pleasant ways and clear, 
And he shall come like you, unto My breast. 
But you, My child, must travel here.

This is your task. It has no joy nor grace, 
But it is not meant for any other hand, 
And in My universe hath measured place, 
Take it. I do not bid you understand. 
I bid you close your eyes to see My face.
By Swami Vivekananda

January 17, 2014

Pravrajika Baradaprana

70 Years of Service

Know the Self, unborn, undying, 
Never ceasing, never beginning
Birthless, deathless, unchanging forever.
How can it die, the death of the body.
Bodies are said to die 
But that which possesses the body is eternal.
Know the Self, unchanging forever.

- Bhagavad Gita, Chp. 2, Translated by Swami Prabhavananda -

January 14, 2014

GPS = Guru Positioning System

"In meditation we learn to transcend the appearances of life and realize our true nature." said Swami Yogatmananda during a recent retreat at the Santa Barbara Vedanta Temple. "Relentless determination to complete our daily meditation practice is the bridge between the awareness of the material "I" and the inner "I" of God awareness and unity. We learn to transcend the names and various forms through meditation. Proper posture is very important, head, neck, and backbone in a straight line. Results happen with the very first practice of meditation! Progress may not be visible to you, but looking back you will see that the shore is far behind you now. As we interact with people that united awareness that meditation brings can be felt and experienced throughout the day, all day long! Our destination is our "true divine nature," God realization! Hold onto God and the transitory world will become less important, then you will see the world as the bondage it is, restricting your freedom, then you will see the truth: GOD ALONE IS REAL. Life as a spiritual journey is the primary goal of human life. Material possessions are not pertinent to the goal of the journey. These material desires make us suffer veiling the unity of oneness from our eyes. Discernment is necessary on this journey. Keep the discerning faculty always alert and then the journey will reach its destination and go beyond this material world and become all pervading, we will be everywhere, no boundaries, ultimate unity! We have the promise that all beings one day over many lifetimes will reach this GOAL of ONENESS. We are guaranteed to reach this goal as Vedanta is a SCIENCE. Looking for happiness is fruitless, looking inside is where the treasure is hidden, inside the lotus of the heart. Eventually, temptation for material desires and attachment to sweet fruits subsides, strength and wisdom is gained after we analyze reality and the reflection of life's daily experiences. Soon a steady transformation will begin, moving ahead, giving up life's illusions we will merge with the higher consciousness. GOAL of "ONENESS" - should be our only goal! Then we HAVE ARRIVED! Knowledge of God through Vedanta philosophy is the very goal of life. By eliminating negative and impossible thoughts, all wisdom and knowledge is possible on this journey. Be immersed in that oneness!!! Freedom, happiness, peace, truth and love are the fruits of oneness. Our beloved spiritual teacher or guru will help guide our way along our chosen path. By guiding our awareness the guru helps to sharpen our meditation practice by diligently encouraging a one pointed focus on our chosen ishta, without fail, spiritual fruits will manifest. We will progress from ignorance to knowledge, from the unreal to the real. Arise, Awake, stop not till the goal is reached. Wake up to your true nature. And then start walking on the path shown by the great teachers. We may shed many tears on the journey. Difficulties and pains of life are still unavoidable on this path. Never give up! We should be patient and persevere, do not let yourself revert back to your old habits and ways! Always joyful stay true to your path and keep walking ahead though it certainly maybe a challenge and always very interesting. Remember... to seek counsel with your GURU when ever you have a question or concern. GPS = Guru Positioning System"   :) 

January 7, 2014

Longing for God

 "You seem to be quite satisfied with your present condition, but I tell you, 
do not remain satisfied with yourself as you are now.
Contentment with the external conditions, yes, but never
be contented with your state of spiritual growth. 
Become dissatisfied. Try to move ever onward in your search. 
Do not stop until you have found the diamond mine!"