Sacred Mantras

Sacred Mantras

In Talk 8 of “Talks with Ramana Maharshi”, Sri Ramana Maharshi states that Sacred Mantras should not be taken casually, but that “one must be competent and initiated in such mantras”.

There are reasons why a Sacred Mantra is dealt with so cautiously and selectively.

One must be qualified

To give a simple example, when someone wants to join a university and get knowledge and a degree, the student chooses a suitable place or even a teacher, approaches the university and applies for admission. More importantly, the student must be qualified for this. Not any one can join a course, and not without going through the prerequisites for this course. Only such a student gets admitted. The student must also be willing to learn, understand and put to practice what is taught.

In the same way, a person must be qualified to take up a Sacred Mantra. A Sacred Mantra offers an in depth, precise, concise, enlightening spiritual information in a terse verse. It shows the delicate and subjective path to knowing one’s Real Self. It contains an ocean of information in a few words and it needs to be explained further by a knowledgeable teacher to a suitable student. This is what is meant by initiation in the practical sense. So one who wants to learn a Mantra must be initiated into it.

Why the apparent secrecy

In spiritual matters especially, if anyone is easily and casually allowed access to such intricate, profound Mantras or Scriptures, they could be misinterpreted and misused. Even with so much caution, it is well known how the scriptures can be misused for power, money and self-aggrandizement. To avoid such confusion and chaos in society, these Mantras and the Vedas have been protected from mentally and spiritually unqualified and unsuitable people. Hence the apparent secrecy about these Mantras. The shield of secrecy or safeguarding is there, not for keeping the knowledge from people, but for preventing the knowledge from falling into the wrong hands.

What does initiation mean in present times

A Mantra, such as Gayatri, is profound. It is used for purification of the mind, mental focus, concentration and to control and calm the mind to make it fit for self-enquiry and inner spiritual quest. It offers an explanation and insight into the whole universe and our existence and the Real Self. It offers spiritual guidance in a few words. One should not just chant it casually for personal gain or for material desires, but should contemplate on the meaning for inner improvement and spiritual advancement. The meaning must be traced and understood. Ramana Maharshi says that eventually, “Utterance of words is not enough. The elimination of thoughts is wisdom. It is the Absolute Existence”.

In the ancient Hindu lore, students who were genuinely interested in turning inward and knowing more about the Real Self, approached an enlightened Master and if qualified, they got themselves initiated into this spiritual path and into a Mantra.

What does this mean in the present times? The traditional Guru-Sishya (Master-Disciple, Teacher-Student) method is not always possible, especially for those who don’t live in India, or live in places where such privilege is not available. So how does one obtain the benefit from these wonderful Mantras?

In the present times, what initiation really means is that a person should be sincere and dedicated in truly understanding the meaning of a Mantra. One should first follow and try to understand the teachings of authentic Hindu Scriptures and Sages. This will qualify a person to some extent. If one comes across the teachings of a great, enlightened Master, and particularly gets attuned to those teachings, and studies them reverently, and tries to follow such teachings, that qualifies the person to a greater extent.

Such a genuine spiritual seeker, who has already followed and grasped to some extent the teachings of authentic Scriptures or Sages or a particular Master, and has a preliminary understanding of the Hindu culture, should pray for the Grace of God with great humility and make themselves suitable, or in other words, qualify themselves, for taking up the Mantra.  If the person is thus qualified, good results will follow. 

It is the mental development that matters. It is the genuine thirst for spiritual advancement, sincerity, reverence and dedication that really qualifies a person in the spiritual path. This comes as close as possible to the formal and traditional initiation of the ancient Hindu lore.

~ Vasundhara

Hinduism is a Way of Life

Hinduism is a Way of Life

All true religions have good in them. I would to share with you the little knowledge I have about Hinduism. ~ Vasundhara

Not a religion

First of all, Hinduism is not a religion. It is a fusion of traditions and cultures of India. It is “Sanatana Dharma”, Eternal Righteous Way of Living, passed on from generation to generation through the Guru-Disciple Teachings and Guidance. There are countless Sages, Saints and Scriptures of India, existing in the past, present and will be in the future. Hinduism gave the spiritual power to Great Ones like Mahatma Gandhi to drive an Empire out of India, by non-violence and sacrifice. He is a Hindu who struggled hard to bring the people of India together as Indians first, then everything else. He agonized and made strenuous efforts to eradicate ignorance due to religious misunderstanding. He set an example to the whole world.

Languages, food, rituals, forms of worship etc., these may be different from province to province, but there is an underlying substratum, a foundation of Hinduism, like a necklace that holds gems and pearls together, that cannot be destroyed. People may come and go, some will revere, some may mock, but these Values will go on.

Oldest and Ancient

A human being’s existence is about 100 years. However, Hinduism has existed for many, many thousands of years, long, long before other major religions. It has survived major invasions, disasters and crisis situations in India. Many cultures, like the Greek and Roman, were destroyed. But the Hindu culture has withstood the tests of time. For someone to worry and try to save Hinduism is like a Drop of water in the Ocean saying that it is concerned to save the Ocean. Religion is about God, and the Almighty God knows how to take care of everything and everyone.

Hinduism is universal

Whereas other religions offer salvation to members of their religion alone, Hinduism offers methods and techniques leading to salvation to all human beings, beyond religion. There are the ritualistic, religious parts for those who are interested according to local customs, but there are also the Vedanta parts which apply to the whole universe, irrespective of religions, offering techniques for Peace of Mind and Self-Realization. It has to do with inner improvement, therefore, there are no restrictions. One is not a Hindu because of external appearance, like clothing and other outfits. One is a Hindu because of the good values of life cherished and practiced, while externally going with the flow where they live. Outfits and rituals provide zest and incentive to think of God and to come together as a community especially for children, but they are not the Goal.

No conversion needed

Some followers of other religions offer and even put pressure on others to be converted to their religion. They feel zealous due to newly-founded enthusiasm, and get carried away. It is a trick of the ego to try to reform others so that it can avoid being subdued.  Or, those who have an inferiority complex about their religion will mock, insult, slander and abuse other religions, or try to convert others to their religion.

Those who feel sure and confident about their religion will not do any of these. Hindus are strong, and they are secure and confident about their religion. There is no need for them to convince or convert anyone, nor exists a procedure for conversion. Besides, any one in this world who is interested can follow the tenets of Hinduism without having to convert to it, because it is a way of life. So, let’s not worry about what some ignorant followers of other religions say or do. There are some religions that teach good things, and there are always good people in any religion. Let’s take the good and ignore the rest.

Hinduism did not create castes

One takes about 20 years of their life to get a college degree, but they come to wrong conclusions about a religion in a few hours.

Hinduism did not create caste divisions. The original Varnashrama is the division of society into four varnas (types) and four ashramas (stages of life) that cooperate to satisfy the Supreme Being. One’s Varna is determined by one’s character, qualities, training, and work – not by birth or color of skin. The focus is spiritual advancement and spiritual satisfaction for each member of society.

According to Swami Chinmayananda – The Bhagavad Geeta defined the four major groups of people falling into four general categories based on their mental inclinations and professional capabilities. It has been misunderstood. The categories/castes exist in every country and culture in one way or the other. They are the Spiritual, Political Heads/Kings, Business and all the Professionals who don’t fall in the above three categories. So doctors, engineers, lawyers, other professionals and those who perform other services, they all fall in the last category. When it is said that castes should not mix, it only means, for example, that a lawyer should not do a doctor’s work. One should act according to one’s own nature (dharma), not someone else’s.

Some people with authority perhaps misinterpreted this and caused confusion due to ignorance, or perhaps foreign invasions and forces created splits and divisions among people, using the “divide and conquer” method. But one should not hate Hinduism for these reasons, nor give up their heritage and the wonderful teachings we can follow for the Happiness and Welfare of ourselves, our children, our family and friends. If they do, they are the losers. There is a saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the dirty bath water!”, meaning “don’t throw out the good too along with the bad.”

Popularize Hinduism the right way

Building temples and places of worship in every street corner to spread Hinduism does not constitute being a true Hindu. It may even dilute the magnificence of Hinduism. There are already Great Hindu Temples in every city and town in India, that are ancient, artistic and beautifully built by ancient Kings, and blessed by Sages and Saints. Elsewhere in the world, just a few major places of worship will suffice. Visiting them often, supporting them monetarily or by service, according to each one’s ability, is the greatest help one can offer to maintain Hinduism the right way. Besides, God is everywhere, and we can contemplate on God anywhere any time, and offer worship right at home.

But most of all, living the Great Values of Hinduism – righteousness, honesty, compassion, love and friendship to one another of any gender, religion, race, caste, creed or color, being kind to animals, performing one’s duty or work effectively – this is the best way to popularize and spread Hinduism. Also presenting a revered God or Goddess, Sages and Saints in a respectful manner on the internet, videos and movies will produce respect for Hinduism. The respect we have for ourselves is the respect we will get from others.

So let’s be proud and confident of ourselves as people and as Hindus, wherever we live. Let’s not give in to inferiority complex as a person, as a community and as Hindus, no matter what. When there is a doubt, let’s clarify by enquiry and reasoning, instead of making hasty conclusions. Let’s make most of what we like in Hinduism, and ignore what we cannot accept. Let’s popularize Hinduism by “Living Its Values” and by following our traditions and customs intelligently, according to the times we live in.

The real meaning of the word religion (matham) means “personal opinion”. Let’s live our religion, and let others live their religion. Let’s not be fanatics.

Let’s be Happy as Hindus with unshakeable confidence, Or as those who appreciate Hindu Values, Friends!


Dealing with depression, lethargy

Dealing with depression, lethargy

To start with, Pray to God or Guru sincerely to help you with your problems.  Pray in general, Pray in particular, Pray at any time and anywhere you can remember. You will get Help.  There is no doubt about it.

Having said that, I would like to point out that Sri Ramana Maharshi says that such Divine Grace and Help only becomes available to those devotees who strive hard for it.  Therefore, I would like to offer some pointers from Great Sages about how to make that effort.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi – 27th March, 1937 – Talk 378.
“In a conversation with a visitor, Sri Bhagavan quoted:
Lord Krishna says to Arjuna: (Bh. Gita, Ch. VI, 35)

Asamsayam mahabaho mano durnigraham chalam
Abhyasena tu kaunteya vairagyena cha grhyate
Without doubt, O mighty-armed Hero, the mind is restless, hard to curb. Yet by constant effort, Partha, matched with detachment – curbed it is.”
Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi – 28th September, 1938 – Talk 521.
“Acquire strength by surrender and then your surroundings will be found to have improved to the degree of strength acquired by you.”

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – I Am That – Item 72
M: Whenever a thought or emotion of desire or fear comes to your mind, just turn away from it.

Sages say:

Due to our inherent tendencies (Vasanas), turbulent thoughts arise in the mind. And the force that operates on the mind is called Ego. Often, these thoughts are contradictory and conflicting. And due to habit, we follow every thought and are affected by it. And whatever we do, we expect and worry about results. Meditation is practiced for the expulsion of these disturbing thoughts that cause misery, depression, lethargy etc. There are two main ways of handling this problem.

1) Surrender to God and abide by His will. He knows what is best and when and how to do it. Leave everything entirely to Him. His is the burden.  You have no longer any cares. All your cares are His. Such is surrender. This is Bhakti.

2) Enquire to whom these questions arise. Who am I who is depressed, who feels lazy?  I was feeling fine during sleep.  My real nature is happiness, that is why I want to be happy.  Then who is this ‘alien’ ego telling me that I should be depressed? Asking oneself like this makes the mind subside and creates peace of mind.  It increases concentration and focus.

One easy thing to practice is this, which we can do at any time, at home, driving, at work, in a party, anywhere:  Every time a thought disturbs you and you feel depressed, ask yourself, “Hey, wait a minute. These things didn’t bother me in deep sleep. From where do they come now? And they are constantly changing. That means they are not real. I am not going to pay attention to these disturbing thoughts. I will do my duty and leave the results to God. Then what is there to make me depressed?”  Constant reminders will make this a habit.

Another easy thing to practice at any time, anywhere is watching your breathing.  No strenuous breath control exercises.  Just simply watch the breath movements.  Swami Chinmayananda says: Concentrate on the inhaling – the cool air going in through the nostrils, then concentrate on the exhaling –  warm air flowing out through the nostrils. Do this a few times.

As soon as one wakes up, to try to meditate for about 30 minutes to an hour will create a calm atmosphere, so to speak, that will carry on with you for the rest of the day.  Sometimes it may not seem to do any good.  But positive results will be gradual but certain.

The following Posts contain in depth information by Great sages. Please study them and try to follow them. Good results will follow.

Let the Purpose Fulfill Itself
Surrender and All will be Well
Work is not a Hinderance to Meditation
Turn away from Desire or Fear

How come you came to me, Ramana?

Sri Ramana Maharshi

How come you came to me, Bhagavan Ramana?

Bhagavan Ramana, I don’t understand. How come You came to me? Having offered Your Wonderful Grace to Great Devotees, Sadhus, Monks and even great Swami’s, Saints and Yogis, I cannot understand at all how You even considered turning Your Merciful Glance towards me.

Is it because You decided that helping me to attain salvation will prove to the world that You can liberate even such an ignorant person like me? Or is it because You wanted to educate the world that there is no difference between men and women in spirituality – as You have confirmed in Ramana Geeta?

Or is it because I casually stepped on the soil of the Holy Tiruvannamalai in my childhood? That can’t be the only reason, because You have said that You shower your Healing Grace to people who are distant from Tiruvannamalai through Your Yogic Look, where ever they may be.

Or is it because I am the last person left to attain Self-Realization, and so You want to quickly finish you task of liberating every Soul and settling them in Permanent Being, Awareness and Bliss?

Well, I still can’t understand how I came to deserve Your Kindness. But I can understand two things for sure. First, that You are certainly Kinder than a Mother – Merciful, Benevolent, Generous, Supportive and providing incomparable Guidance in Life. Second, whatever the reason You are Kind to me, I am the Luckiest Soul in this world.

Thank You, Bhagavan Ramana ! You are my Best Divine Friend ! I Love You.

Bait and Switch

Bait and Switch

My dear Mind,

When you become turbulent and self-conceited, you go by a fancy name called Ego. And when you are in this mode, I am really frustrated with you that you bait me about something at one time and then switch to a different thing later.

And somehow you make me believe you at first, even though I have experienced innumerable times that you will change and say something else later.

If you are shocked that I am accusing you of Bait and Switch, let me give you examples. Okay?

One example is, in the morning you tell me that I have to diet or eat healthy. But in the afternoon or evening, when I am mentally tired (again because of your ramblings!), you tell me that there is no harm in eating a Rich Chocolate or a large slice of Cake or something like that!

Another example is, you tell me that I should be generous and charitable, and in a split second you give me hundreds of reasons why I shouldn’t part with my money! You have an answer for everything, don’t you?

Here is a third one; you yourself create problems for me and then you yourself pretend to help me solve them. Talk about conniving!

Let me give you one more, and this is the Mother of all the games you play and the Machiavellian schemes you enact. You tell me that I should meditate and be quiet, but as soon as I sit down and close my yes, you lure me into thousand avenues of imagination and all the wonderful things I can do. And you do this so effectively too. But later, I don’t seem to have the slightest inclination to do most of those things. You just make sure that I don’t turn inward. (By the way, you even tell me that I should have a “holier than thou” attitude and force my Faith on others, but fortunately, I have never fallen for this enticement of yours. Sri Ramana Maharshi says that the two most important things for a spiritual seeker is to be humble and not interfere in other people’s business.)

Anyway, how do you do your bait and switch? And why do you do that? What do you gain by that? Oh, I guess this is your way to ensure that I will always be a slave to you.

I want the real SELF to rule my kingdom, but you perform a hostile take over just like a minister who is a traitor to the King, but acts like he is a kind and faithful friend of the King. You confuse and confound me with your beautiful but illusive pleasures of the world, but skilfully hide the miseries that they are accompanied with. You persuade me to do things that are not wise, using my weaknesses, which you created. After making me do these things, you yourself make me regret it. Then you yourself show me all the Scriptures and Gurus I should follow and retrace my steps back to sanity and my Real SELF. You are certainly double-faced!

In the waking state, you are very innovative; so you show me new temptations or rekindle old memories and somehow keep me entangled and occupied in illusory worlds of creative imagination or keep me constantly chewing the cud. You make me dwell in the past or project my future, instead of living in the present and let things happen by themselves to fulfill the purpose for which I am here on earth. In dreams, you don’t exert too much by using the body, but roam about in smoky scenes and weird situations and sometimes nightmares to keep me involved with you. In deep sleep, however, you want to save all the energies; so you keep quiet and rest, only to rise and shine with full speed to scheme and enjoy your plans and activities. Don’t you ever get tired of this cycle?

You think you are very smart, don’t you? But my cunning ghostly friend, your game is up! You know the saying by Abraham Lincoln, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” You got that?

Great Ones have guidance to help me be my SELF, but you never let me listen to them. Life smacked me once or twice to shake me up and see that you are up to no good if I don’t control you. In a way I needed those jolts, or else I will always be in the prison of darkness and delusion which you have built for me, keeping me in the shackles of unwise worldly attachments, and giving me sugar-coated poison pills of the so-called pleasures as food.

But the Scriptures and Sages have revealed to me your phony personality. They have warned me about your illusory powers and magical acrobatics. They have convinced me that you are a Thief dressed like a Policeman. They have asked me to constantly look for your source. They have advised me to scorch you by ignoring you. They have told me that you are just a dot in Space, a drop in the Sea, a wave in the Ocean. They have recommended that I use you for self-improvement and turning inward, but not for expanding further and further, forgetting the real SELF.

Finally, they have made me realize that you are Not Real, that you are a constantly changing bundle of thoughts. They have recommended that I use you for self-improvement and turning inward, but not for expanding further and further, forgetting the real SELF.

So, my dear egotistical Mind, I caution you. I will catch you one day and expose your false identity. It will not be easy, but these days, I am slowly turning away from your machinations. I find even this little effort and practice creating a wee bit of happiness and peacefulness for me and around me.

You can try to defeat me, (but you will fail, I guarantee you), or you can join me in the venture of finding Lasting Happiness and Peace of Mind, and make things easy for both of us. We can be active in Life, but instead of ruining ourselves in meaningless pursuits, we can let the Purpose fulfill itself, the purpose for which we are here on earth. What do you say?

Significance of a Guru

Significance of a Guru

All the Enlightened Sages teach the same thing, turn inward and learn how to lead the life in the world like rain drops on a lotus leaf, play your part in the world diligently because every one has been brought here into this world for a purpose, fulfill that purpose as best as you can. But the devotee finds it easier and more suitable to follow the teachings of a specific style of teaching, a specific Peaceful Being who is the One Reality manifesting in human form due to extreme Kindness, Mercifulness and Love for the devotees. The guidance and practical advice of some of those Great Ones in their own words are presented here to follow in day to day life.

The following Talk with Sri Ramana Maharshi by a devotee, clearly explains what the significance of God, Guru (in the Highest sense of the word), and the SELF is. All the Gurus and major Religions only teach what’s good for us. But each offers the Truth in a unique style and manner to suit the mental framework of the devotees and the languages they will understand. Suppose I get lost while going for a walk, and I ask for help from a good samaritan passing by, what good is it if he talks to me in a language or signs I don’t understand ?! It is as simple as that.

When we want help that cannot be offered by any human being, we seek help from a Higher Power, SELF, Source, Spirit, God, Scriptures, Nature OR whomever or whichever we believe in. But just as we cannot see the all-powerful electricity directly, but can only see its brilliance and power through a lamp or fan etc., so also we cannot see and realize the Real, Blissful, All-Pervading Being directly, but only through the Enlightened Beings, Sages, Gurus or Mahatmas. In rare cases, however, where a ripe soul is fully equipped, then they are found to attain the Highest Tranquility by deep enquiry or just some little thought-provoking incident that totally transforms them into a different being. Numerous examples of such events can be found especially in India.

Even though typically it is advised to follow the teaching of One Master and stick to it, I found help and solace from several Great Sages and Scriptures in many ways. I learnt a lot about basically everything which I am trying to practise . But I will not give up this knowledge I received for a zillion bucks. Because I am learning that without peace of mind, nothing else is worth having.

Sri Ramana Maharshi - UniqueVistas

Sri Ramana Maharshi

Talks With Sri Ramana Maharshi
10th June, 1936
Talk 198.
Note: M stands for Maharshi and D for Devotee.

D.: What is Guru’s Grace? How does it work?
M.: Guru is the Self.
D.: How does it lead to realisation?
M.: Isvaro gururatmeti … (God is the same as Guru and Self …). A person begins with dissatisfaction. Not content with the world he seeks satisfaction of desires by prayers to God; his mind is purified; he longs to know God more than to satisfy his carnal desires. Then God’s Grace begins to manifest. God takes the form of a Guru and appears to the devotee; teaches him the Truth; purifies the mind by his teachings and contact; the mind gains strength, is able to turn inward; with meditation it is purified yet further, and eventually remains still without the least ripple. That stillness is the Self. The Guru is both exterior and interior. From the exterior he gives a push to the mind to turn inward; from the interior he pulls the mind towards the Self and helps the mind to achieve quietness. That is Grace.
Hence there is no difference between God, Guru and Self.

Why we need the Sages of India

Why we need the Sages of India

The Guidance of Great Sages of India about Life and Meditation are Unique Vistas, beautiful paths toward attaining Peace of Mind and Happiness. The Real Peaceful and Serene Being is One residing in all, the Path is One, all that needs to be done is to realize this and be happy. Easier said than done! The Ego or the mind has become very powerful in the extrovert sense, pulling one in various directions deeper and deeper into the quagmire of worldly desires, egocentric activities and negative emotions. Therefore, it has become weak in the introvert sense, because how can one be peaceful when thinking furiously in so many diverse ways on so many disturbing matters.

Sometimes a lot of Money, Huge Fame, High Expectations in School and Life – these are a lot of heavy burden to handle, because of consequent high expectations of grand results or keeping up with them. So, for immediate relief, drugs, alcohol etc. are used by some people to alleviate the burdens of their minds. But these temporary aids also lead to greater pain and suffering until the person collapses.

So REAL HELP is needed to recover.  Hence the myriads of religions and scriptures. However, to explain them or to offer practical help, guidance has to be given by someone who has achieved and experienced Perfect Peace and dwells in It. Knowing the sincere seeker’s longing for peace of mind, HELP arrives to slow down the wanderings of the mind and restore at least some of the natural happiness. It arrives in the form or manner the seeker will be most benefited. Therefore, due to great compassion the Great Sages of India appear from time to time to guide us.

One Great one is enough. However, the egos are many and varied. To suit the seeker’s personality and to match the mental makeup, fitness and spiritual maturity of the Seeker, a Sage guides in a unique style. Sages show how to live in this world according to one’s nature and fulfill the purpose for their existence. They also provide guidance about how to deal with day to day problems, how to get mentally strong and how to be truly happy and peaceful.

There are many such Great Ones, but here I have provided the teachings of those who came into my life and made an impact on me. Without their teachings, I am lost. Even if I keep in touch with the divine advice they give just once in a while, it makes a big difference. They are my best friends. They are friends because they don’t interfere as long as we think we can handle everything on our own, but as soon as we need help, they rush to assist us. A friend in need, is a friend indeed! The beauty is that they are ready to offer their divine friendship to everyone and anyone who wants it. This is real Kindness, Equality and Understanding.

Rain…rain…come back again…

Rain gives great Joy and Refreshment!

Oh, the beauty of Rain! When I was having a cup of coffee early morning, I heard this mild sound of thunder. When I heard it a little louder the next time, I wondered, can this be rain? Or is this a farce, a facade, a false alarm? But then when the third and fourth thunder sounded louder followed by some lightning, I knew it was the real thing!

Starting out ever so gently with a mild drizzle that is just exhilarating to watch. Gradually increasing to a consistent rainfall. Ah, the wonderful sound of rainfall music! The captivating smell of wet earth. Sometimes the sky appears cloudless but it rains; yes, sounds strange but possible. Gradually wetting and soaking the green grass that stands up with glee. Cheering up the plants with their colorful flowers shining even more brightly. Making the beautiful trees sway and dance even more in the breeze. Oh, the rain suddenly comes to a slow stop. But don’t fear. It was only to resume again to let us have the refreshing experience all over again! Everything looks so clean to the eyes and soothing to the mind.

Nothing can beat Nature’s variety entertainment. So many variations of sight and sound that Rainfall has! Sometimes it is just a shower. Other times it comes as a hail storm, an outburst, a torrent, a pouring of Mother Nature’s mercy to quench the thirst of tormented beings. And when it stops, its beauty doesn’t cease. A walk around brings joy to the heart, when you see a few drops of rain still lingering on the leaves, the flowers, the little pillars and posts.

And then the sun makes a grand entrance with its rays shining through the partially cloudy sky, through tree branches and leaves, illuminating and giving power to grow, to all the living beings that just received nourishment from the sky. How can we truly appreciate one without the other, the Rain and the Sun! How can we live without either one!

Pondering on Words of Wisdom

It is very useful to ponder upon at least one of the Golden Guidance Tips of Wisdom before starting the day’s activities. Pondering on these Mini Guides helps to make the day go Easier. It makes us see and take things with the right perspective. Gradually, it also adds longer lasting Peace of Mind.

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi generally placed self-improvement techniques under the categories of Practice and Dispassion. They become difficult ventures only when we think that we have to expect immediate results and success. However, these efforts usually shower benefits gradually. The more we reflect and ponder on these and understand their purposes, the more we get ready for meditation and self-enquiry. This itself creates some peacefulness in our minds.

Practice makes perfect is a well-known statement. Typically, it relates to worldly accomplishments. In the spiritual realm, Practice literally leads one to Perfection. So say the Sages. The more we practice meditation and self-enquiry, the happier and more peaceful we become, without really consciously changing our normal life routines. The important thing is to keep practicing these techniques consistently, and gradually we will find ourselves more calm, mentally strong, peaceful and happy, with ourselves as well as with others. The most significant process in Practice is the elimination of unnecessary, disturbing thoughts and sticking to one thought, which will also eventually merge into the Self – so say the great Sages.

Dispassion may seem like a very difficult task that means total lack of interest in life and act like a zombie. So it turns us off. But in its simple interpretation, it is something we often hear and mention in our normal lives. For example, we hear and say things like “You are the company you keep”, “Keep company with the wise and you will become wise. “, If you make friends with stupid people, you will be ruined. “, “Money does not buy Happiness” etc. We also hear parents say to their children, “I don’t want you hanging around those kids.” Of course, dispassion becomes more profound when it is used for checking and controlling the wandering mind by understanding what is really necessary for life, to find out what causes real happiness to pursue them, and to detect what causes misery to avoid them. Still very practical to ponder upon and follow. The more we practice dispassion as best as we can, the more the sense of relief.

Practice and Dispassion consist of numerous techniques to check, persuade, manage and control the mind and perform self-enquiry to give up false notions, break the spell of ignorance and withdraw into the Real, Blissful Self. I call my hour of meditation and contemplation “My Happy Hour”!

It is easy to suggest a possible, theoretical solution to a problem. However, very few follow their suggestion with a set of detailed steps to achieve the results of the solution. Here, as in all other things, Great Sages excel. Their teachings are complete. They seldom leave the devotee hanging in the dark, unless that is also for the devotee’s good! One is really lucky to come into contact with such Great Sages. If we keep them in mind, they changes us for the good automatically with His Love. This alone will do, if it is not possible to follow the other things.