JKYog e-Magazine, Issue No.56
"Life is like playing a game of cards.
hand that is dealt to you gets fixed, that is your destiny. But
how you play with the cards is not fixed, that's your self-effort."
This month 'Sumiran' team is picking Destiny as
the topic of the month. In this issue we will be presenting
various articles on the role of Destiny and importance of self effort,
short story for children, Ram Navami special featured items and bhog
|WHAT DETERMINES THE DESTINY
The sheer mystery of
how future events unfold intrigues everyone. It is this anxiousness to
determine the pattern of future events that drives us to face readers,
tarot card readers and palmists. These astrologers reveal the
glimpses of our destiny, the things that we will experience in the
Now let's say someone
hit a jackpot and become an overnight millionaire while someone else
lost all his fortune in a stock market crash. In ordinary life we
will attribute both these differing events to destiny. But then the
primary question arises, if people are destined to experience such
events in life, who decides the course of our destiny?
of different opinions, some believe that destiny is thrust upon us by an
inscrutable power; others believe destiny is a result of our past
karmas, while many others believe that destiny is a fallacy of the human
mind. Let us understand the concept of destiny through the help
of Scriptures. The Hitopdesh states in this context:
poorva janma kṛitaṁ karma taddaivamiti kathyate (Hitopadeśh)
"The actions we performed in our past lives become our destiny in this life."
clearly means that destiny is not something that has come down from the
heavens or a horoscope chart that is revealed to us by the
astrologers. We have created our destiny ourselves by actions in
past births. It is the 'Law of Karma' that determines our destiny in the present life
. The law of Karma however is quite complex.
To start with there are three kinds of karmas: sańchit, prārabdh and kriyamāṇ
. God has an account of all our karmas in endless lives. This is called sańchit
karmas. At the time of birth, we are given a portion of our sańchit
karmas, to enjoy or suffer in this life. This is called prārabdh
karmas. The prārabdh
is fixed, but within this life, we have a freedom to act, and the actions we perform are called kriyamāṇ
karma. The kriyamāṇ
is not pre-determined; it is in our hands, and can be changed as we wish.
Now the results we get in life are dependent on a number of factors, including:
1. Our prārabdh karmas.
2. Our kriyamāṇ karmas.
3. The Will of God.
4. The karma of other people present in that situation.
5. Chance events -in which we happen to be present by accident.
we humans are not all-knowing, we cannot fully correlate the results we
get with the exact causes behind them. We ignorantly take a
myopic view of the results of our present karma and feel bogged down.
For example, we notice sometimes that a good person fails and an
unscrupulous person prospers. It seems that the law of karma or
destiny is not fair and just to humans. But the fact is that the
law of karma keeps an account of our past endless lifetimes.
Therefore, the good person was not always good; the bad person was not
is true that God is seated within us, and he gives us the power to
act. However, what we do with that power is decided by our own
free will. This is just as the powerhouse supplies electricity to
your house. If it did not give the power, you would not have been
able to do any electric work. However, once you have power supply
at your home, what you do with it, is your own choice. You could
operate the fan, light the lamp, or heat or cool the house, as you wish.
God gives our eyes the power to see, but what we see is our own
choice. We could go to the temple and see the Deities, or we could
go on the internet ans see dirty pictures. God is merely giving
is the faculty of sight. He is not deciding how you choose
to use it.
Source: Essence of Hinduism Book Order Now!
IT'S TIME YOU TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR DESTINY
A palmist walking beside a
river sees a fellow drowning. The man is going down for the last time
and puts his hand in the air calling for help. The palmist peers at him
and yells out, "Do not worry, you have a long life line!" and departs.
It is true that we are
born with a destiny but is it correct to say that everything that
happens in our life is governed by destiny? If we think that destiny
cannot be changed that is the doctrine of fatalism. It leads to an
attitude of resignation and passivity that results from the belief that
people are helpless against fate.
assume that everything is predestined. Then it must mean that in
our past countless lives we did not perform actions by our free will as
everything was predestined. But then what determined our destiny
in the present life? Logically we must have performed actions with
our free will in some past life. If we did so in a past life, we
can do them now as well.
humans are bound by the law of karma, but understand the principle of
free will through the example of the bow and arrow in archery. The
accumulated stock of arrows in the archer's case slung over his shoulder
is the sańchit karma. Similar to this is our stock of karmas from past endless lifetimes. A part of the sańchit karma, is the prārabdh karma that we have to bear in this life. Therefore the arrow that has just left the archer's bow is the prārabdh karma and the arrow in the hand at the moment is kriyamāṇ
karma, this is the karma we are free to perform in this life. The
archer can decide not to use this arrow, or he can choose to use it
either to protect the weak or to harass them. Thus while prārabdh
karma is something which cannot be undone and we have to enjoy or
suffer its fruits in this life, we have free will available in the form
of kriyamāṇ karma.
Right here in the present moment you possess the free will to
perform actions that elevate your consciousness to sublime heights or
perform actions that degrade you to demonic existence. The choices
that you make in the face of adversity or favorable situations are your
own. For this reason the scriptures say that it is lazy people
who blame destiny for their substandard achievements:
daiva daiva ālasī pukārā (Rāmāyaṇ)
"While working, don't bring destiny
into your mind, or it will make you lazy." If you do, you will
start running to astrologers to know what your destiny is, rather th
an focusing on performing your work properly.
is a fact that there is an element of destiny. But that should
not bother you because God has also bestowed the power of free will to
you. You possess the freedom to act as you wish. If you were
destined to win a jackpot of a million dollars, you will win it.
But beyond that it is your self-effort. If you work hard, you
could multiply it into ten million dollars, and if you develop
profligate habits, you could squander it away in drinking and
gambling. That would not be decided by destiny; that would be your
own puruśhārth, or self-effort.
Always remember these words of an Urdu poet,
khudī ko kara bulanda itanā ki hara takadīra se pahale
khudā khuda bande se puchhe batā terī razā kyā hai"Make your efforts so strong, that before giving you the results of your destiny, God himself asks you what you want."
The western world is not familiar with the concept of the
personal form of God. The concept of God devoid of
attributes and forms finds universal acceptance in all
cultures and countries around the world. Everybody is fine
with the concept of God being a light. But the idea of God
walking down the market or in a mall and drinking cold
drink would be indigestible to most people in the western
world. Where as in Indian culture it is natural. Indians
relish such pastimes of God, where His all mightiness gets
hidden and He comes to the level of the devotee. "The fact
is all things," says Swami Mukundananda in this beautiful
lecture delivered on the occasion of Ram Navami (the day
Lord Ram descended on earth).
Watch the one hour lecture in English for more on the
topic and dive in the ocean of bliss of Lord Ram, His
virtues and pastimes. Click Here
Beautiful Aarti of Lord Ram written by
Excerpt from ENG subtitled lecture by
Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj on "Significance of Ram Navami"
Kripalu Leelamrit - Nectar from Shree Maharajji's Life
Shree Maharajji spent some years in the forests of Chitrakoot, leading the life of an avadhoot (somebody who is totally beyond bodily consciousness), not wearing any clothes, and eating the kandhmool (fruits and berries) of the forests. He spent his days there residing in the caves.
Maharajji has described some of the incidences that took place at that
time. In one incident, Maharajji while walking into the denser
parts of the forest found a small hut. He went inside the hut and
sat there in a meditative posture. After sometime a Yogi entered
the hut. Maharajji may have detected some pride in him. He
was an accomplished Yogi. He looked at Maharajji wondering who
this stranger was, and what he was doing in his hut.
asked Maharajji, "Who are you?" Maharajji playfully replied, "Your
father!" The Yogi wondered how Maharajji could be his
father. The Yogi got really annoyed. Thinking of Maharajji
as someone just trying to cause some nuisance, he decided to show some
of his mystic abilities. By doing this, he thought he could scare
Maharajji away. He created a lot of water and the
water was gushing on Maharajji. However, to the Yogi's
disappointment, this had no effect on Maharajji. Maharajji just kept
sitting there unmoved.
Yogi then decided to invoke the wild animals such as tiger and lions to
go towards Maharajji. Nothing happened again. The Yogi was
even more puzzled. Finally he decided to use his ultimate powers
by increasing his size. He became tall and huge like a Skyscraper.
However, Maharajji was unshaken.
when he ran out of options, he decided to contact his Guru. He
sat down there in meditation and communicated with his Guru who was
living in the Himalayas in a subtle body. That Guruji said, "You
are making a big mistake. Do not commit any transgression or
offence. The person who is in front of you is the Master of
Masters. In fact, he is even my Master. You are interacting
with a divine personality. So fall at his feet immediately and ask
for his forgiveness and guidance". Immediately, the Yogi realized
that he had made a big blunder. He came out of his meditation,
caught Maharajji's feet and apologized. With tears in his eyes he
asked for forgiveness with utmost humility.
then instructed the Yogi to forget about all his Yogic powers and to
just surrender and do devotion to Lord Krishna. Maharajji said,
"Listen, you do sadhana (devotion) which will increase your
humility. All this austerity is only increasing your pride and not
taking you up instead taking you down. Go to Vrindavan and engage
in devotion to Shree Krishna." So the Yogi accepted Maharajji's
advice and went off.
with this example Maharajji revealed the dangers of the Yog path.
Firstly, it is extremely difficult. Also, even if it manages to purify
one's heart, there will always be that subtle pride as was seen in the
Yogi. With this pride there is always the danger of falling.
However, with bhakti (devotion) one learns to remain humble all the time.
successfully completed his enlightening discourses at Silver Spring,
MD. Yoga and Meditation program was also conducted by Swamiji in
Swamiji's discourses on the topic, "Science of
Devotion and Grace" and Yoga & Meditation program have started in
Albany, NY, and will conclude on April 18th, 2014
JKYog Retreats 2014
Welcome to a weekend of spiritual rejuvenation and frolicking fun.
Join Swamiji at the Spiritual Retreats for the experience of a lifetime.
May 24th to 26th
Sept 19th to 21st
June 27th to 29th
Mt. Laurel, NJ
Oct 10th to 12th
Radha Madhav Dham, Austin
Aug 30th to Sept 1st
For details & Registration, Click here
Carelessness Leads to
Downfall of a Devotee
by Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj
Continuing with the previous article.... We
should practice chanting 'Radhey' with every breath in our spare time.
We should not speak unnecessarily with others. Only say what is
Continuing with the previous article....
should practice chanting 'Radhey' with every breath in our spare time.
We should not speak unnecessarily with others. Only say what is
useful. If you are going to the hospital, or the bathroom or for
that matter just anywhere and you have time for two to five minutes,
then chant 'Radhey' on your way. You must earn spiritual wealth,
even in this little duration. If you are sitting alone and there
is another person sitting next to you, and you wonder how to start a
conversation, "When will you leave? Where do you live? What do you do?
He is like that; she is like that". What are you all doing? You are
deliberately destroying your sadhana. This will not
benefit you, it will only harm you. What has the Guru taught you?
Not to waste your time. There is not even one person amongst you all,
who practice what is being told.
must think about this very deeply and also ponder if you will get to
live another day in your life or not. Remember death every
moment. If you remember God at your last moment, it is certain
that you will receive the human form in the next life. But if you
think about worldly attachments at that moment, then you will have to
take birth in that species of life. You have been told a hundred
times that even Paramhans Jad Bharat had to take birth as a deer because
in his last moment, his mind was attached to a deer. If you have
left your family members and have come to do sadhana, then why
do you think about them? Everyday, phone calls are being made to family
members. This means that you have pledged, "Oh mind! I will not
let you walk towards God, because after death I don't want to take birth
as a human. I want to take the form of dog, cat, or a donkey."
a student does not write anything during the three hours of his
examination, what will be the result? He will repent when he sees
his result as 0 out of 100. Therefore I again request you, command
you and pray that you must practice. If you do as I say and
practice for even ten days, you will get used to it. Then you will
not be able to live without chanting 'Radhey Radhey'. If you do
anything against your will for a few days, it becomes your habit.
Small and dirty things like - cigarette, or tea, if we consume them
forcibly for a few days, thereafter they automatically start pinching
our mind to consume them even more.
whatever time is required for a compulsory service, everyday chores
that you do, or any service you are doing for the Guru, the remaining
free time must be utilized. But we people use that free time for
worldly associations. If we don't do anything and simply go to
sleep that is also fine. But, contemplation of worldly matters
will harm you.
are working towards destruction. You are lying to the Guru, even
lying to God. Therefore, do not think about others faults, their
faults will enter your mind and dirty it. Look at your own faults
and utilize each and every moment. And then see where you
Explained by Swami Mukundananda
is one of Shree Kripaluji Maharaj's principle writings, with
hundred golden couplets of inspiring quotes, advice, and
guidance for sincere devotees seeking to firmly establish
themselves on the path of bhakti.
Continuing with the explanation of the next verse:
satya ahinsā ādi man! binu hari bhajan napāya
jal te gṛit nikalai nahīṅ, koṭin kariya upāya
are all endeavoring to develop good qualities within us. This is a
natural urge amongst human beings. How to become better? How to improve
ourselves? How to remove our faults and the vices? Why is this urge
within all of us? The reason is given in the last verse. We have a
relationship with God. God is the reservoir of all good virtues like
kindness, mercy, compassion, truthfulness, justice. And we are tiny
parts of the all virtuous God. Being tiny parts of him, we have
this natural attraction for his qualities. It's very
natural. Everybody loves truthfulness. Nobody can love falsehood.
Nobody can love injustice.
other words, naturally, we expect behavior from others in line with
these virtues of truthfulness, justice, etc. We all want to
develop qualities like truthfulness, non violence, kindness, compassion
etc. We all wish to enhance our good qualities and discard
whatever bad qualities we may have. But how will we bring this
transformation about? Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj makes a
comprehensive statement here. He says that without devotion to God we
will not attain complete success. Why? This is because good
qualities will come when our mind gets purified.
a question arises: How do you purify the mind? Our mind is like a dirty
cloth that has accumulated dirt since innumerable lifetimes. Our
aim is to wash it and make it completely dirt free. If we wash it with
fresh, dirt-free water, it will become clean. But, if we wash it
with dirty water, the cloth will become dirtier. What do we mean
by 'clean' or 'dirty' water? All mayic objects are considered
dirty in terms of their effect on our heart. Only entities related
to God are considered clean. The Names of God, Forms, Virtues,
Pastimes, Abodes, and Saints are all pure. Hence, for purification
of our hearts and mind, we have to absorb our mind in devotion of God.
The Ramayan says:
prema bhagati jala binu raghurāī, abhi antara mala kabahuń najāī
(dirt) in the heart will not go until you wash it with pure water of
devotion to God. So the way to become virtuous, the way to enhance your
good qualities is to clean the heart with love for God. The
essence of spirituality is to enhance your love for God.
devotional practice, whether the senses are involved or not, the
involvement of the mind is a must. It is the mind that must practice
devotion. The mind gets purified through devotion, and when it is
completely purified,one attains divine love by the grace of the Guru.
we progress in devotion, our mind will become comparatively purer;
substantial impurities will vanish away. And the mind will be
increasingly attached to God. Just like no one can get butter by
churning water, similarly no one can receive true virtuous qualities
unless one practice devotion to God.
Personality Development Classes for Children
· Character Building Values
· Yoga & Meditations
· Bhajans, Shlokas & Prayers
· Inspiring Stories
welcomes all contributions of creative works from
children in different areas including poetry, moral
stories, art work, etc.
Bhajan singing and dancing by NC Center kids
Performance by CT center kids during Swamiji's visit.
Gaurang Mahaprabhu Jayanti celebration by Ahmedabad center kids.
SHORT STORY - MY DESTINY, MY HANDS
young man set his heart on a journey to a diviner; he
was actually on a quest to determine what his destiny
is all about. He had gotten a lot of conflicting
comments and visions about what the future holds
for him, so this day he made up his mind to see
the most renowned of all diviner in the land, and
whatever he says will undisputedly become what he is to
believe, it was high time he realized the direction in
which his life was headed and for him, there was no
waiting any more.
After two sunsets he arrived at the diviners hut and
found him, sitting on his mud bed in deep meditation.
"Welcome my son" said the diviner, as he opened his eyes.
"I will help you in divining what your future has in stock for you, just be patient".
With that, the diviner stood up, went in to his inner
chamber and came out again, but now he was holding two
chalks, black and white in one hand, and a tortoise
already withdrawn into its shell, on the other hand.
He bent down and drew two large circles with the black
and white chalk respectively, keeping some distance in
between them. Then he took some steps backward, bent
down and placed the tortoise gently on the floor.
"My son, look and pray" the diviner called out. "The
tortoise will move soon, and if it moves into the black
circle, then your future spells doom, destruction and
failure, but if it moves into the white circle, your
future holds lots of promise", with that he withdrew to
his bed and assumed his former position.
There was a long stretch of silence... then the
tortoise moved, they watched eagerly and with
anticipation as the reptile crawled slowly towards the
circles. Then the unexpected happened, the tortoise
took a turn and headed into the black circle. The young
man sat up abruptly with renewed energy, and looked on
still wishing the reptile will change direction.
But alas! It was headed straight into that
dreaded black circle.
"NOOO! This is not possible" he thought
Just in a split moment of decision making, just about
the moment when the tortoise was to set foot into the
black circle, he picked it up gently with both his
hands and dropped it in the white circle, as carefully
as he could.
"Why should you do that?" the diviner called out angrily
"Why should you interfere with my divination?" he added ferociously
"Why should i not interfere? How do you expect me to
sit down here, fold my hands and watch as my future, my
destiny... my life, crawl steadily into destruction,
failure and doom. And you expect me to do nothing about
it?" he answered menacingly.
And with that, he walked out from the diviner's hut.
Now he had the answer, "HIS DESTINY IS IN HIS OWN HANDS".
Shrikhand is a very popular Indian dessert made from strained yogurt. Let us learn how to make easy and exotic recipe Mango Shrikhand as Bhog Prasad for God.
Yogurt - 3 cups (should not be sour)
Powdered sugar - 1/4 -1/2 cup or as required
Pistachio -2 tbsp
Almonds - 4
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Saffron -10 strands
Warm milk -1 tbsp
Fresh Mango Puree - 1 cup (Mango should be sweet)
Few mango bits
Pistachio and almonds
yogurt in a muslin cloth and hang it overnight or for 6-7 hours to
drain out the whey from the yogurt. Tie it and place it inside the
refrigerator otherwise the yogurt will become sour. Soak pistachio and
almonds in hot water for 10 minutes. Remove the skin and chop it into
small pieces. Soak saffron in warm milk. After 6 hours, take
out the yogurt from the refrigerator and see how creamy the hung yogurt
a wire whisk or a spatula, mix the hung yogurt with powdered sugar
nicely for 5-6 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Shrikhand is
all about texture, so mixing well is very important. Now add the
saffron soaked in milk, half of the chopped pistachio and almonds, mango
puree, cardamom powder and mix well. Keep it in the fridge for an hour.
Garnish with chopped pistachio, almonds and mango pieces.
Chironji can also be used along with pistachio for this dessert.
This dessert should be served chilled.
Note- Use sweet mangoes only. If you can get Alphanso mangoes, do use that.
The Editor JKYog: XVII/3305, 1st Floor, Ranjit Nagar
(Near PUSA), New Delhi - 110008, India
7405 Stoney Point Dr, Plano, TX 75025, USA