JKY e-Magazine, Issue No. 8                                           February 2010

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In This Issue
Gems of Wisdom - Shree Maharajji
Announcements
Upcoming Events
Current News
Stay Connected
Who Am I - Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj
Secrets of Spiritual Sadhana - Swami Mukundananda
Bal-Mukund
Ask Swamiji
Trivia Time
Jagadguru Kripalu Yog

wisdom

The mind has been under the influence of maya since eternity, hence it is impure. Humbly shed tears of selfless love in the separation from Shree Krishna, and in this way wash the dirt of the mind and make it pure.
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Have a firm understanding in your intellect that there is no joy or sorrow in this world.  When you think that worldly objects are the source of happiness, then in their absence, you will feel sad.  Accept this fact that there is no real happiness in the world.
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Charity is good for the soul. By donating some of your wealth you lessen your worldly attachments, thereby taking the essential step towards increasing your attachment to God. 
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The worthiest and noblest of all recipients is a Divine personality, a Saint, a true Guru.  When you donate to Him, you take giant steps towards getting closer to God. He has nothing to give you but love for God.  Thus, you, the giver, are not really the donor, but the recipient.
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In Bhagavad Gita, the primary message is "Do your duty in the world, but keep your mind attached to Shree Krishna."  The mind should be constantly thinking about God while performing worldly duties.
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Just as we keep the mind detached from most of the work we perform, in the same way we keep it detached from most individuals of the world.  The attachment of our mind is reserved only for a handful of people such as our parents, children, husband, wife, brothers, sisters, and so on.  With the rest of the world, we only behave politely.  Now if we sever the attachment with even these few people, there will be no difficulty for us in attaining God. 
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Announcements

Swamiji USA Tour 2010

Devotees from USA will love this exciting news item!  Swami Mukundananda's USA Tour 2010 planning has started. 

Along with enlightening lectures, the program offers Yoga and Meditation sessions to provide a holistic treat for body, mind, and soul. 

The tour  starts with East Coast programs from the first week of May and will continue through October, covering most of the major cities across USA.

 
Featured Video

Spirituality for Managers


Swamiji was invited to IIM, Kolkata to speak on the subject of "Spirituality for Managers", on the occasion of the silver jubilee reunion of the alumni association.

Click here to view lecture
Upcoming Events

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Swamiji's Delhi Tour

Patel Nagar, New Delhi
March 8th - 14th

IP Extention, Delhi
March 16th - 24th

Ashok Vihar, New Delhi
March 26th

Vikas Puri
March 27th - April 5th

Haridwar Sadhana Shivir
April 23rd - 25th

 Current News

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Swamiji successfully completed his 10-day lecture series in Ahmedabad (Gujarat), held between Jan 31st to Feb 9th. Around 4000 people came everyday to hear Swamiji's Divine speech.

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A spiritual picnic was organized on Feb 7th in Maatar Village, near Ahmedabad. Swamiji spent a fun-filled day with all devotees gathered there. Devotees were thrilled to sing kirtans along with Swamiji.  There was an 'Antakshari' competition, leela description, singing, and dancing to keep people of all ages engrossed and entertained all day long!

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Swamiji also celebrated Holi festival with devotees by showering flowers, as Holi festival is just around the corner!

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Swamiji gave a captivating speech at NIRMA University, Ahmedabad on Feb 9th. The topic was "The power of true knowledge". The auditorium was filled with students and professionals.

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Swamiji is currently in Indore, Madhya Pradesh where he is delivering a seven day lecture series at Geeta Bhavan.

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Swamiji delivered a lecture for Chartered Accountants at 'Ravindra Natya Griha' on the Feb 19th based on the topic "Spiritual Investment".
Stay Connected

Check out the latest lectures, yoga and meditation videos, bhajans, subtle body relaxation and much more on our YouTube channel!

Quick Links


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Welcome to the
 Jagadguru Kripalu Yog
 e-Magazine
Who Am I ?
by Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj

     mj speech 

Continuing from the previous article...

The consciousness within the individual soul has been provided by God.  The individual soul is always connected to God.
 

nityo nityānāṁ chetanaśhchetanānāmeko bahoonāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān
tatkāraṇaṁ sāṁkhyayogādhigamyaṁ jātvā devaṁ muchyate sarvapāśhaiḥ

The Vedas declare that it is God Himself who gives consciousness to all living beings.  Moreover, God is the one who powers the intellect.
 
The Upanishads reiterate this message.  God empowers the sense organs, the mind and the intellect.  Equipped with God's power, these three faculties perform their respective functions.
 
The Vedas say that there are two kinds of doers.  One is the Prayojya Karta (actual doer) and the other is the Prayojak Karta (motivating doer).  God is the motivator, and the individual being is the actual doer.  In other words, God gives power to the senses, mind and intellect to perform actions.  But what use will the individual make of that power?

svatantraḥ kriyamāṇe vai kṛito bhagavatā vidā

The individual soul possesses a certain degree of freedom; it is free to perform actions. God has given us powers. However, there are limitations on these powers.  He does not disturb us as we perform actions, nor does He disclose that He is observing us and making notes of these actions.  Had the Vedas not told us this truth, we would never have found out!
 
We are free to use our senses, mind and intellect in the right direction or in the wrong one.  So, when it is said that God is the doer, it means that He has given us the power.  How can  we think or act if He does not provide us with the power to do so?  Since we are the actual "doers", we are also punished at times for our sinful deeds.
 
Let us now examine the third difference between God and the individual soul.  God is Omnipotent; He has all powers, and the individual soul has very few.  There are hundreds of such differences between Him and the soul.
 
It is true that there is no difference between the individual soul and God, and it is also true that there are differences between them.  This is the marginal characteristic.  Why is it called the marginal power?  One of God's own powers is the individual soul.  Two are two more powers: one is para shakti, and another one is maya shakti.  In between these two is the individual soul.  We have already learnt earlier that para shakti is also known as svaroop shakti or yogmaya shakti.
 
The individual soul, which is conscious, cannot be a part of maya, which is devoid of consciousness.  Thus, the individual soul is neither a part of maya shakti, nor is it a part of svaroop shakti.  It is between both these powers, like trishanku.  This is why it is called tatastha shakti, i.e. Marginal power.
 
This is better understood with a real-life example.  The river has a 'tat', i.e. riverbank.  The shoreline has water as well as a part of the earth.  You can give it both names.  Let us define a shoreline.  It is the final limit of land which contains both earth and water.  At the same time, it is separate from both earth and water.  So, the soul is not like God who is the all-witnessing, all-controlling, all-governing, all-loving, all-powerful and almighty Lord.  He has unlimited consciousness.  The individual soul is not the same, and this means that it is not a part of para shakti.  And maya is devoid of consciousness, and the individual soul is conscious.  This means that it is not a part of maya.

mamaivānśho jīvaloke jīvabhootaḥ sanātanaḥ

The Geeta says that the soul is a fraction of God. 
 
The Bhagavad Geeta also says -

gatirbhartā prabhuḥ sākṣhī nivāsaḥ śharaṇaṁ suhṛit

The Geeta says that God is our 'everything'.  This is why we are His fractions.
 
The Ramayan also says the same.  Why is the individual soul called a fraction?  Fraction means a piece.  Let us take a cloth and rip it up.  What we get is a piece of that cloth.  Now, can God be divided into pieces?  Can anyone in the world prove that God is divisible?
 
How can God be divided?  It would mean that God is limited.  God cannot be divided.  He is called 'Akhand'.  He is indivisible.  Every saint has said that God cannot be divided.  The individual soul is not a piece of God.  If it were, it would not be eternal.  It would mean that it became a piece of God one day.  Moreover, the Vedas say that God is indivisible; this is a definition of God.  Therefore, there is no question of the individual soul being a piece of God.  Then, what is it?

shaktitatve naivāṁśhatvaṁ vyaṁjayati

It is a power of God.  Jeev Shakti.  A Power called jeev, individual soul.  This is why it is called a fraction.  It is called a fraction from the point of view of being a power, not a piece.  If the soul were a piece of God, it would be just like God.  Drink ten glasses of nectar or a little drop; you will surely attain the benefits of drinking nectar.  If we were direct pieces of God, we would have in our possession the bliss and knowledge that God has.  We would then have all the properties that God possesses.  What difference does it make whether a touchstone weighs twenty pounds or ten grams? As long as the touchstone makes contact with iron, it will surely turn into gold.

So, it is from the point of view of being a power of God that we are called fractions of God.
 
You can refer to the soul as a fraction of God, or a power of God.  The question is, why is it called as a marginal power of God?  Where does this power live?  Because, para shakti lives inside of God.  And maya is the external power, which lives outside of God.  No, that is not true.  None of God's powers can live outside of God.   No power can live outside of the powerful.  What power does fire have?  It has the power to burn and to enlighten.  Now, try to remove this property away from fire.  Try taking the power of enlightening out of fire.  Impossible; you would not be able to do it.  Both these powers will always be inside fire.  The power of burning cannot do its work when it is separated from fire.  In the same way, no power of God can live outside of God.  Not even maya.  But maya has created such a big world.  What power does maya, devoid of consciousness, have?

jāsu satyatā te jaṛa māya

It is the power of God that is making maya do all this work.  What power is that?  The same svaroop shakti, para shakti, chit shakti; it has many names.  God makes maya work on the strength of para shakti.
 
Thus, God makes maya work with the strength of para shakti.  And that is the reason why, there is no person, no yogi, no ascetic in countless universes who has ever, or who will ever be able to defeat maya.  Why?  Because, maya is governed by para shakti.  Only the one who can defeat para shakti, can defeat maya.  Now, who except for God, can anyone defeat para shakti?  This is why the condition -

māmeva ye prapadyante māyāmetāṁ taranti te
 
The Bhagavat says that it is only with God's grace that one can gain freedom from maya.  Without His grace, the ones who attain knowledge of the 'self', even they fall.  Maya shakti belongs to God.  God says very cleverly to Arjun,

daivī hyeṣhā guṇamayī

"This maya, with the three modes, is Divine, it is very powerful."  Arjun says, "So what!  If maya is strong, I am also in possession of the Gandeeva bow."  God says, "Mama maya," i.e. "My maya." 
 
Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj says, if it is 'Yours' (God), only 'You' can defeat it.  No one is powerful enough to defeat maya.  If someone has defeated maya, he has defeated 'You'.  Then what else is left to do?  There have been many demons who have ruled over the three universes, they, who could imprison Indra and made even Brahma run for help.  But even they could not defeat maya.
 
So, the external power, maya is governed by God's svaroop shakti or yogmaya, and empowered by svaroop shakti, this world is created by maya.  This is the reason why maya has full control of the individual soul.  It is svaroopavarika maya.  There are two kinds of mayagunavarika maya and svaroopavarika maya.  Both are governed by God's yogmaya.  All powers of God live inside of God. 
 
Conclusion:  maya shakti lives inside of God, as do jeev shakti and para shakti.  But neither maya shakti nor jeev shakti are in touch with God.  Only para shakti is.  That is the only difference.  Maya lives in God, but is separate from God.  The individual soul lives inside of God, but is separate from God.  Only svaroop shakti is the power that is always connected to God.
 
So, the natural characteristic of the soul is that it is a marginal power of God.  There is a difference, as well as non-difference between God and the individual soul. The marginal characteristic of the individual soul is that it is an eternal servant of God.
Secrets of Spiritual Sadhana
by Swami Mukundananda

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Continuing from the last month...

These are the next lines of the series "Sadhana Karu Pyare".

dhyān binu sab sādhanā hai, prāṇ binu tanu pyāre
man ko jo bhāye banā lo, roop vaisā pyāre
sāmane hari ko biṭhā kar, sādhanā karu pyāre

How do we meditate upon God?  We have two options. Devotees are of two types - one who loves God in His formless aspect and the other who loves God in His personal form.  If we love God in His formless aspect, the affinity and closeness with God is lost because you would never be able see your Beloved, massage His lotus feet, fan Him, nor be able to serve Him. You would only try to concentrate on some source of light. It is not possible to experience the sweet Divine nectar, which one can get from His personal form.  Even the devotees of the formless aspect very naturally take the support of a personal form of God in their meditation.

Members of 'Arya Samaj' strongly believe that God does not exist in His personal form, but they have a photo of Swami Dayanand Saraswati in their homes.  Swami Vivekananda was a great devotee of Maa Kali, and preached throughout India.  On one of his tours, he stayed at the palace of the king of Alwar in Rajasthan.  The king was a member of 'Arya Samaj', and was completely against the personal form of God.  He started arguing with Swami Vivekananda that God does not have a personal form, it is a misconception, and we just make idols of God.

Swami Vivekananda saw a big photo of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the guru of the king, hanging on the wall.  He removed the photo, threw it on the floor and placed his feet on it.  The king was angry, and prepared to slap Swami Vivekananda! Swamiji asked the king - "Why are you upset? You are against idol worship.  Then this photo is not your Guru. Your Guru is different; this is just a piece of paper.  By trampling the paper, I have insulted Maa Saraswati, but that does not mean you can slap me! You wanted to slap me because you see your Guruji's presence in this photo.  Hence, even you are doing idol worship."

Which devotee does not perform idol worship? Christians remember and pray using the holy cross.   Allah is everywhere, yet Muslims turn to the west to offer their daily namaaz (prayer). Why is it so?  They remember the kabbah, which acts a point of holy reference.  This means even they engage in idol worship.  Without the support of a form, it is not possible to concentrate or fix the mind.  If we remember the beautiful form of Shree Krishna, His pastimes and His Divine abode as described in the scriptures, it will be advantageous to us.  This way, we can take the support of His name, form, pastimes, virtues and abode.  

A believer in the formless aspect of God can ask, "If you imagine the personal form of God (in your mind), He is not the true God.  The true God is Divine and our mind is material.  With this mind, how can we meditate upon God?"  A worshipper of the personal form of God answers, "People who believe in His formless aspect, concentrate on a source of light, which is also material by nature.  It is not the true light of Divine God.  The human mind cannot reach the Divine light by itself."

go gochar jahaṁ lagī man jāī, so sab māyā jānehu bhāī
 
Wherever and whatever the mind thinks, it is related to this material world and God is beyond the realm of matter.

rām svaroop tumhār vachan agochar buddhi par

God is beyond human intellect. It does not matter if we worship Him in his personal form or His formless aspect, the human mind cannot meditate on the true God.  Then how can we attain our goal? God says, "Do not to worry - I am causelessly merciful, whatever grace I have bestowed upon you, utilize it with care, then I will bestow more".  God says, "Create Divine feelings in your material mind (Roop-dhyan).   Just do that and I will provide the Divine energy to your mind.  With My Divine energy, your material mind will become Divine. 

In meditation (Roop-dhyan), feelings are the most important. Meditate on any form of God you like.  For example, some people like Shree Krishna as a child, while others like Him in His adult form.  We can find different deities of Jaganathji and Ganeshji, but it is not that only one particular form of the deity will help us reach God and rest cannot help us reach Him.   God always notes the sentiments and feeling that we have in our heart.

na kāṣhṭhe vidyate devo na śhilāyāṁ na mṛitsu cha bhāve hī vidyate devastasmāt bhāvaṁ samācharet

God only notes your feelings.   Even if you meditate upon the black and round Shaligram with the true sentiments that it is God, He will give you its Divine fruit.  Shree Kripaluji Maharaj says that it is very difficult to meditate in this material world but there is nothing to worry. Shree Maharajji says, "Try to imagine your father's face.  You will not be able to imagine the exact face, because you have never watched him so closely.  Now, if you cannot imagine the exact face, it means you are not able to picturize your father;  it is some other image.  But God is causelessly merciful.  He accepts any face you can imagine with your material mind.  He says, "Just create Divine feelings and sentiments.  Try to develop your love for Me.  The rest is left to Guru and God.  It is their duty to grace you with a Divine mind and bestow Their Divine vision."  Hence, Shree Kripaluji Maharaj tells us to first "picturize" God in front us and then meditate upon Him.  Using our material mind, we must imagine God to be in front of us, and only then start to meditate on His form, virtues, pastimes and abodes.   

param vyākulatā baṛhāo, hari daras kī pyāre
 
What is the next step after meditating on God?  We have now seated God in front of us, what next? We must now build a yearning to see Him.  When will I be able to hear His sweet voice? When will I smell the fragrance that surrounds Him? When can I embrace Him? When will I be able to relish his leftover food? Let your five senses become eager to attain God. All the five senses are inclined towards the materialist world, maya. Now, if we divert these five senses toward God, it is called bhakti. After diverting your mind, increase the longing to meet God by a thousand times. The intensity of the longing should reach such a level as described by Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu:

yugāyataṁ nimeṣheṇa chakṣhuśhā prāvṛiṣhāyitaṁ śhunyāyitaṁ jagat sarvaṁ govinda viraheṇa me

Who can teach the worship of Shree Krishna better than Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhuji, who is another form of Shree Radhaji? He taught us how to increase the longing to meet God.  He stayed at Gambhira, a place in Jagannath Puri for 18 years.  For 6 years, he performed parikramas in Puri, and undertook long padyatras to Vrindaban and South India, and freely met people.  But in his last 12 years, Mahaprabhuji lived alone, relishing the sentiment of separation from Shree Krishna.  He says in his Shikshastak, "O Govind! I have become so anxious for Your darshan that without You, each moment seems like an eon. In separation, my heart melts for You, and tears flow from my eyes.  This whole world is appearing void without You."

Using this as an inspiration, we must increase our longing to meet God.  This is the only way to purify our heart.  The gyani tell the bhakt, "You need to leave your desires, but you are not able to do so".  But the devotee says that you do not have to leave your desires. Instead, divert them towards God. If we abandon the desire to attain God, then our love for God will also come to an end.  The desire to attain God is not harmful.  It is praiseworthy and should be enhanced manifold.  Shree Kripaluji Maharaj says, "Divert anger, greed and desire towards God and increase its intensity. The more you increase the intensity of these feelings towards God, the more your heart is purified."

yā anurāgī chit kī gati samujhai nahiṁ koy,
 jyoṁ jyoṁ ḍoobai śhyām rang tyoṁ tyoṁ ujjval hoy


When the intensity of our love for God increases, the heart and the mind are enlightened.  They are purified. This is the reason why God-realized Saints say :

he dev he dayita he bhuvanaika bandho, he Kṛiṣhṇa he chapala he karuṇaika sindho
he nātha he ramaṇa he nayanābhirāma hā hā kadānubhavitāsi padam drishor me


In this verse, the devotee is expressing his intense yearning, "O God! When will I be able to see You?"

What is the criteria to judge if we are progressing in our devotion? The answer is that, we must note our love and longing to meet God.  More the longing, the closer you are to your goal. 

There was a Sufi saint called Farid.  When people asked him how to reach God, he used to take them to the river and ask them to take a bath.  He then used to jump into the water along with the other person.  Faridji would then forcefully immerse the other person's head into the water for about half a minute.  The person would struggle, but he would not release him.  He would only let him go after a minute.  When the person came out of the water, he would be highly relieved to breathe fresh air.  Faridji would ask, "What happened?"  The person would answer, "If you had kept me in the water for another moment, I would have suffocated and died."  Faridji would say, "This is the answer to your question."


"You will be able see God when you feel that, without God's vision, your life airs will leave your body."  God and Guru are waiting for you to reach this stage.

Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj has said: 

darde dil itanā pasand āyā use, ki maiṁne jab ki āh usane vāh ki

This means, "My Divine Beloved liked the pain of separation so much, that when I exclaimed "Aah!" (in separation) he appreciated, "Waah!" in satisfaction."  Our heart and mind gets purified by this pain of separation from God.  In the last line of our daily prayer, we say:

he jīvandhan! Ab to tumhāre prem ke binā yaha jīvan mṛityu se bhī adhik bhayānak hai

This means: "O My soul Beloved!  Without Your love, this life has become more horrifying than death."

Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj says that he knows we will not be able to develop such deep sentiments in the beginning.  But at least we can do roop dhyan meditation.  With sincerity, we should pray to increase our longing for God and make it our goal.
balheader

Bal-Mukund Showcase

Bal-Mukund welcomes all contributions of creative works from children in different areas including poetry, moral stories, art work, etc. Their work may be show cased on the JKYog website.


Moral Story - Unity is Strength

gurukul8
 
Once upon a time, there lived a flock of doves that flew from place to place in search of food.  Their king, a big, plump dove, led them.  One day, the flock had flown a long distance and all the birds were very tired.  The dove king encouraged them to fly a little further since they had still not found anything to eat.
 
A small dove flew ahead and found some rice scattered beneath a banyan tree. Soon all the doves followed her there and began to eat.  As they were pecking the grain contentedly, a net fell over them suddenly, and they were all trapped.  The doves desperately fluttered their wings and struggled to get out, but it was of no use.  The strong strings of the net had them well and truly trapped.
 
Then the dove king had an idea.  He told all the the doves to fly up together at once, thus ligting the net along with them. "None of us can free ourselves from this net alone." He said, "but if we are united, our strength will help set us free.  Let us cooperate with each other."
 
The doves immediately obeyed their king.  Each dove picked up a small portion of the net and the entire flock soared into the sky, carrying the net with them. 
 
The hunter locked up in astonishment as he saw his net rise into the air with the flock of doves.  He waved his club and tried to run behind them, but the birds soon soared out of sight.  They flew high over rivers and valleys till they come to a hill near a city of temples.  It was the home of a mouse who was a faithful friend of the dove king.  The king was sure that his friend would help him.
 
When the mouse heard the loud noise made by the approaching doves, he hid in alarm.  The dove king called out to him gently, and the mouse peered out of his hole cautiously.
 
"We have been trapped in the folds of this strong net," the dove king explained, "and you are the only one who can set us free by gnawing the net with your sharp teeth.  Please help us, dear friend!"
 
"I'll be glad to help you." Said the mouse, "and I shall set you free first, noble king."
 
"No!" said the dove king with a shake of his head. "You must free my subjects first!"
 
The mouse looked at the gracious dove king admiringly and nodded. Then he began to gnaw the net.  Soon all the doves were freed and as they soared into the sky behind their king, they praised his wisdom and generosity.  He had shown them that working together in unity and thinking about the welfare of others brings happiness to all.


ask swamiji logo
Question:  Radhey Radhey Swamiji, It is really a pleasure listening to you, and thank you very much for giving us such deep knowledge in simple language so that souls like us can understand it.  I have one question, "Why did God create maya, when He wanted us to love Him. He created this world and moved us out from his Mahodar, or stomach, to enjoy His love.  But because of maya we forget him and suffer." 

Answer:

To enable all readers to comprehend your question, let me first explain its context.  The Vedic philosophy states that creation follows successive cycles of srishti, sthiti and pralaya, or creation, maintenance and dissolution.  Upon dissolution, the entire material energy and all the materially conditioned souls go into a latent state, and reside in the stomach, or mahodar, of God.  Then, at the time of  creation, the material energy unwinds itself, and the world comes into existence.  The souls are again placed in appropriate bodies in this world, based upon their accumulated stock of sanchit karmas. 

Now, to rephrase your question, you have asked that when God creates the world, in order for us to be able to love Him, and brings us into it from His mahodar, then why does He create maya alongside, which puts us in forgetfulness of Him and makes us suffer?  This question has puzzled innumerable philosophers in history, with the paradox that if God is all good, then why has he created something bad like maya, that gives souls the opportunity to deviate from the true path and commit sin.  The answer to this cannot be comprehended totally before God-realization.  However, an attempt can definitely be made.

Let me tell you a story in this regard.  There was once a very rich man, who had a fifteen-year old son.  One day, the son was alone in his father's office, when he saw a fifteen-year old newspaper.  It had an article titled, "Billionaire adopts orphan child".  The boy was stunned to see his father's name mentioned there.  When his father returned, the son accosted him, "Father is this article true?"

The father replied, "My son! It is true."

"Does that mean I am not your child?"

"That is right, you are not my child." 

The son was shocked.  "Then why did you adopt me?"

The father explained, "I had no shortage of money, and everything that money could buy.  However, I did not have anyone with whom I could share my wealth.  I adopted you so that I could give you everything that I possess." 

Similarly, God is perfect and complete in Himself, and the possessor of unlimited opulences.  He creates us so that He may be able to share that He possesses with us all.  However, He can only do that when we truly love Him.   And, to enable us to love Him, He has created us with a free will.  A machine cannot love.  Only that creature can love who possesses a free will. 

Those souls who have exercised their free will in loving God, are with Him in His eternal abode.  We conditioned souls are here in the material realm because we exercised our free will to turn our backs towards Him.  So for us Bhagavad vimukh souls, God has created this realm of maya, where we can live under the illusion that we are separate from Him.  However, this maya energy performs various tasks.  It provides us with allurements to enjoy in forgetfulness  of God.  But it also keeps troubling  the soul through the three-fold miseries, to encourage it to decide to love God.  Thanks to the slaps we receive from maya, if we can realize our folly, and exercise our free will to love God, we can attain His Divine abode for the rest of eternity.   We do not realize this favor that maya is to doing, and we blame it for our miseries.  So, maya is not our enemy; it is in fact our well-wisher, and a servant of God. 


Swamiji answers selected questions related to Yog, Spirituality and Philosophy every month on our e-Magazine.

Trivia Time

Ayurveda (the 'science of life') is a system of traditional medicine native to the Indian Subcontinent and practiced in other parts of the world as a form of alternative medicine.  In Sanskrit, the word Ayurveda consists of the words āyus, meaning 'life', and veda, meaning 'related to knowledge' or 'science'.  Evolving throughout its history, Ayurveda remains an influential system of medicine in South Asia.  The earliest literature of Ayurveda appeared during the Vedic period in India.  The Sushruta Samhita and the Charaka Samhita were influential works on traditional medicine during this era.  Ayurvedic practitioners also identified a number of medicinal preparations and surgical procedures for curing various ailments and diseases.

Ayurveda is considered to be a form of complementary and alternative medicine within the western world, where several of its methods, such as the use of herbs, massage, and Yoga as exercise or alternative medicine, are applied on their own as a form of treatment.

Dhanvantari is said to be an avatar of Vishnu from the Hindu tradition and God of Ayurvedic medicine.  Dhanvantari was an early Indian medical practitioner and one of the world's first surgeons.  Based on Vedic traditions, he is regarded as the source of Ayurveda.  He perfected many herbal based cures and natural remedies and was credited with the discovery of the antiseptic properties of turmeric and the preservative properties of salt which he incorporated in his cures.

In contrast to the western view, Ayurveda has been the principal power of holistic healing, whose techniques were revealed by God and handed down through time.  Ancient sages and medical practitioners followed the Ayurvedic system of medicine with great devotion and immense success.

Jagadguru Kripalu Yog

Konasan

asan8

Method
Stand-up straight. Keep a distance of about 3 to 4 feet between the legs. Raise both arms sideways to your shoulder level, palms facing downward. Inhale (Radhey) in this position. While exhaling (Shyam), twist and bend diagonally right from your waist. Touch your right foot with your left hand; right hand will slowly move into a vertical position, above the shoulder. Turn your head right and look up towards your hand. Remain in this position for five seconds. Gently come back to the initial position. Repeat 5 times in both directions. 
 
Benefits
It tones the entire body. It exercises the muscles of the waist and legs. It improves digestion, stimulates your appetite, and alleviates constipation. It is very useful for women. It tones the reproductive organs. It helps to reduce extra fat from the abdominal area.
                       
Contra-indication
People with severe back conditions should not practice this asan.