JKY e-Magazine, Issue No. 16                            October  2010

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In This Issue
Gems of Wisdom - Shree Maharajji
Did You Know?
Upcoming Events
Current News
How to recognize a true Saint - Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj
Secrets of Spiritual Sadhana - Swami Mukundananda
Ask Swamiji
Trivia Time
Jagadguru Kripalu Yog


There are only two realms in which we can attach the mind - the Divine realm of God and the worldly realm.

If we are unable to attach our mind to God, the reason is our mind is attached to the world. Hence, learn to detach the mind from the world.


Increase your longing to meet God. Keeping His form before you, pray to Him to bestow His Grace.  Let your heart melt in tears of love.


Do not postpone the good that you wish to do.  If you delay, the circumstances or your intention may change, and you may lose the opportunity.


O Mind! Why then do you hanker, fret and fume so much over these trivial matters while caring so little for eternal treasures of the soul.


Just as the self-interest of the hand is in serving the body, of which it is a part, the self-interest of the soul is in serving God.

These are all tweets sent by Swamiji, to reveal the Divine knowledge given by Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj.

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Upcoming Events

Annual Sadhana Shivir
Oct 17th - Nov 21st

Prem Mandir Inauguration
Nov 24th - 26th

 Current News

JKP News

Prem Mandir Inauguration

Nov 24-26, 2010
prem mandir
One of the biggest and most beautiful temples of  Shree Radha Krishna is currently nearing completion in Vrindavan, India.  It is made purely of Italian marble, with traditional Indian architecture and special carvings of Shree Krishna leelas around the walls, which is one of the most unique features of this magnificent temple.
Shree Maharajji donated a new vehicle for the benefit of blind students of Shri Vrindavan Andh Mahavidyalaya at Rangeeli Mahal, Barsana on Oct 17th, 2010.

Annual Sadhana Program
Sadhana Program 
The Annual month-long Sadhana Program is currently going in at Rangeeli Mahal, Barsana.  It started on the auspicious day of Vijaya Dashami, which was on October 17th, and will continue till November 21st.  Thousands of devotees pour in from all over the world to drown themselves in a devotional and spiritual environment, filled with divine nectar showered by Shree Maharajji's grace and presence.
Shree Maharajji's Birthday
Shree Maharajji's 89th birthday was celebrated on Sharat Poornima, October 22nd in Rangeeli Mahal, Barsana, with zeal and enthusiasm.
JKY News
Dallas Satsang
Dallas devotees celebrated Shree Maharajji's birthday with Swamiji at Plano center.
Bal-Mukund Program
Bal-Mukund Program
After the performances of Bal-Mukund children,  Swamiji gave a very inspiring lecture on the life story of Shree Maharajji.  The entire program was amazing, the Plano JKYog center was packed with devotees!
Connecticut Satsang
Swamiji's USA Tour 2010 comes to an end with successful lectures in different cites of USA.  Devotees were blessed to be in the divine presence of Swamiji.  Various Bal-Mukund centers and satsang centers have been established to help devotees continue their sadhana and stay in touch with Swamiji.

Swamiji's University Programs

Swamiji gave a captivating speech at Princeton University, New Jersey, on Oct 1st.  The topic was "Science and Spirituality".  The auditorium was filled with students and academia.  The talk was followed by Q & A session, which was very enlightening for the students.

University of Illinois

Swamiji was invited by the University of Illinois at Chicago to share his knowledge on the topic, "Synthesis of Spirituality & Materialism".  This special event was organized on October 11th. Swamiji addressed a gathering of students and professors.

Kellogg University 

Swamiji delivered a scintillating lecture on the topic "Spiritual Paradigm for Management" at Kellogg School of Management, Chicago, on October 12th.


Swamiji was invited by Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago on October 13th to enlighten the students on the topic, "Reaching the Absolute Truth".

Media Coverage

Swamiji's USA Tour 2010 has received popularity and lot of coverage in the media.

Read more about the coverage

Swamiji's Arrival to India


Swamiji arrived in Delhi on October 17th after five-and-a-half-months.  He arrived on the auspicious day of Vijaya Dashami.  Hundreds of eager devotees gathered at the Delhi ashram, which was beautifully decorated to welcome Swamiji back home.

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Jagadguru Kripalu Yog

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Welcome to the
 Jagadguru Kripalu Yog
  How to recognize a true Saint
by Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj

     Shree Maharajji 

Continuing from the previous edition....

Regarding the definition of a Mahapurush, we have understood till now that a soul, who has attained God, and whose actions are performed by God's will, that soul is called a Mahapurush, a true Saint.  Also, it was proved by all the Vedas and Scriptures that there is no difference between God and Mahapurush, because all the actions of the Mahapurush are performed by God.  In fact, for a devotee, Mahapurush is the most important because it is only through a Mahapurush one will attain all the spiritual knowledge related to preliminary stages of sadhana, devotion, and without whose guidance, the individual cannot even take a step forward towards God.


āchāryavān puruṣho hī veda | (Chhandogyopaniṣhat 6-14-2)

Because all the scriptures as well as Saints have told various kinds of paths to achieve the supreme entity - God.  Finding solutions to the innumerable Upanishads, Puranas and differences of arguments of learned scholars, and understanding their correct meaning and selecting the best path is impossible even for Lord Brihaspati and Goddess Sarasvati.  So how can it be possible for an ordinary person?  Only a Mahapurush knows the correct and most suitable solution for an individual, and can direct the individual towards the correct path.


We already know that since infinite lifetimes, we are making a continuous effort for the attainment of the Divine Bliss of God.  During endless lifetimes, we might have walked towards God but surprisingly until now, we have not attained that eternal bliss.  The reason for this is that we never surrendered ourselves to a true Saint.  Whereas, there is rule in this material world, that only by following the instructions of a teacher, we attain knowledge about any subject.  If we follow half of the instructions of our worldly teacher and apply our own intellect to the rest of it, then we will never be able to progress to the next class.


When we are sick, we follow the instructions of a doctor.  Otherwise, we know the consequences of not following the full instructions.  In the same way, since countless lifetimes we applied our material intellect in the deep and intense subject called God, and because of it, instead of moving forward in the spiritual realm, we kept on moving backwards.  That means our downfall has been continuous.  According to the Vedas and Shastras, God-realization is the easiest work in this world.  There is no hard work in this.  Yet, we have not attained our supreme goal till now.  The reason behind this is that we have not accepted a Mahapurush to be a Mahapurush.  And if we do not realize a true Saint to be a true Saint, we will never surrender completely.  And without complete surrender, we cannot move forward towards achieving our goal.


Now let us throw some light on the question: How should we recognize a true Saint?  Though, one who dares to judge a Mahapurush is as silly as a child studying in kindergarten and trying to judge the capabilities of a professor, however, since infinite lifetimes many individual souls have recognized a Mahapurush and have achieved their goal by surrendering.  Therefore, on the basis of perception, interaction, and scriptural evidence, we will have to surrender to a Mahapurush.  By following this rule, infinite souls attained God and therefore, we also have to follow this rule for attaining our goal of life.  We do not have to get disappointed because if someone can do a job, then everybody can do it.  It is proved.


In earlier lectures we have learnt that, in general, there are two types of Mahapurush and two types of cheaters.  A true Saint is one who is saintly from inside and acts worldly from outside.  Our history is filled of such Mahapurushas.  Prahalad, Vibhishan, Dhruv, Pundrik Vidyanidhi are some of the examples of such Mahapurushas.  The second kind of Saint is one who behaves saintly from inside as well as outside.  Their external behavior is also saintly and they live like Saints.  Soordas, Meera, Kabir, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and all Jagadgurus come under this category. 


On the other hand, the first type of cheaters is one who is worldly from inside, but acts like a Mahapurush from outside.  It is extremely difficult to identify such cheaters.  And the other type of cheater is like an ordinary worldly person, who is visibly worldly from inside as well as outside.


To recognize a true Saint we should always keep one thing in mind.  We should not accept anyone as a Saint on the basis of someone else's words.  But only after carefully understanding, one should accept a Saint to be a true Saint. 


guru kare jāni ke govind rādhe |

pānī piye chhani ke jānī batā de || 

                             (Radha Govind Geet -2118)


Because, suppose you have accepted someone as Mahapurush on the basis of someone else's words and later on that person say, "I had seen that saint.  He is a cheater."  Then your feelings about that saint will change and you will be deprived of the benefits from that Saint and will harm yourself.


Now arises a question: How should we recognize a Mahapurush? Generally, three types of nature are seen in a Mahapurush.  What are these types and what are the different kinds of signs, we will read in the next edition.

To be continued in the next edition....
Secrets of Spiritual Sadhana
by Swami Mukundananda

 Swamiji's Lecture
Continuing from the last month...
tṛiṇ se baṛhakar dīnatā ur rākhu nit hī pyāre

As you have learnt earlier, according to the Vedas there are only three paths to reach God - Karm, path of action, Gyan, path of knowledge, and the third one is Bhakti, path of devotion.  But there is also another path, which is the fourth path.  It is the best path.  What is this path?  It is the path of humility.  What do we mean by the path of humility?  It means to think and consider ourselves as destitudes, and to think of God as the savior of the destitudes; to think of ourselves as shelterless, and to think of God as the rescuer of the shelterless.  If you think yourselves as fallen, then God, who is the redeemer of fallen souls, will come and purify your heart. 


One should realize one's limited means and capabilities, and feel helpless in all respects in front of God.  By considering ourselves to be helpless and miserable, we should pray to God for His mercy and grace by saying, "O God, I used all of my strength and means to reach You, but it is not possible.  However, You are an ocean of mercy, so please accept me."  Now, there is nothing more to do in this path.  You have to believe in the name deenabandhu, 'The friend of humble souls' and think yourself to be helpless and humble.  


Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj says, "The day an individual soul becomes truly humble and helpless, and its pride vanishes, that is the day it attains God.  There is nothing more to do, because God is in fact deenabandhu, the savior of helpless and humble souls." 

There can be two reasons for an individual soul not having attained God until now.  Firstly, we never realized ourselves to be humble and fallen.  That is why we did not receive God's grace and mercy.  And the second reason is that we never considered and realized God to be deenanath, protector of humble souls.  We did not accept these two facts.  We never truly believed that we are fallen souls, and we also never accepted from within that God is the savior of fallen souls. 


At the end of Ramayan, Saint Tulsidas says:


mo sama dīna na dīna hita tuma samāna raghuvīr |


 O Lord Ram!  Nobody is as fallen and sinful as I am, and there is friend of fallen and humble souls like you.


So, we have to keep reducing our ego.  Now, what Shree Kripaluji Maharaj says in this context was also said by Shree Chaitanya Mahaprabhuji 500 years ago.  Shree Chaitanya Mahaprabhuji had given many instructions to Sanatan Goswami, Roopa Goswami and Rai Ramanand, but hardly left anything in written.  When Mahaprabhuji was 14 years old, he wrote his commentary on Nyaya darshan and showed it to a very learned scholar in Navadvip.  The learned scholar was also writing a commentary on Nyaya Darshan. When he saw Mahaprabhuji's work, he was worried.  He said, "If you write such a commentary, then who will read my commentary?"  Shree Chaitanya Mahaprabhuji said, "Do my comments give you problem."  He threw all his book into the river Ganga.  After that, he never wrote anything in his life again, except for eight shlokas.  This is called Shikshashtak.  It means eight instructions of devotional wisdom and knowledge.  In these shlokas, he has revealed the essence of bhakti, devotion.  Amongst these eight, he highlighted the third shloka as the most important of them all.  He says that all devotees should tie this shloka around their neck, so that they may remember it always.  It is the basis of devotion.  What is this shloka?


trinādapi sunīchen tarorapi sahihunā |

amāninā māndena kīrtanīya sadā hari || 


 There are three things to keep in mind always.  One should consider oneself smaller and more humble than a blade of grass.  One must be more forgiving and tolerant than a tree, and should give respect to others but not desire respect or praise in return.  These three points are the pillars of devotion. 

First Point - To think and consider ourselves to be lower than others.  We have various kinds of egos.  I am wealthy; I have a lot of fame and glory; I am famous; people know me; I am beautiful, and so on.

prāpte tu hoase varhe gardabhichāpsarāyate

.The scriptures say that when a female donkey reaches the age of sixteen, she thinks of herself to be an apsara, a celestial beauty.  And when a male donkey reaches the age of sixteen, he thinks of himself to be kaamdev, or the celestial cupid.  This is the pride of youth and beauty. 


Similarly, we have the ego of designations.  A husband has a good job and his wife says, "Don't you know that I am the wife of a commissioner?"  Now the wife has this pride.  So, the different types of egos we have arise in our minds is because of the fact that we tend to forget our true insignificant position in the world.  When there is no sunlight, then even a glowworm says, "Look!  I am shining so brightly!"  And when the sun rises, can that glow worm even be spotted?  Similarly, when one forgets the omnipresent God then one thinks that he or she is something.

Once there was a western philosopher named Socrates from Greece.  A wealthy man came to meet Socrates.  He started to praise himself by saying, "I have a big colony; I have a large home."  Hearing this, Socrates took out a map of Greece and asked him, "Where is your village?"  Now in the whole map, it was a tiny dot.  Socrates then asked him, "Where is your colony?"  Again, it would have been a dot inside a dot.  Socrates asked again, "Where is your home?"  The person told that it is a dot inside a dot, which is again inside a dot.  Socrates told him, "You are proud of this?"

We construct a double storied house and become so egotistic about it.  We forget that Lord Brahma created the whole Universe, and from every pore of Lord Vishnu's body, infinite Universes appear.  So what do we possess of which we are so proud?


The main reason for our ego and pride is that we forget God.  During the Rath Yatra, festival of chariots, of Lord Jagannath in Puri, Orissa, people fold their hands and bow down before the chariots.  Devotees of Orissa have lot of devotion.   While some people were offering their respects by bowing down, a dog came in front in front of the chariot.  He saw people offering obeisances on the ground.  The dog did not see that behind him is Lord Jagannath ji, and had the misconception that people were bowing and praying to him.  Similarly, we forget God and think about how good we are.  


The reason for our pride is that we identify with our material body.  Our ego has created a false image, and we have started considering ourselves as the body.  Due to this, we feel proud of our bodily possessions, such as, "I am beautiful; I am intelligent; I have a degree and a high social position."  The pride associated with this material body and arising from our bodily possessions is called dehabhiman.  We have to destroy this dehabhiman, and for this, Shree Kripaluji Maharaj tells us to consider ourselves to be humbler than a blade of grass


 A blade of grass is always at the lowest position.  People trample it with their feet, but it does not mind.  So we have to become small in the spiritual realm.   In the material world, it is the opposite.  Our aim is to become big and famous.  We fulfill our selfishness by trying to become famous.  We strive to become a Supervisor then a Deputy Manager, and then Manager, and then the C.E.O.  But in the path of God realization, it is the opposite of this.  The more you strive to become big, the smaller you become, and the more you strive to become small, God will uplift you.  Hence, Swami Vivekananda says:  Humble yourself under the mighty hands of God, so that He may exalt you in due course.


And Kabirji said:

ooṁche pānī na ike, nīche hī haharāya | 

nīchā ho so bharīya pīya, oochā pyāsā jāya ||

Water, by its nature cannot stay up.  It always flows down.  Therefore, the one who is at the bottom can drink it easily.  Similarly, God's grace too flows downwards, and so if someone shows one's ego, he will remain deprived from it.  Therefore, for the purification of our hearts and the foundation of our own well-being, we should consider ourselves as small and humble souls. 

By considering ourselves small, the habit of finding faults in others and criticizing others will automatically go away.  We find faults in others due to our ego that we are better than others, and we turn blind to our own faults.  We have many faults but we do not check them, and therefore, they increase.  When we get rid of our ego, we become aware of our many faults and become disinclined in finding faults in others.

Dronacharya once told Yudhishthir to search for a person who has more faults and is worse than him, and asked Duryodhan to find someone who is better than him.  Both of them went out in search for the whole day and retuned back in the evening.  Duryodhan said, "I searched a lot but could not find anyone who is better than me."  Dronacharya then said, "It is your nature to be proud and hence you will never find anyone better than you.  However hard you try to search, you will always think that everyone is small in front of you and you are the best." 


Now, observe Yudhishthir's pious nature.  When Yudhishthir returned, he said, "I searched a lot to find a person who is bad, but was unable to find such a person who has more faults than me.  At the last I saw a man taking out water from a well.  At that time people used to fast for Ekadashi (a fast that Hindus observe on the eleventh day of the ascending and descending moon and do not even drink water).  I thought, why does that person want to drink water during this fast, and I had finally found a person who is worse than me.  But later, I found that he was taking out water to bathe.  After that I cursed myself and felt that I am bad, in fact I am the worst because I find faults in others."


Just see the difference in the nature of both personalities.  Hence, a devotee should always think, "I am bad and others are better than me."
To be continued in the next edition......

ask swamiji logo

After death someone becomes spirit, some go to heaven and some attain God.  What is the secret of this diversity?


 This is the judgment of God.  In this world, God has given every soul the free will to perform the actions it chooses.  We are all tiny parts of God, and we possess the independence to act as we wish.  God never forces His will on us.  God's job is just like that of a referee.  For example, there is an umpire in a match of cricket.  Eleven players come for fielding and two for batting.  Along with the players, two umpires also come out on field.  They do not play or interfere in the game.  They simply stand there, note the actions of the players, and pass decisions.  "No ball!"  "Lbw!"  "Four runs!"  "Six runs!"  There is no partiality in it.  The players are free to play as they wish.  The umpires merely pass judgment.  Similarly, God too acts as the referee in our lives.

God has given us human body.  He has also given us the power of knowledge, so that we may use it to know Him.  Now, if someone uses this power of knowledge merely in procuring and eating delicacies to gratify the palate, God will say, "If your only goal was to eat good food, then this human body is not fit for you.  For this, a body of a pig will be perfect.  I'll give you a body of pig next time, so that you can be completely absorbed in the activity of your choice."

If someone uses the free will to put an end to the body, and commits suicide, then God says, "The pain you were getting was a result of your karmas, and it was your duty to bear it.  You have wrongfully put an end to your body.  So now you will not get another body for some time.  You will become a ghost, who has no gross body." 

If someone uses the power of knowledge in pursuing devotion, but is unable to reach the goal in this lifetime, then God will give that soul a human body in next life also, so that it soul may continue its journey to God.

God does three things: He gives us the power to act, He notes our actions, and He gives us the results of our actions.  The soul's destination after death is decided by its own actions.  This is called the law of karma.  We can know its broad principles, but nobody can understand its intricacies, and determine what the exact fruit will be, except God.

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


Bal-Mukund Showcase

Bal-Mukund welcomes all contributions of creative works from children in different areas including poetry, moral stories, art work, etc.

Submission Guidelines
Bal-Mukund Contributions
Contributions from Bal-Mukund Children,

MaakhanPeacock feather

               By: Saakshi Baldwa                     By: Kruti Patel
Flute        Crown
  By: Kini Desai
                        By: Mini Pant 

Contributions from Bal-Mukund Children,
Coloring       Sketch
           By: Sonika Harish                                       By: Avi Bajaj

Moral Story
                  The Great - Hearted Monkey
 The Great - Hearted Monkey  

High up in the Himalayas, in a forest glade by the banks of the river Ganga, there lived a noisy band of monkeys and their giant King Monkey.  By the side of the clear gushing water, stood a tall shady tree bearing big, beautiful and juicy mangoes. 

All the monkeys loved these mangoes and ate them as soon as they ripened.  Their wise giant king had warned them not to let a single juicy fruit fall into the river.  If the current carried the fruit down the river, to the land where humans lived, they would surely come in search of delicious fruit and destroy the peace in the land of the monkeys.

Many days later, a branch of the tree that hung low over the river, fell into the water.  A mango hidden behind an ant's nest accompanied the log downstream.  Due to the rapid flow of the river it reached the city of Benaras. 

One morning, when Brahmadutta, the king of Benaras was bathing in the river, a couple of fishermen found a bright golden fruit caught in the mesh of the net.  Excited with this exotic fruit, they took it to show the king.  The King examined the fruit carefully and asked where it had come from and what it was called.  The fishermen guessed that it must have flowed down the river from the valleys of the far-flung Himalayas.

He asked them to cut the fruit and taste it.  It was delicious.  He shared the rest of the delicious fruit with his ministers and the Queen who loved its flavor.

A few days passed, but the king could not get this exotic fruit out of his mind.  He could not work, rest or sleep.  Unable to control his temptation, he set sail in search of this mysterious fruit.  He organized a fleet of rafts and sailed up the river accompanied by his men and a few fishermen.

Many days and nights went by and they passed many valleys until they finally came to the one where the mango tree stood.  The King was delighted by his discovery and began enjoying the mangoes to his heart's content.  At nightfall, the king lay down to sleep under the mango tree while his faithful soldiers stood guard.  Fires were lit on either side for protection against wild animals.

In the middle of the night when the guards had dozed off to sleep, the monkeys came and finished all the mangoes that were left on the tree.  The King awoke with all the noise and ordered his guards to shoot at the monkeys so that they could feast on monkey flesh along with the mangoes. 

On hearing this, the monkeys trembled with fear and escaped to inform their king.  They told him what had happened and he assured them not to worry.  The King Monkey came up with a plan.  He climbed up the tree and swung across the river on a branch.  He found a bamboo shoot, which he measured and cut carefully.  Then he tied one end of it around his waist.  He tied the other end around a tree trunk.  He decided to leap back to the mango tree and help the rest of the monkeys across the bridge with the help of the bamboo shoot.

He had not taken into account the portion that he had tied around his waist.  When the King Monkey sprang into the mango grove, he was just able to cling to a branch of the mango tree.  He quickly summoned his monkeys to climb over his back and onto the reed, in order to escape to the other side.  In this way, the entire troupe of monkeys climbed over his back one by one and made it to safety. 

Unfortunately, there was one evil monkey, Devadutta, who hated his leader and wanted to destroy him.  This mean monkey purposely jumped hard over his poor king's back and broke it, while he himself escaped to the other bank. 

King Brahmadutta, who had been awake for a while, had observed this whole episode.  He felt extremely sorry for the King Monkey and asked his men to help lower him to the ground.  He had him gently bathed and wrapped in a soft yellow cloth and asked him why he had sacrificed himself for his tribe.  The great monkey answered that he was their guide and chief; they were his children and it was his duty to protect them. 

He had absolutely no regrets as he had ensured their safety.  He said that the king should always be mindful of his subjects' welfare, even at the cost of his own life.  Saying this, the King Monkey died at peace with himself. 

King Brahmadutta ordered his men to organize a funeral fit for a king.  He then built a shrine in the King Monkey's memory where he offered flowers, lit candles and incense.

Returning to Benaras, he built another shrine and asked his people to pay homage to this great soul.  He always remembered the last words of the King Monkey and ruled his subjects with wisdom and compassion.

King Brahmadutta learned a great deal that day.  The monkey demonstrated great leadership and care for his people.  He placed the safety of his subjects before anything else.  The King Monkey was a great example of sacrifice and care for others.

Moral:  Willingness to give of oneself and one's possessions and putting others needs before ours, is a noble virtue and an important one in the service of God and His creations.  

 This story is selected from the book,
Bal-Mukund Character Building Series - Vol 3
A collection of  21 inspiring stories with
 beautiful illustrations

A must have for all kids!
Get your collection of Bal-Mukund books TODAY!

Trivia Time
 Hindu Gods and Goddesses
Lord Ganesh
Ganesh: The Elephant - Headed God

The beloved elephant-faced deity popularly known as Ganesh has intrigued thinking men all over the world, all through the ages even unto the present day.  The sacred texts give a variety of stories narrating the sequence of Ganesh's birth, the most popular being the one mentioning that Ganesh was created by Goddess Parvati as a guardian to her privacy.

Incensed by the refusal of her husband to respect her privacy, to the extent of entering her private chambers even while she was having her bath, Parvati decided to settle matters once and for all.  Before going for her bath the next time, she rubbed off the sandalwood paste on her body and out of it created the figure of a young boy.  She infused life into the figure and told him he was her son and should guard the entrance while she bathed.

Soon after, Shiva (Lord of destruction and husband of Parvati) came to see Parvati but the young boy blocked his way and would not let him in. Shiva, unaware that this lad was his son, became furious and in great anger fought with this boy whose head got severed from his body in the ensuing battle.  Parvati, returning from her bath, saw her headless son and threatened in her rage to destroy the heavens and the earth, so great was her sorrow.

Shiva pacified her and instructed his followers (known as ganas) to bring the head of the first living being they encounter.  The first creature they encountered was an elephant.  They thus cut off its head, placed it on the body of Parvati's son and breathed life into him.  Thus overjoyed, Parvati embraced her son.

The son of Parvati was given the name Ganesh by Shiva.  The word Ganesh is made up of gana (followers of Shiva) and isha (lord), thus Shiva appointed him the lord of his ganas.

The physical attributes of Ganesh are themselves rich in symbolism.  He is normally shown with one hand in the abhaya pose of protection and refuge and the second holding a sweet (modaka), symbolic of the sweetness of the realized inner self.  In the two hands behind him he often holds an ankusha (elephant goad)  and a pasha (noose) . The noose is to convey that worldly attachments and desires are a noose. The goad is to prod man to the path of righteousness and truth.  With this goad Ganesh can both strike and repel obstacles.  His pot belly signifies the bounty of nature and also that Ganesh swallows the sorrows of the Universe and protects the world.

The most striking feature of Ganesh is his elephant head, symbolic of auspiciousness, strength and intellectual prowess.  All the qualities of the elephant are contained in the form of Ganpati.  The elephant is the largest and strongest of animals of the forest.  Yet he is gentle and, amazingly, a vegetarian, so that he does not kill to eat.  He is very affectionate and loyal to his keeper and is greatly swayed if love and kindness are extended to him.  Ganesh, though a powerful deity, is similarly loving and forgiving and moved by the affection of his devotees.  But at the same time the elephant can destroy a whole forest and is unstoppable when provoked.  Ganesh is similarly most powerful and can be ruthless when containing evil.

Jagadguru Kripalu Yog
Sit in Dandasan.  Fold the left leg and place it under the right left thigh. Fold the right leg and place it under the left thigh.  Close your eyes and keep your hands on the knees in any mudra.