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Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Buddha, on Anger.

The Buddha, on Anger.

“Not by hating hatred ceases
In this world of tooth and claw;
Love alone from hate releases —
This is the Eternal Law.”

Never indeed is hatred stilled by hatred; it will only be stilled by non-hatred — this is an eternal law.
Conquer anger by non-anger. Conquer evil by good. Conquer miserliness by liberality. Conquer a liar by truthfulness.
He has done that wrong, being subject to anger, should I too follow him, making my mind subject to anger? Is it not foolish to imitate him? He harboring his hatred destroys himself internally. Why should I, on his account, destroy my reputation?
Love this story:

The Reviler

Once while the Blessed One stayed near Rajagaha in the Veluvana Monastery at the Squirrels’ Feeding Place, there lived at Rajagha a Brahman of the Bharadvaja clan who was later called “the Reviler.” When he learned that one of his clan had gone forth from home life and had become a monk under the recluse Gotama, he was angry and displeased. And in that mood he went to see the Blessed One, and having arrived he reviled and abused him in rude and harsh speech.
Thus being spoken to, the Blessed One said: “How is it, Brahman: do you sometimes receive visits from friends, relatives or other guests?”
“Yes, Master Gotama, I sometimes have visitors.”
“When they come, do you offer to them various kinds of foods and a place for resting?”
“Yes, I sometimes do so.”
“But if, Brahman, your visitors do not accept what you offer, to whom does it then belong?”
“Well, Master Gotama, if they do not accept it, these things remain with us.”
“It is just so in this case, Brahman: you revile us who do not revile in return, you scold us who do not scold in return, you abuse us who do not abuse in return. So we do not accept it from you and hence it remains with you, it belongs to you, Brahman…”
[The Buddha finally said:]
“Whence should wrath rise for him who void of wrath,
Holds on the even tenor of his way,
Self-tamed, serene, by highest insight free?
“Worse of the two is he who, when reviled,
Reviles again. Who doth not when reviled,
Revile again, a two-fold victory wins.
Both of the other and himself he seeks
The good; for he the other’s angry mood
Doth understand and groweth calm and still.
He who of both is a physician, since
Himself he healeth and the other too —
Folk deem him a fool, they knowing not the Norm.”[1]— Abridged and freely rendered from Samyutta Nikaya, Brahmana Samyutta, No. 2. Verses translated by C. A. F. Rhys Davids, in “Kindred Sayings,” vol. I.

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host ofWalk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running,Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | | | | | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The cost of Oxygen

Shocking! But, True!!

  - In one day a human being breathes oxygen equivalent to three cylinders. 

- Each oxygen cylinder on an average costs INR 100, so in a day one uses Oxygen worth 
INR  300/-  
- And for a full year it comes to  INR  109,500/-. 

- If we consider an average life span of 65 years; the cost of oxygen each human being uses, become a staggering sum of  around  INR  7,117,500/-

-it will cost 38 trillion dollar to create oxygen for 6months for all human beings on earth ''trees do it for free'' respect them n save them

- All this oxygen is derived free of cost from the surrounding trees
Very few people look at trees as a resource and there is rampant tree cutting going on everywhere which should stop.  

Please pass this to your friends and care for trees.

From an email sent by Ravi Ghatole

Osho : Accept the Suffering!

“…Suffering is there. It is a part of life and part of growth; nothing is bad in it. Suffering becomes evil only when it is simply destructive and not creative at all; suffering becomes bad only when you suffer and nothing is gained out of it. But I am telling you the divine can be gained through suffering; then it becomes creative. Darkness is beautiful when the dawn is coming out of it soon; darkness is dangerous if it is endless, leads to no dawn, simply continues and continues and you go on moving in a rut, in a vicious circle…

This is what is happening to you. Just to escape from one suffering you create another; then to escape from another, one more is created…. and this goes on and on and all those sufferings which you have not lived are waiting for you. You have escaped but you escape from one suffering to another, because a mind which was creating a suffering will keep on creating more. Thus, you keep escaping only from one suffering to another….but suffering will be there because your mind is the creative force for it.

…Accept the suffering and pass through it; don't try to escape. This is a totally different dimension to work on. If suffering is there, encounter it, go through it. Why create a facade, just accept it …move on…!”

Have a Great Day Friends!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Buddha on Belief

As the Buddha says: 

"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. 

Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. 

Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. 

Do not believe anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. 

Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. 

But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Kahlil Gibran: Chain of Bondage!

A beautiful story by Kahlil Gibran ….
Once a man visited Lebanon, but he was a total stranger there and didn’t even know the local  language.

He saw a big palatial building, many people moving in and out, so out of curiosity he entered there. It was a big hotel but he thought, the king had arranged for a party and had probably invited many distinguished guests just in his honor.
The moment he entered he was received with a great respect, was placed at a beautiful table and was served with a variety of delicious food, drinks and deserts. 

He thoroughly enjoyed and was very happy about everything. After finishing his food he started thanking them in his own language. But they could not understand his language and he could not understand their language. The bill was then put on his table, but he thought, they have certified his visit and were thanking him for accepting their invitation. So he put the bill in his pocket, thanked them again and started walking out….

The manager was quite disturbed and thought, “Either this man is insane or he is a rascal and trying to deceive us.” So the man was taken to the owner of the hotel, but the man thought, they have taken him to the prime minister of their country. He again started only thanking them. So, finally he was taken to the court.
When he entered the palatial building of the court, he thought that, it was the palace of the king and the king himself was going to receive him in person. 

Again he started bowing down and thanking in his own language. The magistrate was sure that, either man is mad or a perfect rascal. So, he was punished by the court. He was painted black and was forced to sit looking backwards on a donkey and a plaque was hung around his neck on which was written, 

“This man has committed a crime of deception, everybody should be cautious about him.”
The donkey started moving all over the town just to make the whole town aware that this man was a criminal. A huge crowd was shouting and following him and he enjoyed their full attention. He was quite eager to go back and narrate to his countrymen how he was honored.

Then suddenly he saw a man in the crowd who belonged to his country. However, that man simply disappeared in the crowd, hiding his face, as he understood what was happening. But the man on the donkey thought, “This man is jealous of me, because they have not honored him.”

Moral of the Story ….

Friends, we have a mind trained through many past lives. Even our perceptions emerge out of the past training and conditioning. We have a long chain of actions and every new action is born out of that chain. Every new action becomes a new link in that chain.
If we carefully see, all our anger, jealousy, hatred, etc. comes out of our past memories and not purely out of the present situation. If one can understand this difference, it will help one to become aware, a witness. That is what is meant by living moment-to-moment. The past chain should be put aside, so that, the consciousness will function directly without any influence of the past.
Friends, the action that is born out of the present is nonbinding, it can never be a new link in our bondage. Most of us are just a mechanical robot, functioning out of our past memories. The past, which is dead and the dead is so heavy that our life is crushed under it.
Have a Nice Day Friends!

Mrs. Sangeeta Hegde


Hinduism has no God ! --- --- is it a Religion?
I was flying from JFK New York Airport to SFO San Francisco Airport CA to attend a meeting at Monterey , CA .
An American girl was sitting on the right side, near window seat. It indeed was a long journey - it would take nearly seven hours.
I was surprised to see the young girl reading a Bible unusual of young Americans. After some time she smiled and we had few acquaintances talk. I told her that I am from India.

Then suddenly the girl asked: 'What's your faith?' 'What?' I didn't understand the question.

'I mean, what's your religion? Are you a Christian? Or a Muslim?'

'No!' I replied, 'I am neither Christian nor Muslim'.
Apparently she appeared shocked to listen to that. 'Then who are you?' 'I am a Hindu', I said.

She looked at me as if she was seeing a caged animal. She could not understand what I was talking about.

A common man in Europe or US knows about Christianity and Islam, as they are the leading religions of the world today. But a Hindu, what?

I explained to her - I am born to a Hindu father and Hindu mother. Therefore, I am a Hindu by birth.

'Who is your prophet?' she asked.

'We don't have a prophet,' I replied.

'What's your Holy Book?'

'We don't have a single Holy Book, but we have hundreds and thousands of philosophical and sacred scriptures,' I replied.

'Oh, come on at least tell me who is your God?'

'What do you mean by that?'

'Like we have Jesus and Muslims have Allah - don't you have a God?'

I thought for a moment. Muslims and Christians believe one God (Male God) who created the world and takes an interest in the humans (alone) who inhabit it. Her mind is conditioned with that kind of belief.

According to her (or anybody who doesn't know about Hinduism), a religion needs to have one Prophet, one Holy book and one God. The mind is so conditioned and rigidly narrowed down to such a notion that anything else is not acceptable. I understood her perception and concept about faith. You can't compare Hinduism with any of the present leading religions where you have to believe in one concept of God.

I tried to explain to her: 'You can believe in one God and be a Hindu. You may believe in multiple deities and still you can be a Hindu. What's more - you may not believe in God at all, still you can be a Hindu. An atheist can also be a Hindu.'

This sounded very crazy to her. She couldn't imagine a religion so unorganized, still surviving for thousands of years (the oldest Religion!), even after onslaught from foreign forces.

'I don't understand but it seems very interesting. Are you religious?'
What can I tell to this American girl?

I said: 'I do not go to temple regularly. I do not make any regular rituals. I have learned some of the rituals in my younger days. I still enjoy doing it sometimes..'

'Enjoy? Are you not afraid of God?'

'God is a friend. No- I am not afraid of God. Nobody has made any compulsions on me to perform these rituals regularly.'

She thought for a while and then asked: 'Have you ever thought of converting to any other religion?'

'Why should I? Even if I challenge some of the rituals and faith in Hinduism, nobody can throw me from Hinduism. Because, being a Hindu allows me to think independently and objectively, without conditioning. I remain as a Hindu never by force, but choice.' I told her that Hinduism is not a religion, but a set of beliefs and practices. It is not a religion like Christianity or Islambecause it is not founded by any one person or does not have an organized controlling body like the Church or the Order, I added. There is no institution or authority..

'So, you don't believe in God?' she wanted everything in black and white.

'I didn't say that. I do not discard the divine reality. Our scripture, or Sruthis or Smrithis - Vedas and Upanishads or the Gita - say God might be there or he might not be there. But we pray to that Supreme Abstract Authority (Para Brahma) that is the creator of this universe.'

'Why can't you believe in one personal God?'

'We have a concept - abstract - not a personal God. The concept or notion of a personal God, hiding behind the clouds of secrecy, telling us irrational stories through few men whom he sends as messengers, demanding us to worship him or punish us, does not make sense. I don't think that God is as silly as an autocratic emperor who wants others to respect Him or fear Him.' I told her that such notions are just fancies of less educated human imagination and fallacies, adding that generally ethnic religious practitioners in Hinduism believe in personal Gods. The entry level Hinduism has over-whelming superstitions too. The philosophical side of Hinduism negates all superstitions.

'Good that you agree God might exist. You told that you pray. What is your prayer then?'

'Loka Samastha Sukino Bhavantu. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti,'

'Funny,' she laughed, 'What does it mean?'

'May all the beings in All the Worlds be happy. Let there be Peace, Peace,and Peace every where.'

'Hmm ..very interesting. I want to learn more about this religion. It is so democratic, broad-minded and free' she exclaimed.

'The fact is Hinduism is a religion of the individual, for the individual and by the individual with its roots in the Vedas and the Bhagavad-Gita. It is all about an individual approaching a personal God in an individual way according to his temperament and inner evolution - it is as simple as that.'

'How does anybody convert to Hinduism?'

'Nobody can convert you to Hinduism, because it is not a religion, but it is a Culture, a way of living life, a set of beliefs and practices. Everything is acceptable in Hinduism because there is no single Authority or Organization either to accept you or to reject you or to oppose you on behalf of Hinduism.'

I told her - if you look for meaning in life, don't look for it in religions; don't go from one cult to another or from one guru to the next.

For a real seeker, I told her, the Bible itself gives guidelines when it says ' Kingdom of God is within you.' I reminded her of Christ's teaching about the love that we have for each other. That is where you can find the meaning of life.

Loving each and every creation of the God is absolute and real. 'Isavasyam idam sarvam' (i.e., the God is present/inhabits here & everywhere --- nothing exists separate from the God, because God is present everywhere. Respect every living being and non-living things as God. That's what Hinduism teaches you.

Hinduism is referred to as Sole Dharma, the eternal faith. It is based on the practice of Dharma, the code of life. The most important aspect ofHinduism is being truthful to oneselfHinduism has no monopoly on ideas. It is open to all. Hindus believe in one God (not a personal one) expressed in different forms. For them, God is timeless and formless entity.

For them, God is not controlling or managing just the Earth or the Life & Things on Earth, but this is the God of the whole Universe --- all the Stars & the Galaxies! It's not merely dictating dos & donts only to the Humans on Earth. It is the Creator, and operates/controls the whole Universe, yet allowing us the liberty to choose our actions.
It is also the Creator of All the Human Gods & Prophets --- who tried to guide humanity towards Peace, Prosperity & Goodness! --- but due to the vested interests of few, later turned these into Religions --- into an MLM (multi-level- marketing) industry that has been trying to expand the market share by conversion. The biggest business in today's world is Spirituality. Hinduism is no exception'. But 'True Hinduism' is Different !
Ancestors of today's Hindus believed in eternal truths and cosmic laws and these truths are opened to anyone who seeks them. But there is a section of Hindus who are either superstitious or turned fanatic to make this an organized religion like others. The British coin the word 'Hindu' and considered it as a religion.
I am a Hindu primarily because it professes Non-violence - 'Ahimsa Paramo Dharma' means - Non violence is the highest duty. I am a Hindu because it doesn't condition my mind with any faith system.
A man/ woman who changes his/her birth religion to another religion is a fake and does not value his/her morals, culture and values in life.
(Hinduism was the first religion originated. It existed BC (Before Christ) and before other Prophets came on this Earth. It existed and it exists for the whole of Universe!)
Be proud of your religion and be proud of who you are.
And REMEMBER to become a Good (Better!) Human Being --- that's what all the Religions REALLY Taught us, and teach us deeply.
You may like to share this with all those who are likely to be seeking Enlightenment or Truth!

From an email sent by Vinod Pillay

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Swimming Upstream!

It was a rainy season and the river in Mulla Nasruddin’s village was flooded. Suddenly many villagers came running to Mulla Nasruddin and said, "Nasruddin, your wife has fallen in the flooded river. Run fast and save her!"

Nasruddin immediately started running towards the flooded river. He jumped into the river and started swimming in the opposite direction, upstream. The villagers who had gathered on the shore started shouting, 

"What are you doing, Nasruddin? How can your wife go upstream? The river-flow has taken her downwards."

Nasrudin looked at them and said, "What are you talking about? I know my wife very well. She can only go upstream!"

Moral of the Story ....

Most of us don't like to do easy things. Even before we start, we want to make things difficult. We enjoy doing difficult things, because when we face difficulty, our ego becomes subtle, sharp, because it looks like a challenge. Friends, the ego is always an effort to go upstream.

One can succeed only with God, never against Him. One can succeed only with the Whole, never against It. Therefore, whenever we are frustrated or in a deep misery, we should remind ourselves that, we ourselves are creating our miseries. And we create our miseries by a subtle trick .... we fight against the Whole....!

Have a Meaningful Day Friends!!