In this edition
- Upcoming events
- Geetha Vahini
- Unity, Purity, Divinity (New Year Discourse)
- No Gratitude, No Grace
- Devotional activities in Chicago and suburbs
- Wednesday January 01, 2020 New Year Celebrations
- New Year celebrations with New Year divine message
- Bhajans start at 10:30 AM
- Time: 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
- Venue: River Forest Community Center
- Sunday January 12, 2020 Sankranthi Celebration
- Sankranthi celebrations with extended bhajans
- Time: 09:30 AM – 12:30 PM
- Venue: River Forest Community Center
- Friday February 21, 2020 Mahashivrathri Celebrations
- Mahashivrathri celebrations with bhajans and chanting
- Time: 07:30 PM onwards
- Venue: Sant Nirankari Mission, 1S750 Route 59, West Chicago
The reference to Surya also merits consideration. The people of Bharath are intimately associated with the Sungod. The heroes of Bharath, the Kshathriyas, are from the beginning attached to Surya. Even for ordinary men and women, Surya is so highly sacred that He has been raised to the status of the Great Guru. The sacred scriptures and legends of India have not assigned a status of similar glory to anyone else. Why, for the whole world, the Sun is the visible manifestation of the Lord. And the Sun is the source of Time. Surya is the father of Time (Kala) as the Sastras declare. The Sun limits and regulates the number of years each one lives. The Sun diminishes every day a fraction of the allotted span. Whether one wills or not, every deed of his is performed under His auspices and dedicated to Him.
Above all, consider the service the Sun does to this world! That is within the daily experience of all. Everyone is witness for that. The Sun is the source of all life, plant and animal, upon this planet. Without His rays, it will be a desolate waste. He pours rain on the crops. He is ever the Dharmadevatha (God of Righteousness), scattering His rays equally on all.
Surya is the great Thyagi for unequalled renunciation. He is the great Yogi. Without a second’s thought of His own glory or of rest, He performs His Duty without thought of reward. He is humble and steady in work. The service He does is something no one else can fulfil. The happiness He contributes is something no one else can confer. But He has no pretensions to pride. He moves above unconcerned with the consequences of His energizing mission of service.
Imagine the patience with which the Sun puts up with all that extreme heat for the sake of the world and of humanity. It is He who keeps the human body warm and comfortable. This material body is so full of energy and intelligence on account of the Solar Energy that it imbibes. If the Sun is idle for a moment, the world will be consumed in flames. Instead, He is fostering the world. He feels it as His Mission, His Purpose, and not as His Service.
It is only in the karma that is your very nature that you can have fortitude. If it is just an assumed duty, you will find it difficult to put up with the troubles and travails. Assumed karma is called Asahaja Karma and karma that is the expression of one’s genuine self is Sahaja Karma. Now, Sahaja Karma will sit light and Asahaja Karma will always be a burden. Asahaja Karma will induce conceit, or the feeling “I am the doer”; so it will result in exhaustion or elation, disgust or pride.
Think of this one point; when a man is well, no one will inquire about his health. But if he is stricken with illness or sorrow, everyone will inquire why and bombard him with anxious queries. Why this anxiety? Man is fundamentally happy and healthy. His nature is joy. That is his Sahajaswabhava (innate quality). So when he is happy and healthy, no one is surprised or worried. But grief and sorrow are strange to his makeup. So people get worried and they set about finding out how he got so deluded.
The Sun is teaching us that when one is oneself, there will be no exhaustion or elation, no disgust or pride. That is why it is performed systematically and smoothly. He is also exhorting mankind to use the time that He creates and allots, fully and fruitfully, not merely for living comfortably and safely, but for living a moral and elevated life, which is worthy of man’s destiny. Now, you can realize why the Geetha was first taught by the Lord to the Sun. He is the great Karma Yogi, the great Nishkama Karma Yogi. Krishna is now teaching this indestructible Geetha Sastra to Arjuna, the representative of Man at the crossroads. He chose him for he has the same excellences, is it not? Reflect on that for a moment. If Arjuna was not a vessel endowed with such virtues and splendor, Krishna would not have decided to use him as the recipient of the Geetha. The Lord will not give gifts to the undeserving. Arjuna had the qualities that were needed for receiving the teaching and he was chosen.
-Excerpts from Geetha Vahini
Unity, Purity, Divinity (New Year Discourse)
Man is unable to make proper use of the sacred power of speech. No other form of life has the mighty intellect and capacity for inner peace but the human kind. In this world every object has five aspects, namely, sath, chith, ananda, rupa, and nama (being, awareness, bliss, form, and name). Being, awareness, and bliss are the three core attributes of a man. They are true and eternal. Name and form are transitory. The delusion of permanence of name and form leads mankind to waste away its precious life.
In this world, there are two types of intellectuals. The first type is the scientists who are totally materialistic in their outlook. They have only physical and worldly goals. They are fascinated by the external appearance of a gigantic tree with its numerous branches, but they are not interested in finding its “roots”. Vedantins (philosophers) are the second type of intellectuals, who are not fascinated by the external appearance of the tree but evince great delight in finding the “roots”. People who are worldly in outlook waste their time in watering the “branches”, whereas, the Vedantins water the “roots” and thereby enjoy the “fruits”.
Sath-chith-ananda (being-awareness-bliss) are the very nature of man. But man has forgotten his very nature and is wasting his time in the vain pursuit of fleeting pleasures. He is not able to realize the value of his innate nature, sath-chith-ananda. Once he realizes its value and experiences it, he can reach any exalted state. In fact, he becomes verily God. The power latent in man is not found anywhere else. Every man is endowed with the three chief attributes of sath-chith-ananda. But having been enmeshed in the web of delusion, man considers that the “name and form” are real, ignoring his innate qualities of sath-chith-ananda. First of all, what man has to recognize is his own innate divine nature. But man is not making any effort in this direction. He has become a slave to his senses, and is wasting his time on trivial matters. The primary duty of man therefore is to understand properly his innate human nature and then putting it into practice.
People are full of hopes and aspirations on the dawn of a New Year. In fact, you should consider every moment as the beginning of a New Year. Names and forms have no value without the eternal virtues. Man suffers from various ailments, some internal and others external. A doctor can cure the external ailments. The Atmic feeling is the only remedy for all the internal ailments. You should make efforts to know the principle of Atma. The Atma is a synonym for Brahma, which is nothing but the Chaitanya permeating every human being. Man has a name and form, but Chaitanya has no form. The Chaitanya that is present in the human body is called “conscience”. The all-pervasive Chaitanya is called “consciousness”. When the individual understands the principle of unity in diversity, the “conscience” gets transformed into “consciousness”. In spite of being endowed with such a sacred power, man gets deluded by the vagaries of the world. He is giving importance to the New Year, which is fleeting. In fact, he should give importance to the changeless “Time” and sanctify it by proper use.
Boys (former students of Swami) are doing a lot of good work. They are going to various villages and giving happiness to the people there by performing service activities and Bhajans. They should undertake all these activities with the spirit of love. There is nothing greater than love. You should lead your life filled with selfless love.
You should give up the feeling that you are serving others. That is very important. You are serving your own self when you serve others. In fact, others are not others but are the very forms of God. Hence, service rendered to humanity is service rendered to God. All service activities are meant to foster this feeling in you. That alone is true service. All other service activities are worldly and momentary. Service does not merely mean helping others. The best way to love God is to love all and serve all. Your acts of service should be suffused with the spirit of love. Without the positive aspect of love, all service you render becomes negative in nature.
–Baba’s Divine Discourses
No Gratitude, No Grace
Once Mother Parvati and Lord Shiva saw a person sitting on the branch of a tree, which was about to break. Watching this, Mother Parvati pleaded with Lord Shiva to save the man. Lord Shiva remarked, “Why should I protect him? Since You saw him first, it is Your duty to save him.” But the Mother said, “How can I protect him without Your grace. Unless You shower Your grace on him, he cannot be saved. Please do not delay any further.”
Then Lord replied, “Is it not his duty to call Me for help? How can I go to his rescue without being called? As the proverb goes, ‘one should not attend a function without being invited.’” Mother Parvati, out of her motherly compassion, wanted to protect that person at any cost. So, she said, “If that person, when he falls down, cries out amma (mother), I will go to his rescue; and if he cries out appa (father), you should protect him.” Lord Shiva agreed to her proposal. Both of them eagerly waited for the call. But the person fell down crying Ayyo (alas)! The words amma or appa did not come to his lips, as he had never respected and revered his parents in his lifetime. Such was his fate!
How can God come to the rescue of a person who has totally forgotten his parents? Both our Mother and Father are verily God. And when with such feelings, we offer our gratitude to our parents, even God cannot refrain from helping us.
Devotional Activities in Chicago and Suburbs
- Every Monday
- Bhajans in Aurora Shirdi Mandir from 07:00 PM – 08:00 PM
- Every Wednesday
- Bhajans in Hoffman Estates from 07:30 PM – 08:30 PM
- Every Friday
- Bhajans in Oak Brook from 08:00 PM – 09:00 PM
- First Saturday of the month
- Bhajans in Glenview from 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
- Saturday January 11, 2020
- Paduka Puja in Bolingbrook from 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
- Thursday January 23, 2020
- Bhajans in Elk Grove Village from 07:30 PM – 08:30 PM