Watch: March 2020

In this edition

Upcoming Events

  1. Saturday April 04, 2020 FMSC Service Project
    • Service project at Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) in commemoration of Aradhana Mahotsavam
    • Time 04:30 PM – 06:30 PM
    • Venue: 740 Wiley Farm Ct. Schaumburg IL 60173
  2. Sunday April 05, 2020 Sri Rama Navami celebration
    • Special devotional program by Young Adults
    • Time: 09:30 AM – 12:30 PM
    • Venue: River Forest Community Center
  3. Sunday April 12, 2020 Easter, Ugadi and Vishu celebration
    • Chicagoland all center special devotional program
    • Time: 09:30 AM – 12:30 PM
    • Venue: River Forest Community Center
  4. Friday April 24, 2020 Aradhana Mahotsavam
    • Chicagoland all center program
    • Time: 07:30 PM – 10:00 PM
    • Venue: Sant Nirankari, 1S750 Route 59, West Chicago

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Geetha Vahini

But that which is not practiced cannot possess strength. The crocodile’s strength depends upon its being in water. The strength of Dharma depends upon its being practiced. It becomes weak when it is taken out of “practice” and thrown on the sands of words. Sathya (truth) is a matter of speech, it gets strength when it is practiced in speech. It is difficult to practice it in action. “Strength” has two meanings here: Animal strength and Dharmic strength. Bheema had physical strength, but as his elder brother, Dharmaja, was by his side, Bheema’s strength became Dharmic. The Pandavas were saved by their adherence to Dharmic strength. But for that, they would have suffered defeat even in the very beginning. The Pandavas, without Dharmaja, whatever their resources, would have been an easy match for their opponents. Just ponder over that. How were the Kauravas destroyed, in spite of their vastly superior resources? They did not have Dharmic Strength! All that they could rely on was sheer animal strength.  

So, the Dharma that has now been exiled into the forest has to be restored to the villages and towns in order to establish plenty, prosperity and peace to the world. From the reign of Adharma, the world has to enter the era of Dharma. Special effort is called for when you cultivate a crop, no effort is necessary when weeds and wild grass are allowed to grow. The valuable crop of Sahaja Dharma has to be cultivated with all care and attention. When Dharma is practiced, Adharma will decline by itself. No special exertion is needed for putting it out of action. Therefore, Dharmasthaapana means in this present context the growth of the practice of Dharma.

What does it mean when people say, “The Sun has set”? Only, “It is not visible to us.” So too, simply because Dharma is not evident, you cannot say it has gone out of existence. How can it go out of existence? If it goes, it cannot be Truth or Dharma. Dharma, since it is associated with Truth, is indestructible. To make the Dharma that has become hidden visible once again, that is real Dharmasthaapana (revival of righteousness). What Krishna is doing is exactly that.

Using Arjuna as an instrument, He is bringing to light the codes of conduct and modes of thought which are laid down as Dharma from the very beginning and once again enforcing their practice. This is referred to as Dharmoddharana. He is reviving something that is lost. This is not work that can be carried out by ordinary men. So, the Universal Lord has Himself to assume the task. He is teaching the world through Arjuna.

If Arjuna was an individual like others, he could not be the recipient and transmitter of this great teaching. So, you must infer that Arjuna was really a great man. He is a hero who has defeated not merely the outer foes, but even the inner ones. Weak hearts cannot grasp the Geetha and put it into practice. It is with this full knowledge and this high purpose that Krishna selected Arjuna as the vehicle and showered on him His Grace.

Once, while Krishna was conversing intimately with Arjuna, He made this statement: “Arjuna, You are My closest Bhaktha (devotee); not only that, you are My dearest Friend. I have no friend as dear as you are. That is the reason why I taught you this supreme, secret Teaching.”

Reflect on this. Many in the world are only self-styled Bhakthas. The Lord has not accepted them as such. To get the title from the Lord Himself is great good fortune and that is the highest credential. The Bhaktha must melt the heart of the Lord and get from Him the acknowledgement of Bhakthi (devotion). If the title is taken by oneself, it gives paltry satisfaction, not genuine joy—alpathrpthi, not Aatmathrpthi. Arjuna was the only person who got the title from the Lord Himself. So you can understand how pure hearted, how deserving, was Arjuna. You might say a hundred things about yourself. But you must show acknowledgement from the Lord. Without that all your talk is empty boast. Bhakthi must be won by implicit obedience. But that alone is not sufficient. That is why Krishna used the word, Mithra, (Friend) also. The Friend has no fear, which makes him a more perfect recipient.

-Excerpts from Geetha Vahini

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Develop Self-confidence (Swami’s discourse in 2009)

As we go on talking for hours together, we tend to forget what we really intend to communicate. So many deviations and distortions creep into our speech. Today, the entire world is filled with negative feelings. Whoever you come across, whatever you see, negativity is widespread. All are reflections of your inner thoughts and feelings.  But beyond all these, there is one entity, called Atma that is the Embodiment of the divine Self. There is only one Atma, which dwells in every individual, nay every living being. The Bhagavad Gita declared “Mamaivamso jeevaloke jeevabhuthah Sanathanah” (the eternal Atma in all beings is a part of My Being). There is no scope at all for any doubt or duality in this aspect. It is “Ekameva adwitheeyam Brahma” (The Atma or Brahma is one without a second). That is why it is said “a man with dual mind is half blind.” Divinity is described in the Vedas as “Sahasra seersha purushaha sahasrakshah sahasra paad” (The Cosmic Being has thousands of heads, eyes and feet.). The import of this statement is that the one Divinity expresses itself through millions of individuals and that all are divine. We tend to forget this great truth and consider each individual as separate from the other. The strife and conflicts between human beings started the moment humanity forgot its fundamental unity. It is time that this trend is reversed and the fundamental unity among humans is re-established.

Along with unity, there should be purity. Where unity and purity go together, there Divinity is. The combination of unity, purity and Divinity will result in realization of Atma Tathwa (Atmic Principle). The Upanishads, especially the Taithreeyopanishad, dealt at length with this Atma Tathwa. One who develops faith only in this Atma Tathwa will succeed in all their endeavors. The Atma Tathwa or divine Consciousness permeates the entire Universe. Not a blade of grass can move without this divine Consciousness. Everything in this Universe is the reflection of that divine Consciousness. The same Atma Tathwa dwells in all human beings irrespective of religion, caste, creed, and nationality.

Today, people adapt themselves to continuous changes in time, situations, and environment. One who does not undergo a change; one whose faith in the Atma Tathwa (Self) is firm and steady can be called a human being in the real sense. That is self-confidence. One who develops that self-confidence can find a place for themselves permanently in the history of the world.  Abraham Lincoln, the past President of the United States of America was a perfect example of such self-confidence. He came from a very poor family and could not afford to have a decent dress and books. He was so poor that he had to study under streetlights. His mother used to support him with the meager amount of money she earned by mending old and worn-out clothes. One day his classmates, who were rich and wearing fine suits, boots, and hats, made fun of him and heckled him, saying that he did not deserve to walk along with them in that poor attire and that he should walk on the footpath. He came home crying and poured out his agony to his mother, explaining how he was insulted and humiliated. His mother consoled him saying, “My dear son! Do not get affected by praise or blame. Understand the situation at home. Your father cannot afford to spend too much money. Develop self-confidence. That is your property.”

These words made a lasting impression on the tender heart of Lincoln. He acquired self-confidence and self-respect, with the constant support and encouragement of his mother. He even did some odd jobs and earned some money to support himself. The good name he earned for himself in society commanded the respect and love of his fellowmen for him. In due course, his friends and well-wishers advised him to run for election. Thus, Abraham Lincoln, the son of a poor artisan with little spare money even to pursue primary education, became the President of America by sheer hard work and self-confidence infused by his mother. People cannot reach great heights without self-confidence. Any amount of sadhana without self-confidence will be of little use. Hence, I wish that all of you should develop self-confidence. Face your examinations with self-confidence. Without self-confidence even your friends cannot help.

Baba’s Divine Discourses

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Faith of the disciple

In South India, in the Tamil country, there was a certain Adigal or Dasa, in a village, Thangalur by name. He had heard of the spiritual grandeur of Saint Appar and developed great admiration for him. So he built rest-houses in his name; named his children after him so that they might grow up in the halo of his glory; he donated lands and houses, all in the name of the saint he had not seen. See how faith preceded experience here. There are others who require experience before they fix their faith. The first path is more thrilling and lasting.

Well, one day by chance Appar himself walked into Thangalur for he had missed his way and had to deviate. He noticed everywhere in the town Appar rest-houses and Appar charities, and wondered how his name had preceded him. Then Adigal ran forward to his guru and took him home and prepared a grand feast for him. When his eldest son went to his garden to cut a few plantain leaves for a dinner, a snake bit him and he died on the spot. Adigal however, was not affected in the least; he covered up the corpse, heaping dry leaves upon it and proceeded with the formalities of hospitality for the long-sought guru. The guru, however, insisted on all the children of Adigal sitting around him during the meal, and he ordered the father, “Go, and call every one here.” Adigal did as he was commanded. He called and the dead son rose. He too came and sat for dinner with the rest. When he knew what had happened, Appar said, “Your bhakti (devotional service) is greater than my Shakti” (strength, power, might).

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Devotional Activities in Chicago and Suburbs

  1. Every Monday
    • Bhajans in Aurora Shirdi Mandir from 07:00 PM – 08:00 PM
  2. Every Wednesday
    • Bhajans in Hoffman Estates from 07:30 PM – 08:30 PM
  3. Every Friday
    • Bhajans in Oak Brook from 08:00 PM – 09:00 PM
  4. First Saturday of the month
    • Bhajans in Glenview from 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
  5. Saturday March 28, 2020
    • Paduka Puja in Bolingbrook from 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
  6. Monday March 23, 2020
    • Bhajans in Burr Ridge from 07:30 PM – 08:30 PM

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