Guru Nanak Dev Ji travelled to various places to spread the word of love, humanity and Universal brotherhood. Once he visited Saidpur, now known as Eminabad, so the head of the place Malik Bhago decided to make all the comfortable arrangements for Guru Nanak Ji. But to everybody’s surprise Guru Nanak Dev Ji decided to stay at the house of a poor carpenter named Lalo. In spite of the worst condition of Lalo, he arranged food to offer Guru Nanak ji. Nanak Dev ji accepted the food with love and was pleased by the hospitality of Lalo.
Malik Bhago was known for his corrupt means of earning money and taking the advantage of the plight of poor farmers. His ego could not accept that Guru Nanak ji preferred to live with poor Lalo and not him. Malik Bhago organized a special gathering and invited all the sacred men of the city along with Guru Nanak Dev ji.
When Nanak Dev ji refused to accept the invitation of Bhago, he ordered his guards to bring Nanak Dev ji to his place. When he reached Bhago’s place Malik Bhago said, “O holy man, I have prepared so many dishes for you, but you are staying with a poor carpenter and eating his dry bread? Why?”
Guru ji replied, “I cannot eat your food because your bread is made from corrupt money sucked from the poor, while Lalo’s bread is made from hard earned money.” On hearing this Malik Bhago became red with anger and told him to prove his point.
Guru Nanak Dev ji asked Lalo and Bhago to get their respective piece of bread. Guru ji squeezed both the breads with his hands. Milk dripped out from Lalo’s bread and blood from Bhago’s bread. Everybody was shocked to see this sight and Malik Bhago was terribly shaken with guilt. He immediately fell in the feet of Nanak Dev ji and asked for forgiveness. On Nanak Dev ji suggestion he distributed all his corrupt wealth among the needy farmers and from then on he decided to live a life of honesty.
With Guru Nanak dev ji’s grace Malik Bhago realized his mistake and could follow the path of righteousness.
Once an Administrator (Mamlatdar) came to Shirdi along with his doctor friend. The doctor being a believer of Lord Shri Ram was reluctant to visit Shirdi. He didn’t want to bow his head in front of a Muslim. Finally he was convinced by the Mamlatdar that nobody will compel him to bow in front of Sai Baba.
When they reached Shirdi and met Sai Baba, the doctor immediately worshiped the feet of Sai Baba and his friend was astonished at seeing the sight. Everybody asked the doctor about his change in decision and why he prostrated before the Muslim- Sai Baba. The doctor said that in the place of Baba he saw his adorned God Shri Ram. While telling the incident he again saw Sai Baba as an avatar of Lord Rama. He said, “How can he be a Muslim? O! He is absolute Yog incarnation”.
His faith on Sai Baba became complete and he began fasting. He promised that until Baba will call himself and bless him, he will not go to the mosque. Three days passed by but he was not called. On the fourth day one of his friends from Khandesh came to Shirdi; they both went to the mosque to see Sai Baba. After salutation Sai Baba asked the doctor, who took the pains to call you? How did you come over here? Hearing his question he became compassionate as Baba had came to bless him a night before. The doctor had the feeling of rejoice and he was blessed by Sai.
The epitome of dharma and righteousness, Yudhishtira had to face a tough challenge of Yaksha to save his 4 brothers from the mouth of death. When thirsty Nakul went in search of water and found the crystal clear water for quenching his thirst, he was warned by a voice to answer his questions before drinking the water. Ignoring the voice Nakul went forward to drink the water and he immediately fell down on the ground. Similar situation happened with Sahdeva, Arjuna and Bhima and now all four brothers were lying dead.
Finally Yudhishtira went to inquire about his brothers and got anxious to see their state. Since there were no wounds or any marks of injury on their bodies, Yudhishtira was sure that it is some kind of supernatural power. Soon he heard the voice of Yaksha, “I am Yaksha and I warned all your brothers to answer my questions before drinking the water. But they overlooked my warning and now lying dead.” Yaksha further told Yudhishtira that in order to save the lives of his brothers he need to answer his questions. Yudhishtira realized that it is the Lord Himself who is testing the righteousness of Him and his brothers. He payed his respect to Yaksha and with great humility, he requested the Omnipresent to ask questions and he will try to answer them with the best of his ability. I any case he will abide by his Dharma and Yaksha terms. To test the wisdom of Yudhistira, Yaksha asked may questions and answers to which reveal the great values of life. Most important of them are listed below:
Yaksha: What is weightier than the Earth?
Yaksha: Which is taller than the sky?
Yaksha: What is faster than the wind?
Yaksha: By renouncing what does one become affectionate?
Yaksha: Which is the best wealth?
Yaksha: What is the principal duty of man?
Yaksha: Who doesn’t have a heart?
Yaksha: Where does Dharma reside?
Yudhishtira: Dharma resides in good deeds of human beings.
There were other questions in similar lines covering various other deep and subtle aspects of life. After replying to all the questions of Yaksha, Yudhistira saved the life of Nakul first and Arjuna and Bhima later. Yaksha was surprised and became curious to know the reason behind saving the step brothers before real ones. Yudhistira replied, “I do not differentiate between any of my brothers. Dharma is the priority for me and I will always protect Dharma”. Yaksha was pleased to hear his reply and said, “Because you uphold Dharma victory will always be yours”.
Once upon a time an orphan boy lived with his grandmother in the village. The boy wanted to study so he requested his grandmother to send him to school. The only hurdle for going to school was the 5 km thick forest that he had to cross every day. The little boy was afraid to go to school as crossing the dense forest, full of wild animals, was a tough task for him.
His grandmother suggested him an easy solution. She told him that for good boys like him Gopal is a great friend and as soon as he reached the forest area he should call out for Gopal. Gopal will be with him throughout the forest journey and make him cross the forest. The boy obeyed his grandmother’s order and followed it wisely.
Every day he cried out ‘Gopal Aao’ (Come Gopal) when he reached the forest area, both back and forth. The moment he called for Gopal, an 11 year old boy appeared wearing a peacock hat, to hold his hand and made him travel across the forest safely. This continued for many days and the little boy felt secured and guarded.
When his grandmother asked him about his journey across the forest, he smiled and said, “I follow your advice daily and Gopal drops me safely”. According to him Gopal accompanied him to school and then back to his home. His grandmother thought he just imagines someone walking along with him and there is no one in reality but she was happy for his courage.
After few days a wicked shopkeeper in the village asked the little boy, “Aren’t you afraid to travel across the jungle alone?” The boy again answered in his innocence that he does not travel alone. As soon as he enters forest Gopal joins him till end of the forest, both ways. The shopkeeper didn’t believe him and thought it to be an imaginary tale. To verify the truth of his story, the shopkeeper asked the boy that can he show him Gopal. The boy replied, “You can hide behind the trees and see Gopal accompany me”.
One morning the shopkeeper went along with the boy to verify his tale. As soon as the boy said, “Gopal Aao”, Gopal came and holded his hand. But when Gopal turned around to see the shopkeeper, he fell unconscious. Gopal told the little boy to keep his presence as a secret and he will always be by his side.
This tale clearly portrays that God is always with his children and he is standing by our side in every thick and thin. Just like an innocent child we have to seek for his help and He will be there to support us.
The nine auspicious days of navratri are a tribute to Goddess Durga, which provides a devotee the opportunity to express his faith and love for Her. These days are a journey of seeking forgiveness from the Shakti and receiving Her strength to further cross the hurdles. These nine days of navratri can be completely blissful by chanting the following mantras.
||Yaa Devi Sarva Bhooteshu Vishnu Maayethi Sabdita
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namaha||
Salutations again and again to the Devi, who dwells in all living beings as the power of Lord Vishnu
||Yaa Devi Sarva Bhooteshu Buddhi Roopena Samsthita
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namaha||
Oh Devi who resides everywhere in all the living beings in form of intelligence and beauty I salute to you. Take my salutations again and again
||Jagdamb Vichitramatra Kim Paripoorna Karunaasti Chenmayi
Aparadha Parampara Param Na Hi Mata Samupekshate Sutam||
Oh mother of the world, you are the one who looks after her children. Your love and kindness towards me is no surprise O mother Goddess. Being a mother you forget all our sins and correct us without abandoning your children
||Sarvasvaroopey Sarvashey Sarvashakti Samanvietey
Bhayebhyah Traahi Na Durge Devi Namostutey||
Oh Goddess Durga, please protect us from all kinds of fear. Oh omnipotent Durga I pray to you
||Om Sharanaagata Deenaartha paritraana paraayaney
Sarwa syarthi harey devi Naraayani Namostutey||
You who are perpetually endeavouring to protect the weak and the poor and remove their misery. Oh Narayani, I pray to you
If the foundation is strong and firm, no matter how many floors are constructed above it, the building will remain intact and strengthening. Similarly the valuable Vedas are the base of knowledge and is the mirror of all education. People might say that the generations today believe on scientific revelations and rational thoughts of school, yea we agree to it but the eternal truth remains significant forever. Our scientific and technological progress may be huge, but the bases of knowledge have been received from our holy Vedas and will act as a guiding torch for many more generations, yet to come.
Relevance of Vedas for present age:
Hoping for community welfare rather than individual gain has always been the message. If every individual holds the perspective of viewing One eternal power within every being than most of the issues will automatically be resolved. The act of Universal brotherhood is an immediate necessity for regaining the peace and humanity on this planet.
Attributes of Universe:
The name may be different but the ultimate source is One. Vedas reveal the omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent traits of the powerful energy. He is one utmost source who is formless and eternal. He was, is and will forever be. Becoming aware with this universal truth and accepting His presence each moment makes the being fearless and inculcates the deep faith on His presence.
Just like a candle brightens the entire room, similarly the enlightened soul gives direction to the mind and body. God, soul and matter-always exist; weapon cannot cut it, fire cannot burn it, water cannot spoil it, and air cannot dry it. As the soul keeps on changing the outer physical appearance, but its original traits remains constant. If each one of us comprehends this enlightening truth, then there will be no differentiation on the basis of caste, creed, colour, appearance, religion and so on.
Vedic thought holds that the best instrument of knowledge is the silent mind. As per the Vedic sciences, serene and pure mind is capable of going beyond name, form, number, time, place and person or it would just be another object or entity in the outer world. This shows that there is much above physical reality and the appropriate instrument for knowing the universal Being is not a limited instrument which looks externally, like a telescope, but the silent mind that is able to see within.
Elimination of Delusions:
Vedas has a commendable source of knowledge, which is relevant for ages. Even the earlier misconceptions about ghosts, occult powers and man worshipping every creature out of fear; the turmoil was eliminated with the rational Vedic sciences. Still the presence of evil energies is dominant over the planet but the blinds can be removed by the light of knowledge-Brahma. The presence of fake gurus may dispel us from the path of spirituality but we have to be cautious and aware.
In the Vedic sciences, human well-being is defined as the harmony of body, mind, prana and soul (Atman or Purusha). The natural healing process by recognising the underlying vital energies is the secret to well-being. Today we might have advanced in medical sciences, but the bases lies in the Vedas and holds all the thoughts behind the cosmic life force of development. Organic and natural systems of progress or healing are far better than the artificial processes.
Jyotish or Vedic astrology is aimed at helping us understand how the various matter of the Universe i.e. the lights of the stars and planets affects our own bodies and minds and the fate of our world as a whole. It comprehends the knowledge of karmic influences on us, and how the heavenly bodies have their varied effects. Few might say that astrology is illogical but still few of the actions that go beyond expressions and understanding become a part of new physics. If we recognize that the universe is pervaded by consciousness, we can recognize that light ultimately is a power of consciousness, which means that astronomy must recognize astrology.
The ultimate unity of science and spirituality through Vedas can act as a guiding torch for achieving the ultimate destination of supreme truth. By learning the secrets of Vedas, we can enhance our art of living and improve our lives as per the supreme fathers wish.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja
“Ganapathi Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukariya“, loud gleeful voices with great zeal and passion reminds us of our own beloved Lord Ganesha. Lord of wisdom, knowledge and prosperity is graciously worshipped by the keen devotees, who curiously wait for the fun filled festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. It is celebrated in the month of ‘Bhadra’ (mid-August to mid-September) for about 5 to 10 days ending with ‘Ananta Chaturdashi ’. ‘Gana’ refers to a collective form, thus like our body is composed of a collection of atoms and molecules so Lord of ‘Ganas’ is ‘Ganesha’. The favourite among the Hindu deities, he is widely worshipped and admired by all Hindus (Santana Dharma) and even around the globe.
Worshipping every deity involves our personal motives behind it so adoring Ganesha leads to the removal of obstacles as well as shower of success, prosperity, wealth, knowledge and domestic harmony. Celebrating this festival with unlimited zeal compels us to unravel the origin of this event. To promote national harmony and oneness among the citizens, Chatrapati Shivaji began the tradition of celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi, which was carried ahead by Bal Gangadhar Tilak during the 19th century. It was marked as a footprint on history when the entire country united against British Raj, irrespective of their caste, creed or class. Till date, this festival is heartily celebrated all around India especially in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Why is placing Ganesha’s statue considered so auspicious?
If we observe any workplace or restaurant in India, an idol of Ganesha is generally evident, which highlights the faith of his devotees on Him. Lord Shiva himself blessed him to be worshipped at the beginning of any auspicious occasion or ‘puja’. Something is really special about our Ganesha as he is widely praised and worshipped, being a supernatural combination of an elephant and human. The idol of Ganesh is an inspiration in itself, as every part symbolises the secret to divine knowledge and spiritual importance.
- Elephant head is a symbol of royal walk, wisdom and effortlessness; he easily removes the hindrance from his path and walks ahead.
- Trunk is a sign of consciousness and it is also said that he broke his tusk to write the epic, Mahabharata; therefore he is referred as the God of Learning too.
- The four worthy hands represent enlightenment, removal of obstructions, spreading sweetness and bestowing grace upon his devotees respectively. They indicate the ‘Gyan shakti’ and ‘Karma shakti’.
Did you ever think why our mighty Ganesha chose the small troublesome pet as his vehicle?
Rat/Mouse portrays the avarice and greed which increases within us if not controlled, thus a vice person tries to control his uncontended desires by riding on his senses. Ganesha is omnipresent, omnipotent and formless energy, which is present in every being; it’s just a matter of realization and analysis.
Every toddler is acquainted with the beauty of moon but its sight is avoided on this day. Apart from the varying cultural myths of Satrajit’s ‘Syamantaka jewel’, the fact is that that Ganesh Chaturthi falls on the fourth day of the waxing moon period, when the Sun, Moon and Earth are in such angles that the moonlight is negatively charged and avoided to be exposed. So the next time when your Grand ma tells you to beware of the moon then kindly obey her orders.
Thus, this event is like the stress relieving permanent ayurvedic solution, which teach us about our mythology as well as aware us about the truth of life. Now it depends on us to take advantage of the opportunity or to just let it go.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja