Category Archives: Sarva Dharma Sambhav

What is ‘GOD’? – 6 Insights

This is a guest post by Pranay Gupta.

Man looks for ‘proof’ for God, but if we are a little more insightful, we would see the presence of the ‘divine’ or hidden Intelligence in so many things. There have been several ways to answer the question ‘WHAT IS GOD?’ throughout history, but the ones which strike me most are the following:

  1. God is a ‘Dreamer’:

Just like we have the power to dream anything we wish to dream, so too perhaps there is a ‘cosmic dreamer’ who brings to life that which He dreams. The only difference is, we are not able to bring to reality all that we dream, but He is!

  1. Picture: Fanpop.com

    Picture: Fanpop.com

    God is the subtle-most entity of existence:

There are so many layers to reality – the outwardly apparent, the gross, the subtle and unseen, and then the smallest or subtlest aspects of Nature (atomic, subatomic particles and so on). Yet there is something beyond these also – the subtle most unseen aspect of reality, and that we may call ‘God’. It is like the subtle fragrance of a flower: not being able to be physically ‘found’ in the material composition of the plant, but existing nonetheless!

  1. God is Beauty:

We may find certain things ‘ugly’, but in the attitude of true spiritualism, all things are beautiful, and all things are therefore ‘Godlike’. Can’t you see the beauty in both the clear sky and the cloudy sky? In both the mountain and the valley? All is beautiful, and all is Godly, and God is beauty : from the perspective of true spiritualism.

  1. God is Compassion:

If man has in him the capacity to be compassionate, do you not think that the intelligence behind the universe is infinitely compassionate? Even animals display passion, so shouldn’t we look at the larger cosmic fabric as being truly compassionate, merciful and just? The very fact that we are alive and sharing these thoughts, is simply due to the compassion of the Great One.

  1. Picture: Walkthroughindia.com

    Picture: Walkthroughindia.com

    God is He Who Satisfies:

There is no ultimate satisfaction for man without the spiritual quest, the search for the Greater. It is only the Vastest which satisfies, and even one small drop of this Vastest Entity satiates us. Throughout history, we can cite examples of human beings who excelled, yet remained unsatisfied. And on the other hand, there have been people like Jesus, Krishna, Buddha and others who attain the ultimate satisfaction, through the fragrance of God.

  1. God is the Guide:

The inner guide of man – his consciousness – is nothing but a reflection of the Infinite Consciousness, God. It is a small particle of the great guide. The wonder is that God exists within us, as the small voice of the soul! So if we are able simply to understand that if there is an inner guide within us, directing our own thoughts and actions, there must be a greater guide to the universe, directing its immense actions and movements!

World Yoga Day: 8 enormous benefits from simple Yoga techniques

By: Keyur Seta

A monk from the Ramakrishna Order, who shares a good rapport with me, has been telling me since last few years that it would be impossible for people living in metros or urban areas to survive without spirituality. After looking at the lives of working professionals around us, including ourselves, we can’t disagree with him.

The keen interest in Yoga these days is a big indication that people are becoming more and more concerned about themselves and their state of mind, thanks to the stressful lives they have been leading. This is exactly why the initiative of World Yoga Day has received such a positive response from almost every section of the society.

Picture: Wikipedia

Picture: Wikipedia

The United Nations (UN) declared June 21 as the World Yoga Day or International Yoga Day after India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the same during his address to the UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014. This decision received a resounding response world over with more than 177 countries readily agreeing to be a part of it. So, the stage is set for the first World or International Yoga Day on June 21, 2015.

The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’, which means ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’. So, it basically means to connect your mind, body and spirit to lead a better or balanced life. Hence, it is senseless to say that Yoga is limited to a particular religion (Hinduism) because people from all religion and creed have a right to live a stress-free or peaceful life.

But practicing Yoga doesn’t necessarily mean one needs to master those difficult and masterly postures. Although there are a wide range of techniques and teachings related to Yoga, it is absolutely fine even if you practice some simple ones on a daily basis.

Even resorting to simple practices like Shavasana, Sarvangasana, Matsyasana, Paschimotasana, Bhujangasana, Shalabhasana, Dhanurasana, Pada Hastasana and Trikonasana can trigger some tremendous positive changes in your body and mind. I can guarantee this from my personal experience. Learn more about these basic Asanas by clicking HERE.

Here are the 8 enormous benefits I experienced after doing some simple Yoga:-

Stamina: Just after a week of practicing Yoga, I noticed a considerable increase in my energy level and stamina. Even after roaming around Mumbai in the terrible heat, I didn’t feel tired or fatigued like I used to do earlier.

Sleep: I not only experienced sound sleep, I also didn’t have any problem whatsoever to wake up daily as early as 5:30 am, without the feeling of dragging myself out of bed. A good night’s sleep solves almost half of your health issues.

Stress: Some stress is required to perform tasks efficiently. But stress becomes a problem if it exceeds the initial levels. While studying or doing any other task, I realized that my stress level reduced drastically. I could perform tasks by being more relaxed.

Picture: moonladyyoga.wordpress.com

Picture: moonladyyoga.wordpress.com (Click to enlarge)

Concentration: My concentration power increased while reading or trying to understand something. The same can be said about my attention span.

Digestion: I was facing digestion issues. But they almost vanished just days after I started practicing Yoga. Various Asanas greatly help in regulating your bowel movements.

Physique: Proper Asanas when coupled with Kapalbharati helps you get into shape and maintain your physique. This is important because having a healthy body invariably affects your mind positively. The same happened with me. My excess body fat got reduced.

Immunity: Yoga also greatly helped me in keeping illnesses at bay. Having a strong immune system was a great relief indeed! Who wishes to pay those unnecessary doctor fees?

Mood: There was a stark increase in my overall outlook towards like after treading the path of Yoga, especially while indulging in Meditation. It made me more cheerful than before and made me accept certain truths and situations about life.

Our ancient teachings and scriptures contain all the answers to the issues faced today. Let us grab it and say a big YES to the balanced union of mind, body and spirit!

This beautiful video will force you to question everything around you!

It is said that a picture speaks a thousand words. Going by this logic, a moving picture should speak many more than thousand words. This holds true at least for the video below. It is a fusion footage from movies Samsara (2011) and Baraka (1992). It will force you to question everything that the world and we ourselves are doing in our lives.

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See it for yourself:-

Display of Oneness: Sant Nirankari Exhibition

By: Keyur Seta

Nature hasn’t created any difference among humans. We all have the same flesh and bones. But since time immemorial, humans are being divided in various ways through various evil forces. This division is the root cause of all human suffering in the history of mankind.

The scenario is the same even in 2015. Despite the clout of education and urbanization, evil forces are dividing us and are also being successful in it. The reason for this is the lack of awareness of the basic truth that we all have the same flesh and bones. So, it becomes necessary for someone to lead us to this truth.

Sant Nirankari Mission, under the guidance of Dhan Nirankar ji, has taken up the task of highlighting the oneness or equality among human beings from all race, religion, caste, creed, class or whatever. Its sole aim is to spread the message of unity in various ways through the message of world peace.

The organization had recently held an exhibition of oneness, unity or humanity in Mumbai. With the help of a lot of volunteers, they pointed out the fact that all humans are the same and all divisions, created among them, is man-made.

Have a look at the pictures/ photos from the exhibition:-

sant-nirankari-jiunity-symbol100_9437hindi-shayari100_9433100_9432symbol-of-unitydhan-nirankari-jidhan-nirankaridhan-nirankari-social-work

Ecosystem calling, answer now or regret forever!

By: Keyur Seta

Picture: FB page 'Wake Up World'

Picture: FB page ‘Wake Up World’

Ever since our childhood we have been told that we should respect, protect and conserve nature. Many of us have started believing in it more ever since terms like Global Warming and Climate Change have come into being.

But after attending a five-hour session titled ‘Philosophy of Ecology’ at New Acropolis (Mumbai), I have now literally started worshiping nature. It was pretty much the same with others who participated in the session.

The seminar dug into the deeper aspect of ‘Ecology’ and what we humans have reduced it to due to various reasons, including greed. But unlike most seminars or lectures, this one was more practical and interactive. Hence, the participants took back with them a lot of things rather than just attending and forgetting about it after it’s over.

Highlights of the session:-

Baraka Movie:- The video below shook us. It is a footage from the non-verbal movie Baraka. It shows the true, raw beauty of nature in various forms and later focuses on how we have destroyed it through our greed, materialism and consumerism. The mesmerizing visuals transforming into something so brutal is heartbreaking even for those who aren’t nature lovers. Then what to say of the people gathered there? A lady vowed to give up non-vegetarian food after witnessing the process through which chicken is produced.

Here is the video:-

Composting:- An entire process of Composting was practically presented. For those who don’t know, Composting is a process through which fertile manure is produced from sheer garbage. The fertile compost can be used to grow your own food. To learn Composting, visit an organization called ‘Dirt’ by clicking HERE.

Process of Composting (Picture: Acrd.bc.ca)

Process of Composting (Picture: Acrd.bc.ca) Click to Enlarge

Solution to Global Warming:- We should plant as many plants as possible on our terrace. There are innumerable buildings in a city like Mumbai. Just imagine the positive effect on the environment of high number of plants on lakhs of terraces in Mumbai. This will help fight Global Warming, although at a minor level.

Native Americans:- One of the themes of the seminar was that to solve the problems of today by looking back to the past. To explain this, information and insight on Native Americans was presented.

Here is its summary:-

  • They worship nature diligently.
  • From their teachings, it is evident that they learnt about destruction way back 300 years ago, before the industrial revolution.
  • They believe that nature holds all the aces.
  • Pregnant women were sent to forests where she would give birth to her baby all by herself. It is believed that a baby born through such a process will be strong.
  • They give names to children after nature.
  • They firmly believe in giving away what they have. In case if a person becomes possessive about something, he is said to be weak.
  • As and when they need to hunt an animal for food, they plead in front of it to let them consume it. The remains of the animal are respectfully buried.
Native American (Picture: Imageblogs.org)

Native American (Picture: Imageblogs.org)

Chief Seattle’s Letter:- Chief Seattle, who was the Chief of Squamish Indians, wrote to the America in 1800 explaining why nature or land should never be bought and how they see God in everything. This letter will undoubtedly move anyone. Read it HERE.

Here is a gist of other important points presented:-

  • Animals eat only as much as they require. Hence, they don’t have problems like obesity, heart diseases, diabetes, etc.
  • Sun consistently arrives each morning, come what may. He is an ideal example of consistency.
  • “Know yourself, only then you will know the Cosmos and Gods.” – Temple of Apollo in Delphi, Greece.
  • Symptoms of any issue can be treated. But to heal, one needs to go to the root of the problem.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – M K Gandhi.

Pictures: Buddhist Japanese Temple, Mumbai

By: Keyur Seta

Not many people are aware that a beautiful Japanese Buddhist Temple is situated at Worli Naka in Mumbai (India). It is known as Nipponzan Myohoji temple. One visit to the temple brings a lot of serenity. What is also noteworthy is the beautiful interiors, paintings and idols.

Have a look at the pictures taken in and around the temple:

(Click to enlarge)

Nipponzan-Myohoji-MumbaiBuddha-temple-WorliBuddhist-temple-worliBuddhist-temple-Mumbai Buddhist-temple-Worli-naka Nipponzan-Myohoji-temple Worli Worli-Buddhist temple Worli-Buddhist-templeNipponzan-Myohoji--temple-worliNipponzan-Myohoji-temple-Mumbai

Buddha Life Story & Sayings: When the bright yet blissful light illuminated the world

Gautam Buddha is considered one of the greatest revolutionary spiritual leader the world has ever seen. He is that bright yet blissful light that has illuminated peace, love and harmony to the world and continues to do so.Today, falls his Birth Anniversary as per the traditional calendar. Hence, the day is known as Buddha Poornima and celebrated by his followers world over. The day is also called Vesak Day by some.

Gautam Buddha shrine at Bodh Gaya Temple. (Picture: aboutfestivalsofindia.com)

Gautam Buddha shrine at Bodh Gaya Temple (Picture: aboutfestivalsofindia.com)

Buddha was the founder of the religion, Buddhism. The Buddhist faith is practiced all over the world but mostly in countries India, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.

Gautam Buddha was born as the prince Siddhartha in Lumbini (today, Nepal) in the Shakya clan in the 6th Century B.C. His father was a renowned king of that region. Therefore, Siddhartha was also expected to follow in his father’s footsteps. But he was destined for even greater glory. An astrologer predicted the possibility of Siddhartha being a spiritual leader. This, obviously, worried his father no ends.

As per the predication, Siddhartha’s heart used to bleed at the sight of the poor, helpless and underprivileged. So, his father kept him confined to their palace. But eventually, Siddhartha did become successful in seeing the outside world and whatever he saw broke his heart. He couldn’t bear the pain and atrocities borne by his fellow human beings. This was enough to motivate Siddhartha to banish the kingdom and become a monk.

He soon started getting followers who were once his fellow monks on the path of spiritual glory. Soon, Siddhartha received miraculous enlightenment at the feet of the Bodhi Tree, a sight that is worshiped ever since. He was later known as Gautam Buddha.

This started a a new religion that preached only sacrifice, non-violence, forgiveness, and love and harmony for fellow beings.

On the day of Buddha Poornima, let us not only pray but make valiant efforts to restore peace at a new when hatred has reached such enormous levels. Let Buddha’s message of peace and kindness reach far and wife.

For the complete life story or biography of Gautam Buddha, click HERE.

Famous sayings/ quotes by Gautam Buddha:-

Buddha Shrine at Pragbodhi (Picture: ddlogo.blogspot.com)

Buddha Shrine at Pragbodhi (Picture: ddlogo.blogspot.com)

“In the end these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you let go?”

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”

“However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?”

“If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good.”

“You are the community now. Be a lamp for yourselves. Be your own refuge. Seek for no other. All things must pass. Strive on diligently. Don’t give up.”

“Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again.”

“It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.”