21 August, 2012

Einstein went against the system; overthrew accepted ideas and gave the world E=m c ²

Written on a tomb in Westminster abbey are the words “Mortals congratulate yourselves that so great a man has lived for the honor of the human race”
This happens to be the tomb of Isaac Newton.

Newton had introduced ideas like absolute time and absolute space and further said that absolute time and space respectively are independent aspects.

The world followed these principals for 300 years until Albert Einstein was born to shake the foundations of physics.

There was an answered problem---“how can it be that at the same instant of time the speed of light is same; both for an observer moving in the same direction as light and for an observer who is standing still”   

Einstein thought over this for 7 full years; he wasn't afraid to think differently from other people; then one day he dared to change Newtonian physics.

He said why we assume things; if the speed of light has been found to be constant let us take it as a constant; and the thing which changes is time, meaning moving clocks run slow.

The concept of absolute time and space were challenged; and Einstein proclaimed that; time varies and further, space and time are inseparable

The world did not believe him and ridiculed him; on his part Einstein got his constant ‘C’ speed of light---it took only 5 weeks in 1905 to write his famous equation   E=m c ². Today historians call it the miracle year.

If this equation is used to calculate the energy in mass, say a bus ticket which weighs less than a gram; this bus ticket has enough energy to run the bus for a life time.

It took him 2 more years to realize that the inverse also holds true; all matter is materialized from energy.
Spiritually speaking the fruit on the tree is not derived from cell multiplication alone but from energy from the heavens.

There are a very few people who live in their own world. Einstein was one of them and he changed the laws of physics; it all started when he had the courage not to follow fixed ideas.

16 August, 2012

What is due to the soul; the soul gets.

I love one particular incident from the Ramayana and that is the birth of the twin sons of Rama in Valmiki's ashram.

Sita gave birth to her twin sons Lav and Kush in sage Valmiki’s ashram in the forest.

The sage felt deeply hurt that the descendants of the Sun Dynasty       
{ suryavanshi} were born in a hut in the forest they deserved to be born in a palace among grandeur.

Just then a pupil called valmiki out to show him that their entire ashram was circled by the army of Ayodhya.
It has so happened that Rama had sent his brother Shatrughna to fight the evil asur {demon} Lavanasur; and on the way the army came across Valmiki’s ashram and wanted to halt there for the night.

Valmiki could not believe his eyes, where ever he saw; he could see the flags and symbols of the Sun dynasty, the army commanders and the horses. 

As if the entire army of Ayodhya was standing to welcome the two just born princes of the Sun Dynasty.

When Shatrughna was informed about the birth of the two babies he presented them with gold ornaments he was wearing which had the seal of the royal family.

Valmiki had tears in his eyes on seeing this divine arrangement; such welcome was due to the just born and they got what their soul deserved.

There was no point to worry; and Valmiki writes.

 होइ है  वही  जो  राम रचि  राखा
को  करे  तरफ़  बढ़ाए  साखा

Hoi Hai Wahi Jo Ram Rachi Raakhaa
Ko Kare Tarak Badhaye Saakha

What is destined will happen; there is no point in getting worried.

11 August, 2012

Maya---why is it an illusion?

Once I had this question about maya in my mind and just happened to open a page of a book at random; it was swami rama’s book; I got my answer.

One day swami rama went to his guru to clear his doubts on maya;his guru simply told him “tomorrow morning I will show you what maya is.”

The pupil could not sleep at night in the hope that tomorrow he is going to meet maya.

In the morning on their way back to their cave from the Ganga; his guru rushed up to dry trunk of a tree and wrapped himself around it; and cried out to his disciple to free him.

At first swami rama was afraid to go near the tree fearing that the tree would entrap him as well; but later tried to help his guru, but could not free him.

Exhausted he stopped to think; he realized that it was not possible for a dead tree trunk to entrap anyone; he said to his master “how is this possible the tree has no power to hold you; what are you doing?”

His guru laughed and said “this is maya”

We ourselves attach with worldly desires and then say that they have entrapped us.

Now the disciple understood that avidya {individual ignorance} and maya {cosmic illusion} were one and the same.

Does not the literal translation of maya---ma meaning no/not and ya meaning that; say it all, “that is not” but which appears to be real.

So the next time when we are attracted to something; let us not blame maya, but understand that we ourselves have created this bondage, like the guru who hugged the tree and started shouting that the tree has entrapped him.

swami writes that after explaining the philosophy of maya to him his guru further told him.“When we devote our mind, energy, and resources to believing in that which is non-existent, then it appears to exist, and that is maya. Don’t contemplate on evil,devils, sins, avidya, or maya and thereby put yourself in a state of stress and worry. Even spiritual people become preoccupied with blaming the world for their lack of progress. This weakness is significant in creating obstacles. For lack of sincerity, honesty, faithfulness, and truthfulness we do not realize that which we are. 
We project our weaknesses and think that the objects of the world are the source of our obstacles.”

He also told him to practice non-attachment and constant awareness. He said, “The strongest of bondages is created by attachment, which makes one weak, ignorant, and unaware of the absolute Reality. Maya, or illusion, is deeply rooted in attachment. When we are attached to or have a desire for something, it becomes a source of illusion for us. Those who are free from attachments and have directed their desires toward spiritual growth are free from the bondage of maya—illusion. The less attachment, the more inner strength; the more inner strength, the nearer the goal.
Vairagya and  abhyasa—non-attachment and constant awareness of absolute Reality—are like two wings of a bird which can fly from the plane of mortality to the height of immortality.
Those who do not allow their wings to be clipped by the illusion of maya can attain perfection.   

yogananda paramahansa had very rightly said “To tear the veil of maya is to pierce the secret of creation”

After writing this post I kept thinking about the sentence “When we devote our mind, energy…..to believing in that which is non-existent, then it appears to exist”    

Does this not explain the principle that our thoughts materialize; we and our surroundings are what our thought waves are.

We are capable of creating our own world with our thought patterns; simply because thoughts are energy and energy materializes.

03 August, 2012

The Narasimha avatar---and the ancient Narasimha temple in joshimath.

My favourite  avatar is the Narasimha avatar.

A beautiful story integrated with moral teachings.

The child Prahlada; though the son of the evil Hiranyakasipu stayed with the sage Narada for a short time hence gained divine attributes.

The teaching here is that the company of the good is always benefiting.
He was always guided and protected.

Meanwhile Hiranyakasipu after completing many years of great austerity and penance asked the gods to grant him the boom:

“Let me not meet death from human or animal,
the one who comes to kill me does not come from ground or sky,
I not die within any residence or outside any residence,
during the day or at night,
nor on the ground or in the sky,
and further my death not be brought about by any weapon or by hand.”

The Gods said “So be it---granted”

Hiranyakasipu was happy; thinking that he had won over death.

when Prahlada proclaimed that the protector lord Vishnu is all-pervading and omnipresent.

Hiranyakasipu was very angry,  and stooped down to negative behaviour.

He demanded to know where this protector is and in a fit of rage smashed a pillar and asks Prahlada is he inside this pillar; and he himself invited his own destruction.

Moral of this is; full of ego and with bad behavior one himself invites his fall.

And from the pillar emerged the Narasimha avatar---half man—half lion.
And the voice was heard from the skies :

“Hiranyakasipu---look where are you standing ---
nor in a residence or outside, you are in a courtyard,
look at the time it is nether day or night ,it is twilight,
look who is in front of you, neither man or animal,
look from where he has emerged, nether ground or sky, but from in-between a pillar.”  

And Narasimha picked Hiranyakasipu and took him on his lap---now Hiranyakasipu was neither on the ground or sky.

Then Narasimha put an end to his life using his claws---neither weapon nor hands.

Prahlada and the Gods watch this with hands folded and then offered flowers to the avatar that had fulfilled the eternal teaching ---when evil flourishes in society; someone is created to re-establish righteous order.

Now I will write about one of my favorite places.

It is the Narasimha temple in joshimath on the way to Badrinath,A very simple structure


Here a famous feature of the ancient black stone idol of Narasimha is that its left wrist is getting thinner by the day.

Legend has it that when the wrist breaks off, there the current Badri vishal temple at Badrinath will become inaccessible and new temple will be bhavishya badri.

In the early morning puja this wrist is shown to the people and then covered up throughout the day

There is the badri kedar temple committee rest house adjoining this temple, in the silence of late evening I sit alone in the temple compound and experience peace---vibrations which cannot be expressed.

There is also a seat believed to be that of the Adi Shankaracharya kept in the same premises.

seat of Adi Shankaracharya.

There are many small temples in the surrounding area most of them with ancient idols.

A short distance from here is the math established by Adi Shankaracharya; and the cave where he meditated.

cave where Adi Shankaracharya meditated

Giving shelter to the cave is the 2500 year old “Amar Kalpavriksha” ---the evergreen mulberry tree which stands witness to the life of the great soul.

02 August, 2012

The Avatars of Vishnu---tell the theory of human evolution.

The Puranas are actual histories, they tell the various stories right from the origin of the Universe.

Here everything is explained in an easy to understand way and is integrated with moral teachings.

Planetary positions are described to enable us to trace out the timeline.

What do the avatars of the lord Vishnu tell us?

They explain the story of evolution.

Matsya----The fish avatar---- first life forms evolved in water.

Kurma----The turtle avatar---- the amphibian--- signifying evolution of life from water to land.

Varaha----The boar avatar---- The first mammals evolve.

Narasimha avatar----half man—half animal.

Vamana----Short human---- transition to early man

Parasurama---- the forest dweller {the first settlement of humans in forests}---- development of first weapons such as axe---- but no control over senses such as anger.

Rama---- the evolved man following the path of righteousness.

Krishna----to guide mankind in the times when evil flourishes.

My favourite avatar is Narasimha avatar; please read the post---The Narasimha avatar---and the ancient Narasimha temple in joshimath.