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Have they all led us astray...???


Aren't you just amazed when a series a series of things happen to you in a day , and you realize later how beautifully they were all connected?.. it happens to me all the time.
i started reading a book today by Krishnamurti(see pic above and below) and i found the following paragraph. since i can never match up to Krishnamurti's talent of explaining philosophy, i was quoted him directly, and i dint want to interpret his message for you ,because it would just have been another distortion for your mind to rationalize .


" The teachers, the gurus, the mahatmas, the philosophers, have all led us astray, because actually we have not solved our problems, our lives are not different. We are the same miserable, unhappy, sorrow-laden people. So the first thing is never to follow another, including the speaker. Never try to find out from another how to behave, how to live. Because what another tells you is not your life. If you rely or depend on another you will be misled.
But if you deny the authority of the guru, the philosopher, the theoretician - whether Communist or theological - then you can look at yourself, then you can find the answer. But as long as one relies and depends on another, however wise he may be, one is lost. The man who says he knows, does not know. So the first thing is never to follow another and that is very difficult because we don't know what to do; we have been so conditioned to believe, to follow." -- Jiddu Krishnamurti


When i finished reading this, i felt like completely rejecting Krishnamurti. i mean what the heck is he talking about. Surely Buddha is teacher, and i have been following him.... and i have learned so much!. sure enough, i soon became aware that my mind-made-self was reject what i read because that mind-created-illusion was being challenged, it was being led into thinking what it was doing is wrong, and it was diminishing, and being mocked at . and i quickly realized that there must be something right about what Krishnamurti said .Else, why would i be made to feel soo restless by my mind.?




I just went about by day just letting this contradiction of my philosophy and that of Krishnamurti's to reside in me, i did not react to it, i did not bother to rationalize it anymore. In the night just be i was going to retire to bed, i started reading a book, which happens to be an anthology of Buddhist verses from various teachings of the Buddha. And the second verse of the page i opened randomly was :

"Never fear what will become of you, depend on NO one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed."--- Buddha.

please feel free to leave a comment;
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The Nature of the Mind.




What is the nature of the mind?
I once read a quote on a T-Shirt that went : "Your mind is too precious a thing to be left alone to wander."

Our Mind is an adventure seeker, it loves to explore new terrains.It hardly stays with us. To put a leash on it takes too much of an effort.yet we do try to put a leash on it,albeit very rarely.

I think it was the Buddha who said: "Watch every movement of your mind like you would watch a deadly cobra ,if you were locked up in a dark room with it."


The mind is easily influenced by material desires,and thinking patterns or to put it precisely dogmas. And if these desires are not fulfilled, or if someone else doesnt accept our thinking pattern/dogma/belief , inner conflict arrises. This inner conflict leads to lust,anger,greed,illusion and envy [kama, krodha, lobha, moha and matsarya].

Dont we regret all the stupid things we did and said when we were angry,or when we were filled with lust/envy/greed. Did we not ask ourselves later "Why did i not control myself". And this regret later manifests it self as depression in us. And we start wonder if all the (spiritual) practice we did was sincere or not? was it really useful? after all our efforts we made , ther is absolutely no progress at all?
All such unwanted thoughts and emotions enter,and more often than not succeed in shattering us inside.
All this is the work of a restless mind.

How did the mind become restless?
The following verse was what sparked an interest in me for the Bhagawad Gita [The Divine Song] .I had come accross it when i was learning Sanskrit [Samskritam] in High School.

"Arjuna Says:
Chanchalam hi manah Krishna pramathi balavad dridham;
Tasyaham nigraham manye vayor iva suduskaram" [6:34 Bhagawad Gita]

which means:
"My dear Krishna , I think the mind is very restless, like a mad man. And it is very strong.I want to control the mind,but it does not come under my control.That is my Position. Therefore, although you are asking me to control the mind, I think that is more difficult than controlling the wind."

"Krishna said:
Asamshayam mahabaho mano durnigraham chalam;
Abhayasena tu kaunteya vairagyena cha grihyate." [6:35 Bhagawad Gita]

which means:
"Undoubtably, Oh Arjuna, the mind is indeed difficult to control and is restless; but ,by the repeated practice(of meditation) , O Arjuna,and by (renunciation and hence)detachment, it is restrained."

now of mediation i shall not speak much,as countless books have been written about it. It is of the second method that i would like to discuss.
In an earlier chapter of the Bhagawad-Gita, renunciation[sanyas] was defined as renunciation of:
(1) all clinging attachment to the object of the world, and
(2) lingering expectation for fruits-of-action.

These two are the main causes for agitation of thoughts,which again thicken the flood of the thought-flow,and make the mind uncontrollable.

"From the moment we start trying to become aware of our own lives, we are in the realm of 'practice'. As a result of this , the detachment from worldly objects that comes automatically to us is the true and enduring 'detachment'. All else is a sham show of stupid self-denial,which cramps a human being and distorts and perverts his intelligence into an ugliness riddled with hysterical ravings and bleeding with psychological ulcers
Let your attachment-with-things drop off ,on its own accord, as a result of your intellectual growth into higher planes of better understanding and truer estimation of things and beings, happenings and behaviors,occurrences and incidents in life"--- Swami Chinmayananda

The above advice from Swami Chinmayananda tells us how to take care of the first method,i.e of renunciation of all clinging attachments to the objects of the world. Now how do we practice the second method i.e, of renunciation of the lingering expectation for fruits-of-our-actions. now how can we accomplish this?

The Mind starts thinking of the fruits of our actions only when it projects it self into the future. When the mind is not present here.... The mind has a recurrent habit of dwelling in our past or in projecting itself into the future. how can we control this?.... this can only be controlled though the act of mindfulness. Through mindfulness we can anchor our mind in the present moment,and not allow it to project itself into the future.

Once an Old woman came to the Buddha and said that she wanted always to be with the Buddha, but she had a household to take care of and was always busy with domestic-work.
The Buddha replied " Do not worry, Do as i say after you return home. Everyday , no matter what you are doing, feel your hands. when you are washing clothes,feel the water flowing gently through your hands. when you are drawing a bucket of water from the well, feel the strain the rope is exerting on your hands. When you are cooking meals, feel the warmth of the fire in your hands. Always be in such a state,for that is where i am,and you shall not be far from me at all."



please leave your valuable comments;
--Sachin Modeel

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The Greedy Monk.



Yesterday I received a mail from a person in Australia, who happens to visit my blog quite frequently, she was very happy to read the articles I wrote. But she was puzzled why I wrote so much about dharma and detachment, but still I had ads on my blog and she felt I was trying to sell the dharma. She also felt may be I was very keen on earning money through dharma.

I must confess I am answerable to all my readers. People, who might have visited my blog about a year ago, would have noticed that I had ads for a few months, and then the blog was ad free for sometime again. And now again ads have come up. Well the reason for the absence of ads on my site for some time was because the advert Program we had used had a minimum number of page-loads per month criteria for our ads to be displayed. So now the traffic has increased and the ads have come up again.

But I still haven’t explained why the ads are there in the first place… and also the question of am I trying to sell the dharma?

Before I go into the answer let me tell u a story about a Buddhist monk.


The Greedy Monk

Gessen was a Buddhist monk. He was also an exceptionally talented artist. Before he started work on any painting, however he always demanded payment in advance. And his fees were exorbitant. So he came to be known as the Greedy Monk.


A geisha once sent for him to have a painting done. Gessen said “How much will you pay me?” The girl happened to be entertaining a patron at that time. She said “Any sum you ask for. But the painting must be done right now before me.”

Gessen set to work at once and when the painting was completed he asked for the highest sum he had ever charged. As the geisha was giving him his money, she said to her patron, “This man is supposed to be a monk but all he thinks of is money. His talent is exceptional but he has a filthy, money-loving mind. How does one exhibit the canvas of a filthy-minded man like that” His work is good enough for my underclothing!”


With that she flung a rug at him and asked him to paint a picture of it. Gessen asked the usual question before he started the work: “how much will you give me?” “Oh, any sum you ask for,” said the girl. Gessen named his price, painted the picture, shamelessly pocketed the money and walked away.

Many years later, quite by chance, someone found out why Gessen was so greedy for money. A devastating famine was so greedy for money. A devastating famine often struck his home province. The rich would do nothing to help the poor. So Gessen had a secret barns built in the area and had them filled with grain for such emergencies. No one knew where the grain came from or who the benefactor of the province was.

Another reason why Gessen wanted money was the road leading to his village from the city many miles away. It was in such bad condition that ox-carts could not move on it; this causes much suffering to the aged and the infirm when they needed to get to the city. So Gessen Had the road repaired.

The final reason was a meditation temple which Gessen’s teacher had always desired to build but could not. Gessen built his temple as a token of gratitude to his revered teacher.

After the Greedy monk had built the road, the temple and the barns, he threw away his paint and brushes, retired to the mountains to give himself to the contemplative life and never painted another canvas again.


-------End of Story-------


Well about a year ago when I launched my blog. My friend (who happens to be the site-admin for my blog right now, I thank him for the wonderful design and layout of this blog), asked me why was I blogging, and that it was a complete waste of my energies and time. And he said instead if I had spent my time helping some charitable organization here I would be of greater help to people.

But he also knew how passionate I was about writing. So he said he wanted take over the settings of my blog and said he would revamp it. And he put up the ads and an awesome design. About 3 months later we receive a check of 50US$ from our Advert program.

To our better sense we deiced to completely donate it to a charitable organization. Being in India, it’s not hard to find causes for which we can donate money for the poor. One afternoon he drove me to the near by temple (in Bangalore, see pic below). And there we were greeted by a couple of monks, we said we wanted to donate some money to any charity program they had. And the monks took us personally to a small hall where they showed us a video of their Akshaya Patra program. and we at once knew for sure we were at the right place. We said we would like to immediately make a donation to the program, and we did.



The Akshaya Patra Foundation, feeds nearly 1 million students in India. It is the world's largest nongovernmental organization that provides a midday meal to children.



We donated 50US$ . well 50US$ = about 2500 Indian Rupees. And at that time they could feed about 20 students with about 100 rupees (because of a little help from the government).
So our contribution was able to give one meal each for about
500 poor students!!!!. And we were very very surprised with that figure. click here for the cost per meal(units are in rupees, 50 Rupees is approximately 1 US$ )


Our humble little blog had helped to give 500 children a meal, and that day I knew and we decided that any revenue we ever received from this Blog will always go to Akshaya Patra Program. This has also inspired me to blog more, finally I had a reason behind blogging. Every time I sit down to write a post I am reminded of those innocent faces.

All the earnings received though this blog has never been used by the author or the site-admin , all of it has been given to the Akshaya Patra Foundation. All future earnings shall also be given to that noble cause.

Please see my post on Akshaya Patra Program for more information about that organization. Click to here to visit the post on Askaya Patra
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The Akshaya Patra Foundation

If you are Wondering what the Akshaya Patra Program is.
Akshaya Patra means an ''Inexhaustible vessel' from which unlimited food can be drawn.” The Akshaya Patra Foundation was started By ISKCON.

Facts & Numbers
Every year, 2.5 million children die in India, accounting for one in five deaths in the world. More than half of these deaths could be prevented if children were well nourished. India's progress in reducing child malnutrition is very slow.

The proven path to helping the poor, is by educating them. Providing food works as an important factor that encourages education; this in turn enables overall development transforming lives and communities.

A hungry child cannot be expected to have an urge for education. We provide nutritious meals to about 1 million children - with a vision to encourage education amongst the poor.



Law for Action
Many impoverished children performed poorly in school due to short attention spans associated with extreme hunger. Other children either did not enroll in school, or dropped out at a young age choosing to seek work during the school day to earn money to feed themselves and their families.

Earlier, school meals was irregular and in many places non-existent. Responding to pressure from the people, the Supreme Court of India passed an order on November 28, 2001 which mandated: "Cooked midday meal is to be provided in all the government and government-aided primary schools in all the states."

Akshaya patra partakes this responsibility.

The Birth of Akshaya Patra
Thus evolved Akshaya Patra, a not-for-profit organization with a baseline "unlimited food for education". We started feeding children in June 2000. What started as a pilot project in five schools in Bangalore, for 1,500 children, has now grown into a mammoth endeavor reaching out to 993,147 children in 16 locations across six states.

Mission:
Our mission is to feed one million underprivileged children by 2010.

Manjunath, a 10th grade student of a Government High School and a beneficiary of the program, has rendered his thoughts on Akshaya Patra in a poem. We wanted to share this poem with you. It was humbling for us, not only to read his beautiful thoughts on Akshaya Patra, but also the fact that in the far corners of the less privileged child's world, talent glows unhindered.

Noble is the goal of Akshaya Patra
Blessing for the underprivileged
Blessed are we that we are under its shade
Let its music spread everywhere

Toiling it is, for our benefit
Reaching us timely and without fail
Akshaya Patra is the lighting lamp of our life
Pray that it be truly - Akshaya - inexhaustible

Leads the underprivileged to light
Brings a twinkle in every pupil's eye
Noble is the goal of Akshaya Patra
Unfortunate are those who do not appreciate this

From darkness to light
From gloom to bloom
From drowning in the deep sea to safety
Akshaya Patra is the beacon of our life

Noble is the cause of Akshaya Patra


the official website: http://www.akshayapatra.org/

Obama's Praise for Akshaya Patra: http://www.akshayapatra.org/Obama.html
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The Forgotten Rain Sutra


Its funny how sometimes the songs you have been humming for years don’t really ‘speak’ to you all. But a time comes may be on the bus, or the tube, or a train, or a taxi u hear it and for the first time you actually listen to it…. And u realize something, something greater than the song , something which could not have been conveyed in words to you, and between the words of the lyrics it just erupts in you and floods u with its calmness.

Something Similar happened today:

It was a mid-summer afternoon, the heat was unbearable. And with the heat we all became very restless indeed. The class was nearing its end, the audience was hardly listening to the Instructor, everyone was talking and their minds whizzing in a million directions. Everyone was clearly frustrated not excluding me. The atmosphere outside became dark and windy.

We were starting to be relieved a little by the coolness offered to us by the winds. Sullen clouds are gathering fast over the black fringe of our small campus. Soon we were smelling the rising summer dust, and we knew it was raining. I stared at the dark clouds around us from the window. The winds were roaring and struggling among the branches like a wild beast tangled in a trap.

And the rains sang their song, the same lyrics that I had heard since I was a child, yet this time I listened to its roar, intimidating yet graceful. And after many years the rains decided for the first time to ‘speak’ to me….. There’s something about the rain that’s beyond this world. Though it is noisy yet it is as peaceful s silence. The noise of your mind just dissolves in the melodies of the song the rain sings.

Centuries have passed; poets and seers have sung hymns and poems praising the symphony of rain. Yet there is sacredness to rain which is not of thought, nor of a feeling that can be awakened by thought. This sacredness about the rains can’t be written down, it is no to be thought of. It is not recognizable by thought nor can it exploited by thought. Thoughts cannot generate it. But there was a Sacredness to the afternoon’s rain and every rain, which is untouched by any word or symbol. This cannot be communicated. But it is a fact. And I would like to take Krishnamurthi’s quote to describe what we had realized, “Like beauty, it cannot be seen through its opposite for it has no opposite

Every one present there was filled up the immense peace of that indescribable sacredness.

-- Sachin Modeel

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Pain - An Inspiration to Surrender


Surrendering is the greatest act of all human endeavors. what does it mean to surrender? no efforts in any direction at all.... phew! when i got that answer i knew its way too much for humble souls like me to apply. then one person taught me that to surrender means to have no resistance to life.

No resistance = Surrendering.
Now that seems more doable.

If u are in any physical pain, surrender to it, do not resist it.


Recently i had a throat surgery and the post-operative pain was too much for me to handle. I started trying out all the practices that learned through Buddhism , Advaita, etc etc. things never improved. the pain was till too much for me to bear, also since i couldn't administer pain-killers because they may cause bleading to my operative wound , things just got worse. i gradually with out even my own notice slipped into depression, the pain kept troubling me every moment. i couldnt even sleep .

Initially i tried making an effort to convince myself that the body is experiencing the pain, i am just an observer. i tried this practice very intesely but to no avail, the pain just kept rushing into my head and distubing my peace of mind. thats when i had realized that i was intorduced to practises of overcomming psychological pain, but never once had i learned to handle physical pain. and this was the Time i need it the most.


i was introduced to the Blue Buddha or the Medicine Buddha Mantra and a friend of mine asked me to recite it and concentrate my awareness on my presence and less on the pain. again may be due to my humble efforts and also since i had made soo little progess , and my practice was still very unexperienced ... i dunno things never imroved the pain was still unbearable.


one early morning even before sunrise, the pain woke me up. i juts lay there on my bed, the pain was there too like a loyal friend who never betrays you. i wished i had never had this kind of pain. I wished i was all right. i began thinking of the time when this pain wasn't there.


that's when it happened. that's when i noticed that i was making efforts in all directions to get rid of the pain.!!! i was making efforts in evry possible direction, then i remember thta to surrender means to stop efforts in all diretions. thast i when i realised i am gona just stop all this. again a thought came to my mind, a deep innervoice tellin me "resist nothing"... and i did. i just lay there, not resisting pain, not resisting anything.


firstly i surrendered my body, i just lay there, i dint bother to breathe until there was a need to . if there was a need to inhale i inhaled. if there was a need to exhale i exhaled. if there was a need for me to adjust my arm , i did it. i dint resist anything. Then i slowly started surrendering in the mental plane. i surrendered my will to think. i surrenderd my wil to wish to be something else. i surrendered my need to complai about his situation. i surrendered also any need to falsely praise what i was doing. i surrendered my need to talk to myslef. i surrendered to life, and i did not reisst anything. total surrender. thast when i realized the pain was existing, and so was i. but i dint need to do anythign to it, and it ceased to do anything for me! i had finally learned something of incomprehenssible measure from my experience, i had finally learned to surrender.

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