SPRING: THE RENEWAL OF LIFE
Springtime is quickly approaching in the northern hemisphere. What a magical time it is when life that lay dormant through the winter, is renewing itself to manifest in its varied beautiful form for the summer. Springtime symbolizes the renewal of life in nature. It lifts the spirit of people and they feel happier and more cheerful. In winter many people suffer the “winter blues”. Some research has shown that this is due to the decreased amount of sunlight that people have in winter. Many animals hibernate in the winter and become active again in spring. Trees that had lost all their leaves in the fall are now sprouting new shoots. The flowering bulbs such as crocus, tulips and daffodils are springing up to display their beautiful magic everywhere. The birds that had migrated to warmer climates are returning to their summer homes in the north. It is really a wonderful time when we can all anticipate the coming of summer and the “great outdoors.”
All of nature works in cycles. The seasons are cyclical. There is spring, summer, autumn and winter. Annual plants germinate, grow, and flower and then die. They germinate again from the seeds of last summer. Perennial plants enter a stage of dormancy in the winter, and spring to life in spring, and produce their flowers and fruits in the summer, and then decline in the fall, only to be renewed the next spring. These annual cyclical and seasonal changes are caused by the tilting of the earth on its axis, and as the earth goes around the sun once each year, the four seasons manifest themselves in the northern and southern hemispheres.
There are also cycles caused by the rotation of the earth every twenty-four hours. Thus we have darkness followed by sunrise, sun light, sunset then darkness again. Just so, there is darkness, moonrise, moonlight, moonset and then darkness. Just so, we have star-rise and star-set due to the rotation of the earth.
These cyclical changes have certain effects on humans. In the winter most people spend a great deal of time indoors. The summer tan of the skin fades into a winter pallor, only to be renewed next summer. People replace their summer games with winter games. People cannot grow fresh crops during the winter, so they eat foods grown in hothouses, imported, stored from the summer, either in bulk, or frozen, or preserved in other ways. Psychologically, people feel happy in the summer and gloomy in the winter. However, this psychological change that afflicts some people is partly caused by their own outlook or understanding of the cycles of nature. They need to develop equanimity of the mind, so that they do not have the various mood swings according to the changing seasons. Nature does its work in a harmonious way. We need to understand that, and not be affected in any negative way.
Humans also go through cyclical changes. More properly, I should say that the soul takes part in cycles manifesting as the human body. After life, there is death, and then there is life again, as the soul proceeds into another body. This is due to the Law of Karma that none of us can escape. A person starts life in infancy from innocence, and then grows into knowledge by awakening of the intellect, and then deteriorates, both physically and mentally, and enters a “second childhood” followed by death. This is followed in the next life as another cycle. It is important for us to understand that the Inner Sunlight that brightens our life in the summer, is entirely in our own hands. We must not allow the darkness of ignorance to overshadow the Sunlight that manifests from within us. That Sunlight is the Light of the Soul that is Divine in its attributes. This Sunlight can be realized by awakening from spiritual ignorance to spiritual enlightenment. How much of this we can accomplish depends upon our own dedication and application in purifying ourselves in thought, word, and deed, in living righteously, and in awakening into spiritual enlightenment. So, as the spring is soon to start outwardly in the Northern hemisphere, let it be symbolic of the spring that shines new light into our spiritual life!
Dr. Jagessar Das
Spring, Renewal of life, Soul, Cycles, Seasons. Karma
KAL AND NIRANJAN
A devotee was questioning the role of Kal and Niranjan as is taught in some religious circles. It can be confusing. My explanation to him is perhaps not the ultimate, but it serves to keep my mind clear and focused. jd
You have asked a lot of questions that need extensive explanations. But I will explain briefly to clarify some of them. You have read a lot of books, and they have become confusing.
You have read about Kal or Niranjan. Kal is time and death. Niranjan is the mind. Niranjan is also said to be the father of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Now Brahma is Rajoguna, Vishnu is Satoguna and Shiva is Tamoguna. These are qualities in all creation and all beings, including human beings. These gunas are from the beginning of creation. So you can say that they came from Parmatma.
It is better not to think of Kal as a great power somewhere in the universe that does harm to us. Kal and Niranjan, and all the gunas are in us, and they work though the mind. Birth and death are natural processes arranged by God, and are influenced by our karmas. We don’t even have to worry about Kal, Niranjan or any other powers. There are no powers greater than God’s power. So pay attention to your karmas in thought, words and actions. Clear your mind of all the confusing ideas, and do your meditation.
You also want to know about Ram, Krishna, and other prophets and their teachings, that they are creations of Kal. This depends on what you understand by Kal. Kabir Saheb said they are works of Kal. The scriptures taught by these great teachers or avatars, do not give you “Atma Gyan” or “Brahm Gyan” that give Moksha. No scripture in the world can give you Moksha. You have to seek a qualified guru who can teach you the way of life, of meditation, of study, and of realization of Reality, or God, or Brahm within yourself. Since they do not give you Moksha, but people spend a lot of time and effort on them, great teachers would say that they are all the work of Kal. People stick with the external practices and do not find the treasure that is within. To find this treasure within that Kabir Saheb called the “anbedha heera” all the scriptures become helpless.
When you study a subject in school, there are two parts to the subject, a theoretical part and a practical part. The theoretical part teaches you what to expect, and the practical part shows you how to get the result. Similarly, in religion, if you do not do the practical part, the scriptures will not give you the result.
Spiritual life is to realize who you are as the Spirit of God. This is the Atma, beyond birth and death. This Atma is the Real you. Meditate on this and give up your confusion.
Different religious groups will have different interpretations of religious teachings, and they can become confusing. It is better to have a holistic or overall view: God and Soul (Atma and Parmatma) are never separate. There is no power, not even Kal, that can break this connection.
I hope that you find this explanation helpful.
Dr. Jagessar Das
Kal, Niranjan, Atma, Parmatma, Gyan, Brahm, Gunas
How Can Interfaith Communication Enhance Harmony?
- U. N. Interfaith Harmony Week, Feb. 1 – 7
The global clergy Association in partnership with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints celebrated the United Nations interfaith harmony week on February 4, 2017. The theme of the conference was “How Can Interfaith Communication Enhance Harmony?” The church is located at 10122 140Street, Surrey.
Dr. Das made the following power point presentation on the topic:
What is Communication?
A conversation full of pleasantries is most often devoid of useful information, whereas communication is meant only for the exchange of information.
APJ Kalam (former president of India)
Means of Communication
Communication is by:
Action, Words, Mind, Spirit
- Invite people of other faiths to your place of worship. Visit other places of worship
- Start a phone circle with people of other faiths
- Share meals with people of other faiths
- Share your skills with those of other faiths
- Plan picnics or other outings with them
- Use words that are inclusive and friendly
- Exchange teachings of your faith with friendly, open minds. No attempt to claim superiority
- Avoid criticisms or condescending remarks
- Your words must be welcoming and put others at ease
- Acceptance of people of other faiths as equal to you
- Know that people of all faiths are on their spiritual journey just as you are
- Let your attitude towards them be one of love, cordiality and understanding
- Be positive towards others. Send positive vibrations. Create positive karmas for yourself.
- People of all faiths are spiritual beings
- The spirit is the same in all people and can never be differentiated
- Pray for the welfare of people of all faiths
- Read the scriptures of all faiths with an open mind
- Be neutral towards the ritual observances of others
- MEDITATE – find the Reality within
- The same Reality is in all beings, human and non-human
- In whatever life is manifesting, there is Reality
- Reality is Consciousness. Consciousness is the attribute of God
- Therefore see the commonality of all. You are in it just as “they” are
What is Religion?
- Religions are a negative force when they fight among themselves, but they can become a positive force when they work together
- Remember religion is to unite, not divide. From Latin: re=again, ligare=to unite. Let us all be true to our re-ligion and live in HARMONY
Quotes to Remember
- God builds His temple in the heart on the ruins of churches and religions….Ralph Waldo Emerson
- He who does not find a temple in his own heart, will not find his heart in any temple – Mikhail Naimy
- The gift of religion exceeds all gifts; the sweetness of religion exceeds all sweetness; the delight of religion exceeds all delight; the extinction of thirst overcomes all things – Lord Buddha
- Religion is the manifestation of divinity in man – Swami Vivekananda
- Be Divine. Live in Universal Harmony!
There are certain types of etiquette that are appropriate at certain places. In a marketplace it is normal to a move about, talk, shop, and come and go whenever you please. At a party, you are also free to enter into discussions, to eat and drink, and move about. In an open house, you may come and go as you please. The same behavior is not appropriate in a place of worship. You go to a place of worship in order to elevate yourself spiritually. Many people, however, do not go to their respective temples with a devotional attitude, and do not derive the spiritual benefit that should result from their going to their temples.
Going to a place of worship is a spiritual activity, and one must go with a devotional attitude, and with humility. Otherwise such an activity is a waste of time, effort and money. But to cultivate such an attitude, means that one needs to have a spiritual outlook in life on a daily basis. If this is not the case, then it is difficult to cultivate it on the day one goes to church for one or two hours. I feel that this is an important reason why religions do not have much effect in the lives of their followers. Along with this devotional attitude, there are certain behaviors that need to be observed.
It is common to note that when people go to temples, many go quite late, sometimes near the end of the program. Some will leave during the program, while others will walk back and forth. Children are often not supervised, and they create a disturbance. Some go to the temples to socialize, not remembering that they have about 66 hours a week in which to fit in social activities. It is an insult to God, to the temple, to the priest or other religious personality, to the preacher, and to the rest of the congregation if you are not attentive, and carry on a conversation, or move about and do not supervise the children. If such is the case, then it is better to stay home or go to the market.
The following is a list of conduct that will generally be appropriate in a religious life:
- Go to church or temple on time, and leave at the end of the program, unless it is urgent to leave before.
- Maintain peace, and do not move about. Have respect and pay attention to what is going on, and participate as necessary.
3 Leave your ego outside the door. Humility is essential in a religious life. When you are leaving, make sure that your ego does not jump back into your heart.
- It is not enough to bow down at the altar, at the Murtis and the Guru Granth Saheb. You need to have love and devotion in the heart.
- Always treat your seniors, religious people and guests with respect and honor. Do not let your ego, even unconsciously, put you ahead of them.
- When serving food or other items, always serve the holy people, seniors and guests first before serving yourself. This will show your humility and patience.
- Always wash your hands before handling or eating food. It is a good habit for hygiene and health. Medically, it is known that washing the hands helps prevent the spread of disease.
- When serving food do not let your serving spoon touch the plate, especially if one is eating from it.
- When serving yourself in a buffet lineup, do not start eating while you are still serving yourself. It is bad manners and is not hygienic.
- When sharing prasad, wash your hands first, or use a spoon to maintain cleanliness of the blessed item.
- Make offerings to temples, ashrams, service organizations and other nonprofit groups that help to promote human welfare.
- Practice cleanliness of your clothes, body, mind, home, environment and places of worship. You have heard it said that cleanliness in next to Godliness.
- Conserve natural resources, energy, food, water and other useful items. Do not be wasteful. There is a great deal of wastage of these items in the developed countries.
- Spend some time in reading and study to gain knowledge and wisdom that will improve your life. Thirty minutes of meditation in the morning is a great spiritual practice.
- Practice nonviolence in thoughts, words and deeds. Have reverence for life. Violence has not place in a spiritual life.
- Have love for one another and for all of God’s creation.
- Let your karmas be noble. Life is like a school. We will need to graduate and obtain a “spiritual certificate” before we leave this world.
This article is meant to remind all of us that we must be vigilant in our religious and spiritual life, and not make it a hollow show of devotion.
Dr. Jagessar Das
Etiquette, temple, church, worship, spiritual, religion
Previously, matter and energy were discussed briefly, and spirit was mentioned. Actually, spirit is the basis of all existence in the universe. Spirit has no form, location, dimension or any other measurable property, yet it is the greatest force in the universe. And since energy is involved in every ‘activity’ or motion in the universe, we can say that spirit is the basis for the manifestation of all other forms of energy. In this part we will discuss spirit manifesting in us, and try to understand how it can be used to overcome tragedies affecting the world
In order to understand the problems of the world, it is necessary to understand the human being. How does a person understand himself and his relationship to others? Is he merely a physical being that possesses a mind, emotions and intellect, or is he, perhaps, a spiritual being, possessing these attributes? Ordinarily, we see people as individuals with their individual personalities, likes and dislikes, motivations, aspirations, behavior and so forth, and accept them at that level. We do not see people at the deeper level, that they are spirit. Is it not valid to say that we are spirit that possesses the body, mind, emotions and intellect? If we look at people as spiritual beings, then we would realize that this spirit is of the same essence in all of them. We can say that the spirit of God dwells in all beings. This allows us to see our brotherhood in all. But in order to understand the spirit we need to examine our sense of ‘being’.
In every person, there is a sense of being, a sense of awareness of the self. A person instinctively knows that he ‘is’ and that he ‘exists.’ This knowledge manifests in two ways: #1 – the physical, external and superficial awareness of the self as the body with a form, a name, a race, and a gender, and other external characteristics, and #2 – the spiritual, internal and deep sense of awareness of the self that cannot be defined by any external characteristics. The first is common knowledge to all humans, and people will describe themselves with the external, physical characteristics. If someone is asked: “Who are you?” the person will most likely respond by giving his name, or his profession, or his relationship to a significant person. This is how he observes himself, and also how others observe him. He fits into a label that has been fostered by himself, his family, society and religion. For nearly all practical purposes, this definition of a person is adequate, and places him in a context, which he, himself, and others readily perceive and understand. However, this definition does not persist under all circumstances, as we shall see.
If the knowledge of the self were dependent on the physical being, then this knowledge should change with changes in the physical being. In childhood, there is a total awareness of being, and this same awareness persists throughout growth into adulthood, old age and even up to the time of death. The knowledge of being or existence remains constant, though the body has undergone significant changes. Another example: A person weighs 150 lbs and has an awareness of his being. He now gains 150 lbs and weighs 300 lbs. His awareness of being still remains the same. Now if he loses 100 lbs his knowledge of being still remains the same. It did not double with doubling the weight, nor did it decrease by reducing the weight. We can see then that the self does not depend on the physical aspects of a person. There must then be another attribute by which to understand a person’s being. This is where the second or spiritual attribute enters.
There is an underlying basis by which the self becomes aware of being. This basis is non-physical but spiritual in nature. This attribute is called the spirit, or the soul or the Divine Spark that gives life. It is on the basis of this that a person has his physical existence, and is described by external characteristics. In spiritual life, we need to understand the immanent, self-existent soul that is connected with Infinite Being i.e. God. It is this connection with God that is the same for all people, though agnostics and atheists may not agree. This realization confers brotherhood, harmony, love, peace and unity.
Now, returning to the problems of the world, if people can see the basic unity of the self as spirit that is the same in all beings, then people will see themselves ‘reflected’ in other beings. It is like looking into a mirror and seeing the reflection of your physical self. Spiritual knowledge will allow the spirit to be reflected from and in each living being
Some people may argue that a spiritual life like this is not practical, and that the physical is the practical way. If we look throughout history, we would find that the purely physical has not brought about the desired state that we would like. We also know instinctively that if we live the spiritual life, then the world will certainly be a much better place. Dedicated spiritual people have achieved a great deal of peace, love and harmony, and they have shared these with other people. If all people would develop the same attributes as spiritual people, then we can indeed have a better world. All the current violent problems externally, and the problems internally, will definitely decrease or be abolished. We would then begin to understand and live according to the teaching of the masters.
Dr. Jagessar Das
Masters, Awareness, Spirit, Knowledge of Being
This is the season of Love, Joy, Compassion and Giving. A New Year is a few days away. Let us show love and compassion for all of God’s creatures!
AN ANIMAL’S PLEA
I am an innocent animal,
And “Any Animal” is my name.
My life is simple and natural,
And I have no guile or sophistication.
I endure rain, drought, cold and heat,
And try to be as safe as I can.
I have no weapons to defend myself,
And I try to protect myself and young,
With all my effort as best as I can.
Life is not easy for me,
As constantly I must be on guard,
Lest a more powerful animal
Should catch and devour me.
Yet, I am content to live,
By the instincts inborn in me,
Just as my comrades do around me.
Nature’s law is to live and preserve life,
But sometimes I’m prey to another animal,
And become its source of food.
Then there are times when I’m a predator,
And fill my stomach with another’s flesh.
I never do this for sport or fun,
Because God made me this way,
And I’m helpless, and cannot change.
When injured, I hurt and bleed,
And try to escape if I can.
But when attacked by humans,
I feel cruelly and unjustly hurt,
And see no sure way of escape.
My young and I cry for each other,
And unwillingly, I must give up life,
Not understanding why life is ebbing away.
When I’m docile as cattle and sheep,
As goat, pig, poultry and fish,
I’m grown for slaughter and profit,
And my life is not mine, sad to say.
I endure the bullet, the knife and saw,
And I feel the steel hook tearing my jaw.
My stuffed hide adorns homes and museums,
Or I’m put on display in a zoo.
I hang on racks displayed as meat,
As busy hands with cruel weapons,
Carve me up to satisfy people’s appetite.
My life is dear to me; I struggle to live,
Even as humans, lacking compassion for me, do.
Let’s be fair, for fairness you ask for yourself.
If you want to eat me, as you have planned,
Then catch me with your bare hands,
While I’m free, not captive in a barrier.
Human’s crime’s the greater,
For I remain innocent of my lot,
While life is snuffed out of me,
And deprives me of my natural destiny.
Man is not meant for eating flesh.
He recoils if I bleed in his mouth,
As raw flesh is not appetizing to him.
The abattoir is a place of blood letting,
Staffed by humans devoid of love and compassion.
While I’m helpless they make my flood flow,
And all my brothers, sisters, cousins and friends,
Fall under their torturous unfeeling sway.
At birth I felt happy and playful as any young,
Innocent of my future cruel fate.
I truly want to live as all living beings do,
As life is precious to me as it is to you.
I entreat all those with power,
To protect, and not destroy me.
The powerful must protect the weak,
Especially who can’t speak in self defense.
Let your heart be moved with compassionate love,
For innocent creatures like me, and my animal family!
Dr. Jagessar Das
What are we to learn from our transient life? There is birth, growth, decline and death. We can plot it on a graph. We start at birth, lets say at zero age, and we grow into adulthood, reach a peak, perhaps in the twenties, and then our life begins to decline. There is an upward slope and then a downward slope until the end of our life. No body can stop that. It is the law of nature. Every birth must be followed by a death. This does not apply only to human beings, but to every living being, including mosquitoes, worms and trees. They will all grow to a peak and then gradually decline, decay and die.
The world is in transition. We are all in transition. Being in this transition, we have to achieve certain things. We know from our common sense, and from the teachings of all the scriptures, what we ought to be doing. We ought to be good human beings; be good to ourselves and to others; be humble, kind, loving, generous, and do good for all the people, and do not think in a selfish way of ourselves.
The late President Kennedy gave us a very powerful thought: “Ask not what America can do for you; ask what you can do for America.” It is not asking what God can do for you; it is asking what you can do for God. God has given us life and placed us in this world, so what are we going to do to thank God for the gift of life? But having this beautiful gift of life, we spoil it with our desires, passions, greed, ego, etc. These are the things that are destroying us. Kabir Saheb sang in one of his bhajans, “jhini jhini jhini bini chadariya…. God has made this body very delicately using the five elements, and the spinning wheel of the chakras. He made it in nine months and brought it forth. But foolish people do not know its secret and soil it through their life.” So it is incumbent on us to keep our life pure if we are to reap spiritual benefits.
When we realize that there is death, it must be an instruction to us that we are also heading that way, and we do not know when it is going to happen. Kabir Saheb said that we do not know if death will strike us at home or in some foreign land. So let us take stock of ourselves. Examine our priorities, attitudes, behavior, desires, hang-ups, value systems and inclinations. Just examine them and see if we can be better tomorrow than we are today. If we can be better tomorrow than we are today, in terms of behavior, growth, understanding, and wisdom then, indeed, we are growing towards God. If not, then we are either stagnant or going backwards. I am sure that life is meant for unfoldment, not for stagnation or regression. Furthermore it is meant for enlightenment. So let us seek to follow the path of life to enlightenment.
Dr. Jagessar Das
Life, death, transition, President Kennedy, Kabir Saheb, bhajan, God
RELIGIOUS CONVERSIONS: SPIRITUALLY MISGUIDED
Religious conversions have been going on for about 2000 years, and in nearly all parts of the world. Generally, it has been the adherents of one religion converting people of another religion to beliefs and practices of their own religion. It also includes people who have had no religion and are converted to follow the religion of the converter. Since religion plays a great role in the lives of most people, it is important to examine the reason and why it is taking place.
According to Webster’s dictionary, conversion is a converting or being converted: a change from lack of faith towards religious belief; adoption of a religion; a change from one belief, religion, doctrine, opinion etc. to another. From this definition, it would appear that a person initiates the process of conversion by himself. This would mean that there has been no undue influence, promise, allurement or instigation. In practice, however, it is usually the other way around, when adherents from one religion convert people of another to their own.
Let us examine some of the factors that are operational. Harold Rosen, an interfaith educator, has summarized that there are four categories of attitudes towards the religions of all others: No.1. Exclusivity – My religion is the only true one. No. 2. Inclusivity – my religion contains the truths of all others. No. 3. Plurality – each religion has its own respectable truths and values. No. 4. Progressive Unity – all religions have One Source, and will progressively converge.
From the above four definitions, it becomes clear that only the first two are involved in propagating conversions. Since God is Universal Being, and equally available to all religions, no religion has the exclusive rights to the truths. Religious founders have taught fundamental truths that are basic to all religions, even if the wordings are different. We need to remember that teachers of humanity have come at different times, in different locations, using different languages, and had to use metaphors applicable to their particular circumstances. This does not negate the fact that the truth is fundamentally one. The very word religion derives from the Latin re-ligare which means to reunite. In a spiritual sense, it means to reunite the soul with God. This is the essential unity, and truth, and all the scriptures, doctrines, dogmas and rituals are only corollaries to this truth. Therefore, both exclusivity and inclusivity cannot hold the absolute truth.
The third factor of plurality is more in keeping with Spirituality. However, the problem arises that adherents of each religion will have different ideas and practices relating to truths and values. Since spiritual truths are the same, having the same source in Divinity, plurality will miss the point. There can never be harmony.
Progressive unity which holds that all religions have One Source is definitely true. The source is God. God is one. The spirit is one. The universe in which God manifests is one. The consciousness of God is one. The energy of God is one. The intelligence of God is one. Thus, there is enough reason to believe that all religions have One Source.
Religious people have different reasons for wanting to convert others. They may feel a sense of superiority of their religion, or seek to increase their adherents, or satisfy a religious ego, or wanting to “save” others. Usually it is the more educated and economically advantaged who seek to convert the uneducated and materially disadvantaged people. The latter will often convert in order to improve their circumstances. In doing so they often suffer family breakups and isolation from their own communities. Life may become more difficult for them.
Since God is not partial to any one religion, it is not the spiritual thing to do to convert others. Definitely broadcast the teachings, as all the teachers of humanity have done, and let the spiritual seeds fall on whatever fertile heart is ready to receive them. It is important for us to recognize the generic Divinity in the hearts of all, and have love for all.
Dr. Jagessar Das
Kabir Association of Canada
Religious conversion, Interfaith, Religious adherents, God, Universal Being
TEACHING OF THE MASTERS # 3
In the previous articles we have discussed the concepts of omnipresence, infinity, duality the possible “gender” of God, and our place in this infinite universe. We would need to return to these from time to time in future discussions according to how the subjects unfold. We need to be aware from the very beginning that we are using words to try to understand and define concepts and attributes that transcend words of any language. Words are symbols to represent sounds that form words. Words as words have no inherent meanings. They symbolize things, ideas, concepts, feelings and other attributes. But our understanding of all of these depends on our exposure to them before, so that we have a memory of the “things” or concepts that the words symbolize. The word “apple” has no meaning until we associate it with the fruit. So according to the number of words and ideas a person has, we would roughly determine his level of education.
From the above we see that a person’s education may be tied to his exposure to symbols (words) over time. But there is another type of knowledge that does not depend on words. In fact words cannot describe it. Take for example “love”. We all “know” what love is, but can we make someone understand or feel love if we use words to explain it? Can we make someone experience the sweet taste of sugar by describing it to him? Thus, some types of knowledge are intuitive, and come from within, and must be experienced personally to become knowledge for that person. To explain this point Guru Kabir said that if you repeat “God” “God” “God”, and you would get to God, then repeating “sugar” “sugar” “sugar” would make your mouth sweet, and repeating “food” “food” “food” would fill your stomach.
The point being made here is that to delve into spirituality we need to use words in the scriptures as instructions, guides, encouragement, yearning for Self-realization, and for developing faith, devotion and dedication. Scriptures would help to the extent that we develop and purify ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually. Once we practice these disciplines and are “elevated” to a certain degree, then we begin to develop an inner or intuitive knowledge of our real Self as spirit that is divine. It is this inner knowledge that gives us enlightenment, and frees us from passions of ego, greed, lust, anger, attachments, envy, hate, violence and worldly, material bondage, and confers freedom on us. This is the goal that our spiritual masters have come in the world to teach us. Are we ready to accept and practice the teachings? Let us truthfully and honestly answer this question for ourselves, and develop and awareness of where we are, what we have to do, and where we have to reach.
The above explanation of the use of words is to lay the foundation for future discussions of the soul, God, spirit, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, eternity, infinity, creation, and similar topics that are likely to arise in pursuing the subject “Teaching of the Masters”.
In the universe there are two obvious forms of manifestation as matter and energy. Science tells us that matter cannot be created or destroyed, but can only be changed from one form to another. Also, energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can only be changed from one form to another. They both exist in eternity and infinity, though scientists estimate that the universe is about 13.8 billion years old, and that it is ever expanding. Matter and energy are co-existent and depend on each other for manifesting their nature. There cannot be any sunlight without the sun (matter) or magnetism without the iron. There can be no matter without energy as in the atoms. The atomic bomb illustrates this principle. There is a “strong force” that holds the subatomic particles in the nucleus of each atom. Thus, the whole universe manifests as different combinations and permutations of energy and matter.
Science tells us that the universe started as a “Big Bang” about 13.8 years ago with such a tremendous force that it is still expanding. We would leave out the theory of “dark energy – dark matter” that is thought to keep the universe expanding. The thing that went “Bang” is called the “Singularity” of very dense matter so that it contained all the matter that is now in the infinite universe. But from where did this “Singularity” come into being, and what motivated it to explode. Science does not have an answer. But the universe is here. And as far as science can tell us, and masters instruct us, the universe is infinite and eternal. Every particle in the universe, from the subatomic to the huge galaxies, is in constant motion, undergoing changes over huge periods of time, yet maintaining an overall harmony. Is there perhaps some form of intelligence involved in the functioning of the universe? We are all involved, so we should try to have some understanding of our place in the universe. Only then can we understand the teaching of the Masters.
Dr. J. Das
Universe, Big Bang, God, Duality, Omnipresence, Energy, Matter
LET THIS CHRISTMAS USHER IN PEACE
Where is the elusive peace we seek?
Where should we search for it?
Can we find it in material things,
Or by retreating into solitude?
Can we not find it in the fullness of life,
Even as we perform our daily tasks?
Where is the “Peace that passesth understanding?”
Surely, the source lies deep within our being,
For peace is the nature of the soul.
Can the mind not be in harmony with the soul,
That is the source of its being?
But the mind is driven by ego,
And by passions and stubborn desires.
How can there be peace
When anger, hate and greed exist?
When lust and envy corrode our being,
And pride and vanity hold sway?
Aren’t these the seeds of violence,
Of unrest, anxiety and stress?
Is it any wonder that peace is elusive,
Robbing human nature of its serenity?
There is a depth in our being,
Where abundant peace resides.
We must dive into our inner selves,
Where the fountain of peace beckons.
It will fill our troubled hearts,
If we make ourselves truly receptive.
So let us quickly go the source,
And usher peace into our troubled hearts.
Dr. Jagessar Das