LOVE

L O V E

“Love one another even as I have loved you,”

Taught Jesus to disciples and all people too.

His teaching is utterly simple but profound,

And to which all people should be morally bound.

Yet what do we see in humanity’s conduct,

Where humanity’s missing and passions corrupt?

’tis not the way for homo sapiens to be,

Which is clearly evident for people to see.

“Where love is there God is” is a maxim well known,

And when love’s absent God’s absent too, can be shown.

For the heart, devoid of love, for God has no place,

And sweet sentiments in it show no trace.

“Love of life” we all cherish without a doubt,

But our actions show that we’re not truly devout.

Killing of man and beast is widespread all around,

And anger, hate, greed and vanity abound.

How can love, divine love, in our hearts manifest,

When those of other race, creed or faith we detest?

When animals, the innocent creatures of God,

We kill with poison, gun, snare or fishing rod?

“God is Love”, we all faithfully and glibly say,

But our behaviour is one of great dismay.

Sweet Love, nectar of life, from our hearts should flow,

To God, man, beast and all nature with joyful glow.

Only then will the Lord’s teaching have meaning,

Which ennobles character without demeaning.

Let us put truth and sincerity in our heart,

And from true spiritual teachings not depart.

It’s easy for selfish ends to do as we please,

But from action’s strong bonds we will not find release.

In suffering and despair we’ll live day to day,

Until, pure in heart, we live in God’s loving way.

 

Dr. J. Das

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VEGETARIANISM, HEALTH AND SPIRITUALITY Cont’d

Deviji Speaking:

As you have raised the question of third world countries, Rachna, I would like to point out that many of the food shortages and improper diet of the third world people can be relieved, if the land were properly used to grow food for the hungry people of the world. It has been estimated that it takes three acres of land to support one meat-eating person, whereas it takes only half an acre to support a vegetarian. This means that five-sixths of the land now used for cattle could be used for growing food, and supplying it to the drought stricken, starving and hungry people of the world. All would remain healthier, and they will be well fed. You know that the world population is increasing. Land is not increasing. A time will likely come when the world will not be able to sustain its population. That is when extra land will need to be freed up for feeding the people. A vegetarian life-style will obviously make a great deal of sense.

Just think of it! It takes about fifteen pounds of grain that is fed to cattle to produce one pound of meat. How many people can live on one pound of meat, compared to the number who can live on fifteen pounds of grain? In economics, this is called the ‘law of diminishing returns’, because the amount of resources used, produces a greatly diminished amount in return. This is not a sensible way to use natural resources. People in business will immediately see that they cannot survive with this type of practice. I think that people, especially those with all the regulative powers, should pay attention to this fact, and use the world’s resources more economically.

Over use of nature’s bounty leads to suffering. Look at what is happening to the fishing industry in eastern Canada. The Grand Banks off the coast Newfoundland of was the most productive fishing area in the world. Due to over fishing, there is hardly any fishes for the people to catch. Now the people of that area have no jobs. This is due to mismanagement. This is not to say that we support fishing, but it is only an example of the misuse of what nature provided. Just think about the life of chickens. There was a documentary some time ago on the television that showed that when the eggs are hatched, the male chicks are thrown alive in a garbage can. The female chicks that are intended for laying eggs are given an injection of antibiotic. These are then raised and kept in small cubicles with no freedom of movement. They become egg-laying machines. The egg drops into a conveyer belt and is carried away for packaging. Similarly, the feed is brought on a conveyer belt, and the chicks eat by poking their heads through the cage wires. Their natural lives are shortened, and when they are not productive, they are slaughtered for food.

In transportation to the poultry processing plants, chickens are confined to small cages stacked one on top of another to fill a huge, open transport truck. At high speed, and especially in cold weather, the wind blowing on these chickens are indeed very strong. Many of them die on the journey.

Think about the millions upon millions of turkeys that are slaughtered for Christmas and thanksgiving. What a contradiction! On the one hand the turkeys are slaughtered, and on the other hand people are offering thanks to God. Will God accept thanks when people kill innocent creatures? Guru Kabir said: “Here they spill blood and there they offer prayers. Can God be happy?”

As you can see, girls, meat eating is not the best way to use God’s natural resources. It will be well for people to pay more attention to lifestyles. Over all, by following a vegetarian life-style, people will be more compassionate, as there will not be so much killing by the billions all over the world, for the sake of satisfying the appetite. The appetite can very well be satisfied with vegetarian foods.”

(Note: I am vegan)

Dr. Jagessar Das

www.kabir.ca

Vegetarian, Cattle, Natural resources, Health, Diminishing returns, Hunger

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TEACHING OF THE MASTERS #2

Teaching of the Masters #2             

People intuitively believe in a Supreme Being whom they call by different names. The named Being is the same in spite of ‘labels’ applied to It or to Him or to Her. Anything that can be named must have a finite existence in time and space, and must be cognizable by the senses. It has to exist in a duality in which the one who thinks he cognizes the other, and this other – the Supreme – must be outside of him. This state of affairs nullifies the omnipresence of the Supreme. Has any one talking of the Supreme known It (Him, Her) by the use of the sense organs? How then can the Supreme Being be named and described in various ways? Sooner or later we have to ask ourselves these questions, and try to find adequate answers so that we can direct our spiritual energies in the proper direction to reach a certain goal towards which we feel we are heading. If we do not, then we would be tossed about by the vicissitudes of life, and not find a safe mooring, and our energies would have been spent and our days ended unfulfilled.

There are several topics we need to deal with as raised in the above paragraph. Let us consider omnipresence of the Supreme – God. Simply stated, God is everywhere. This “everywhere” does not mean the earth alone that is no more than an invisible speck in the Milky Way galaxy that consists of billions of stars, and our sun is only one of them – and its only a medium sized one. Outside of our Milky Way galaxy there are billions of other galaxies in an expanding and infinite universe. So where do we place God? Omnipresence means “everywhere at the same time”. What sort of a Being can have this attribute? This is a question we need to consider if we wish to follow a meaningful religious or spiritual life.

This omnipresent Being is also eternal as It is infinite. What is meant by “eternal”? Does It have a beginning or will It have an end? There is no beginning or end of the Supreme. The masters have explained that God is beyond time and space, and beyond names and forms. So what name and what form do we give to God? And every religion has its chosen name or names for God. Does the name any religious system gives to God the proper name? Can we name the un-namable? So it is clear that the names we give to God are for our convenience in communicating with one another of the same belief system, and no more. If we can name that which we cannot perceive with our senses, and which is un-namable, then God is no more God. So where are we to go from here?

Another question is the gender of God. In nearly all scriptures, writings and discussions God is referred to as “Him”. Who figured out that God is male? In calling God by a male designation, we are unconsciously urged to do so by identifying with the human male. So what about the human female? Does she not have an equal representation in the name of the Supreme? Can God be a male or a female and still be omnipresent and eternal? Male and female represent limitations. Can we limit the infinite and eternal? Are we perhaps confusing ourselves, and not taking the trouble or initiative to un-confuse us? We need to ponder on this issue if we are to be on the proper path to reach the nebulous goal, which we feel we are going to reach.

If we think that God is neither he nor she, as we have been trying to understand, then perhaps we can say God is “It”. “It” would indicate a neuter gender, and would be more in keeping with a Force or Energy or Universal Intelligence or Consciousness. We are familiar with the terms “Cosmic Consciousness” Cosmic Intelligence” Cosmic Being” and so forth. Would this not better fit the definition of omnipresence, infinity and eternity, and not yet mentioned omnipotence, and free us from calling God a male or perhaps a female, and impose limitations on It? We have to come to grips with this question also if we are to see our way clear to reach our spiritual goal.

Now let us consider the concept of duality. Duality indicates that there is an observer and something outside of him that he observes. It is the “pair of opposites” we are familiar with such as “me and you”, “here and there”, “good and bad” and so forth. In all religions people speak of God as being elsewhere, and they direct their prayers to “Him” who is in heaven above, or in Swarga or Satlok. At the same time people also say God is everywhere. This is contradictory, and denies God’s omnipresence. How can we reconcile these contradictions so that we are clear in our minds that we are following the proper path to our spiritual goal? Yet, as spiritual beings, we must reconcile them, for there is a uni-versal “Unity” in which we exist. Only when we have a satisfactory answer to these can we have an intuitive knowledge of our integrative relationship with God whose omnipresence unites all of us.

 Dr. Jagessar Das

Kabir Association of Canada

Twitter: @jagessar das

God, Universal Energy, Consciousness, heaven, Omnipresence, Name of God

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VEGETARIANISM, HEALTH AND SPIRITUALITY Cont’d

Deviji speaking:

Let us discuss the raising of animals for meat. Animals, especially beef cattle, require large amounts of land for grazing. It is estimated that twenty acres of forests are destroyed every minute in the world, and most of this is for raising cattle for meat. Much of this forest destruction is occurring in Brazil, South America. When forests are destroyed, the plant material is usually burned, and this produces a great deal of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide increases the green house effect, thus increasing the temperature of the earth. The treeless land is then subject to erosion, which washes out millions of tons of earth into the rivers and oceans. The nutrition from the earth is washed away, and landslides also occur in areas of deforestation.

In addition to the loss of forests, many animal and plant species are destroyed in the process. Some of these species are becoming extinct, and man will never know of the benefits to be derived from the vanishing plants and animals. Hundreds of species and, perhaps thousands of plants and animals, are disappearing from the earth every year. Future generations will have no way of experiencing the present eco-system, as we know it.

Trees and plants transport a large amount of water from the earth to the atmosphere, through the process of respiration. This water returns to earth as rainfall. When the forests are destroyed, the rainfall pattern is also disturbed which affects the general water balance between the earth and the atmosphere. This will have effects on rivers and streams.

Cattle raising, because of its large use of water for cultivating grass and grain, and for feeding cattle, causes depletion of the water table in intensive farming areas. The cattle industry is also responsible for pollution of nearby rivers and lakes, from all the waste products produced. A famous example is the pollution of Lake Okeechobee, in Florida, from all the surrounding cattle rearing industry. Cattle also produce large amounts of methane gas, which goes into the atmosphere. Along with carbon dioxide, it helps to increase the green house effect, thus increasing the warming trend of the earth.

From the point of view of damage to forests and land surface alone, it is important for all people to consider the destructive nature of the meat industry. People need to consider conservation of nature, rather than exploitation. Being a vegetarian will certainly go a long way, in helping to conserve nature”.

Rachna: “But Deviji! You are talking about ecology and protecting nature. It is known that most people in the world are not mindful of nature and ecology. In all the third world countries people are very busy trying to earn a living, and ecology is the farthest thing from their minds.”

Deviji: “What you are saying is true, Rachna. In all the third world countries people tend to be poor, and they are struggling to earn a livelihood. But at the same time you will note that the destruction of ecological systems is not caused so much by the poor people of the third world countries. It is caused by the developed countries that support all kinds of industries causing pollution, and environmental damage. They use most of the world’s natural resources. They also consume most of the meat produced in the world. That is why it is important to discuss ecology, even if the third world countries are not contributing a great deal to ecological problems.

Dr. Jagessar Das

Vegetarianism, Health, Spirituality, Ecology, Environmental pollution

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TEACHING OF THE MASTERS #1

Throughout the ages people have felt the need to believe in a Supreme Being or Power or God. They feel that life and all of nature are a mystery and cannot be understood by our rationality. Science has given us many answers about the physical aspects of the world, and is probing into the universe. But science has not answered the basic human urge to know or understand who we truly are, if we remove our labels of name, race, caste, culture, religion and professions. Once these are removed we do not have an identity, and cannot properly relate to others in a meaningful way. Yet we do exist. So who are we? It is to find answers to this and related questions that people have the need to turn to a Supreme Power that holds the secret of the universe with all of us in it.

Our senses are limited and our eyes can perceive only a small band of visible light in the huge electromagnetic spectrum. We cannot see beyond ultra-violet and infrared wavelengths, yet a large spectrum of wavelengths are on either side of visible light. The same limitation holds for the other sense organs. So how do we get knowledge of attributes such as the soul, the mind, God, Spirit, Self, Maya, Life Force, liberation, bondage, and similar questions relating to life and the cosmos? It is difficult or impossible for us to teach ourselves so that we can truly understand Reality in which everything else exists. But there is an inner unexpressed need to understand more of ourselves, and the world and the universe. Ultimately, we have a need to know God. To fill this need to know ourselves and have some inkling of what God is, spiritual masters have come in our midst over the ages to enlighten us.

We are made up of the body, mind, intellect and soul. The body is made up entirely of earthly material. From conception, the embryo takes up substances from the food and drink of the mother. The food and drink are of the earth. The embryo grows to the fetus, then to the newborn, all the time taking in earthly material. During the rest of life for growth and maintenance of the body, a person ingests things produced from the earth. At death the body returns to earth. Another being takes up the materials the same way, so there is a continuous recycling of earthly matter in all beings. So the body is not reality. The mind is both conscious and subconscious as is commonly known. The conscious mind functions from moment to moment and not continuously. The subconscious mind functions mostly as storage for memory, feelings, attitudes, hang-ups, and other personality traits. But the mind can be put to rest by a hypnotist, or in dreamless sleep, in coma or under surgical anesthesia. Can the mind then be said to have reality? The same can be said of the intellect which cannot function under these circumstances. Both the mind and intellect can go haywire by the ego, and passions of anger, greed, lust and so forth. What then is the basis for our dear life and all of its attributes – both positive and negative? Do we deserve to seek further knowledge, or are we content to drift along the river of life, facing stresses, depressions, anxieties, violence, frustrations and all the other problems we are familiar with? Is there any way of understanding life so that we can enjoy love, peace, harmony, brotherhood, self-empowerment, and other positive attributes?

Answers to these pertinent questions are available if we truly seek. We need to find the basis or the “ground” on which existence depends, and how we can “adjust’ our thinking and understanding to make our life sublime. We need to free the mind from accumulated static dogmas, doctrines and practices, and be open to the Universal Spirit that has no boundaries.

 

Dr. Jagessar Das

https://www.facebook.com/JagessarDas

Supreme Power, Mind, Consciousness, Intellect, Electromagnetic Spectrum

 

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TOLERANCE OR ACCEPTANCE

People all over the world talk about tolerance, such as racial tolerance, religious tolerance or cultural tolerance, when they have to live in a society made up of people of different backgrounds. And this tolerance is often thought of as being a virtue. Let us try to understand what tolerance really means.

If you try to think clearly about what tolerance means, you will understand that it means to tolerate something or someone that is different, and with whom you cannot identify yourself. It means that you are not ready to accept that difference whether it is racial, religious or cultural. It means that you may “put up” with that difference. Thus, to tolerate something connotes a negative tendency, and it cannot be thought of as a virtue, if you tolerate another race, religion or culture. To tolerate something connotes an idea such as: “as far as I am concerned, it is all right if you cease to exist”, or “I hate you but I will tolerate you”, or “you are no good, but I will tolerate you”. So you tolerate something because you think that it is better to tolerate than to create enmity. It also could reflect the idea that to practice intolerance can get you into a great deal of trouble.

No society is entirely homogeneous, even if its members belong to the same race, religion or culture. Members of the same religion often divide themselves into different denominations, and often hold different cultural and religious values. Homogeneity in value systems is not a characteristic of any one society. Many people of the same society can express opposite ideas over any given situation. Thus to talk about tolerance, in terms of race, religion or culture, is not appropriate.

On the other hand, instead of tolerance, if people practice acceptance, then they will be pursuing a positive goal. To accept a different race, religion or culture is definitely a positive state, based on love, understanding, compassion, sharing and brotherhood. These values are taught in all the religions, and it is thus important for us to accept others, instead of merely tolerating them. To accept a different race, religion or culture obviously does not mean that you have to change anything except your attitude, biases and prejudices. In acceptance, we welcome the differences, because these are all the handiwork of God. People cannot do much about their race. Their culture differs because of their geographical location, history, religion, language, etc. Differences are a part of nature and God’s plan. If God wanted homogeneity, then all people would be exactly the same, as will all the flowers, and all the animals, and all the insects. It will then certainly be a very monotonous world. Such monotony, among people, can best be reflected by a whole population of robots, all looking alike, and doing the same thing. Such is not God’s plan, for in His wisdom, He has chosen to create the differences.

Certainly, there are things in society that we must not accept. Crime, violence of any type, hate, drug and alcohol abuse, stealing and cheating, are some things that we should not, as a society, accept. But the context in which I am discussing tolerance, deals with people in terms of race, religion and culture. And all religions and cultures are intolerant to the same type of evil deeds that bring suffering to individuals, and to society.

If we look at humanity, in general, we would see that we all must share the same earth and its resources. We all breathe the same air. We all need food, water, clothing and shelter. We all need the sunshine. Our bodies function in the same way, irrespective of racial differences. We all have the same basic needs. We are all destined to grow old and die. So while we have this precious gift of life, let us live nobly. Do not stain your life with prejudices or a sense of superiority! I remember a quotation stating that prejudice is a great time saver. It allows you to jump to conclusions without bothering with the facts.

When we look at life spiritually, then intolerance is due to ignorance. We have failed to see the reality that is manifesting in the hearts of all. Kabir said that the same Divine Light created all of us. Who then is superior and who is inferior? Again he said that he is in the marketplace of the world and wishes the welfare of all. He sees no one as friend or enemy.

For God there is no friend or enemy. Let us lift our spirit up to God and give up petty intolerances. Let us all, therefore, live according to God’s will in mutual acceptance, and in love and brotherhood.

Dr. Jagessar Das

Tolerance, Acceptance, Monotony, Population of robots,

 

 

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Vegetarianism, Health and Spirituality

Vegetarianism, Health and Spirituality Cont’d

Research conducted at Loma Linda University in California, in the past, has shown that the Seventh Day Adventists, who are generally vegetarians, live a healthier life. They live an average of seven years longer than the meat eaters. This in itself is a strong argument why people need to give up meat eating in order to preserve their health and well-being

Perhaps you will like to know that wieners and hamburgers are popular fast foods among meat eaters. The wieners are sold in hot dogs, and both wiener and hamburger meats contain about 30% of animal fat. It is also interesting to note that all kinds of scrap meats including intestines and sometimes skin and bones and other animal tissues that cannot be sold as meat, are often ground up to make the wieners and hamburgers. Chemicals and preservatives are added to them or else they will appear very unappetizing. It is unfortunate that parents allow their children, or they themselves, to eat such “junk foods.” Once children have been raised on this type of food, then it produces a life long habit that works to their detriment.

As you can see, Rachna, your question is an appropriate one, and I wish that more people would pay attention to their health by following a balanced vegetarian diet. They will certainly increase their wellbeing, their lifespan and their vitality. In the process they will spare the lives of innocent creatures.”

Amrita: “Deviji! You have certainly described a great deal about vegetarianism and health. I am glad that I am a vegetarian, because I cannot bear to think that an animal has to be killed to provide me with food. Animals do have feelings and they show love, caring and nurturing, just as humans do. They only are not as intelligent as human beings. How about you, Rachna? What is your thought on meat as food?”

Rachna: “This whole subject is very interesting for me. I have always been a vegetarian, as my parents are vegetarians. Like you, I feel for the animals, and I will not like anyone of them to be killed, to provide food for me. Animals are cute, and God made them to live their lives, and to be a part of nature. Perhaps, we can ask Deviji to tell us more about meat eating versus vegetarianism, in terms of ecology.”

Deviji: “Certainly girls! I would be happy to talk about diet, in relationship to ecology First of all, you need to understand that ecology is a part of biology, and it deals with the relationships between living beings and the environment. As human beings, we share the environment with every other living thing. Any disturbance in the over all harmony, causes disturbance to all living things. In ecology, all living things are related to the land, water and the atmosphere, and with each other. This includes human beings. The space in which living things can survive is called the biosphere. This includes a certain depth under the ground that can support living organisms, to a certain height in the atmosphere, up to where living things can be found, either flying or floating with wind currents. Of course, most living things are on the surface of the earth, or in the oceans.

To be continued

Dr. Jagessar Das

Vegetarianism, health, Ecology, Biosphere, Seventh Day Adventists

Kabir Association

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DISCUSSION ON VEGETARIANISM

Cont’d discussion on vegetarianism:

As Rachna and Amrita engaged themselves in this interesting discussion, they were strolling along the garden paths. They were enjoying the beautiful sunshine and the fragrance of the flowers. They were in a happy mood, and felt fortunate that they have been able to learn so many things that will be of help to them as human beings to live in this complex and ever changing world.

Both Amrita and Rachna were interested in pursuing their discussion of vegetarianism. They noted that most people all over the world were not vegetarians. At the ashram everyone was a vegetarian, and small groups of people all over the world are vegetarians. Since they had read and heard about vegetarianism as a way of life, they were interested in understanding more about it. They thus called on Deviji to have her input into this discussion.

Rachna: “Deviji! Amrita and I have just being discussing about health in terms of a vegetarian life. We have concluded that a vegetarian obtains all his nutrition including vitamins, minerals and trace elements from a well-balanced vegetarian diet. What we would like to know are there other health benefits which a vegetarian life produces?”

Deviji: “The question you are asking, Rachna, about health in relationship to vegetarian diet is a very appropriate one. This subject is coming more and more in the forefront in various journals and researches. The medical profession is now becoming more aware that a vegetarian diet produces all the nutrition required in maintaining good health.

First of all, meat production has become a big business. The people in business are more interested in making profits rather than caring for the health of the consumers. Animals are thus injected with antibiotics and hormones in order to promote rapid growth. When calves are a few months old they are confined to feed lots in which they hardly have room to move. This is to ensure that they can be without the risk of losing weight and fat by activity. This confinement produces more fatty tissues that are high in cholesterol. But it brings greater profits to the producers. The antibiotics that are in the meat are consumed by meat eaters as are the hormones. And this to some extent explains why people becomes allergic to certain antibiotics or that the antibiotics are not effective in treating certain infectious diseases.

In the slaughtering process the cattle are afraid by the way they are handled and herded through small cubicles and chutes to the slaughterhouses. This increases adrenalin that is a hormone from the adrenals produced during fear and stress. This hormone is also in the meat and people consume it. Meat is often treated with nitrites in order to give it its reddish colour to make it more appealing to the eye. Nitrites are known to produce cancer in some people.

Meat is a very high source of cholesterol and low source of fibre. The cholesterol is known to cause hardening of the arteries thus increasing the frequency of heart attacks and strokes. Hardening of the arteries also increases blood pressure. Since fats are also very high in calories, meat eaters tend to be more overweight than vegetarians. The increased weigh contributes to degenerative diseases such as arthritis and arteriosclerosis. It also increases the chances of developing diabetes and high blood pressure. Heart disease is the number one killer in all the developed countries, followed by cancer of various types. When people reduce their intake of saturated fats obtained from animal fats, their cholesterol levels decrease and so are their chances of hardening of the arteries.

Since meat has little or no fibre, it is thought to promote constipation because the intestines need bulk in order to function properly. Bulk is obtained from foods that are high in fibre such as whole grains, fruit and vegetables. Humans have long intestines compared to the meat-eating animals. Thus meat foods linger longer in the intestines and may account for the increase of intestinal cancers among meat eaters. The vegetarian diet that is high in fibres lowers blood cholesterol and reduces cancers of the intestines. It has also been shown that a high fat content in the diet increases breast cancer in women.

(To be continued)

Dr. Jagessar Das

Vegetarianism, Health, Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Hormone, Nitrites

 

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LIVE A SPIRITUAL LIFE

LIVE A SPIRITUAL LIFE:
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE – SEP 21

People are spiritual beings. 
Spiritual beings need to live spiritual lives.
In science people are called HOMO SAPIENS – WISE BEINGS. 
So let us all be spiritual and wise!

Spiritual people show a great deal of love and respect for others, especially if the others are older, religious, educators or service providers. Similarly, parents are loved and respected. They do not indulge in violence in thought, word or deed. This respect and love are due to the fact that spiritual people teach the equality of all in the Spirituality of God. They further teach that all people are born in the same way, drink their mother’s milk, and have the same basic needs of survival, food, shelter, clothing and human relationships. People have the same blood flowing in their bodies, and they are all made of flesh, skin, bones etc. So why should we all not accept one another and live as brothers and sisters accepting God as our parent? 

Throughout the ages, great spiritual teachers, saviours, prophets, saints and other enlightened people have laid great emphasis on love, brotherhood, kindness, charity, forgiveness, and acceptance of one another in spite of various religions, doctrines, dogmas, traditions and cultures. Among them Satguru Kabir spoke vehemently against the evils perpetrated by religious people. Being involved in un-spiritual deeds, people do not see the Spirit of God that dwells in every heart. People choose to ignore this basic fact that forms the core of Being, and fight over the chaff, thinking that they are protecting their cherished religious beliefs. What can the saints, saviours, prophets and Sat Gurus do when people’s hearts do not absorb the divine teachings imparted to them? The spiritual teachers have tried their best, teaching by example, parable, metaphor, miracle, analogy, persuasion, exhortation and explanation. They taught realization of the spiritual ideal of liberation from the transitory world of bondage in which the soul feels trapped. Ego, passions, selfishness, greed, and anger remain strong motivators of behavior. How can people of the world find a common ground in which peace, love, harmony, compassion and sharing become a part of daily life? 

Let us not make this life spiritually unrewarding for us and for others. Is there any logic in what is happening when innocent lives are lost on a daily basis because of violence? What will be achieved through such violence? People ought to put their religious beliefs in perspective, and live accordingly. What will the violent people achieve even if they pray to God? The sunlight of God’s love is shining brightly, but the man-made “fog” is keeping it at bay. And man is good at creating fog continuously! 

Let us take the luminous teachings of our scriptures, saints, prophets and Satgurus to heart, and spiritually enrich our lives. We are not creatures made to grope in the darkness of spiritual ignorance. We are human beings embodying the spirit of God, and made to live in the Light of God’s eternal love. Let us open our hearts to God’s divine love, and manifest it in our daily lives. Only then can we have a universally better world that so far has remained a dream.

Dr. J. Das
Kabir Association of Canada

UN Day of Peace, Spiritual, Scriptures, Homo-Sapiend, Satguru Kabir

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REMEMBERING MAHATMA GANDHI

REMEMBERING MAHATMA GANDHI

on his Jayanti October 2, annually

For Gandhiji, spinning their own cloth – khadhi – at home was employment for entire villages. This was not only a political decision, but also an economical one. He wanted people to be self-sufficient and to take pride in recreating the industry that was once a cottage industry. “Before the British advent, India spun and wove in millions of homes, but this industry was ruined by industrialization.” He was not against machinery, but against the use of machinery at the expense of millions of people. As we all know, industrialization is wealth concentrated in the hands of a few at the expense of the many. Beside the political and economic power, the wearing of khadi according to Gandhiji had a “transformative power” and that “through wearing it people could actually become more worthy.” We may ask ourselves how can this be applicable to today’s society? Most things today are done by mass production and by advanced technology. We live in the age of very sophisticated technology. Of course, this is good. But what has happened to us? We have lost certain skills and, instead, allowed technology to take charge of our lives. Gandhiji not only wanted us to be self-sufficient, but to take pride of our achievements.

Gandhiji’s simple attire of loincloth, wooden sandals, a bowl and a walking stick were the possessions of this politician cum saint. Once again I am reminded of another aspect of yoga – aparigraha (non-possession of material wealth) that inspired Gandjiji immensely. He kindled a re-awakening of the deeply rooted thoughts and ideas found in the ancient Indian system. By his actions one cannot deny the fact that he was a Karma Yogi. Gandhi was a very practical person and deeply religious, hence there was no place for superstitious beliefs. Instead, he wanted people to walk in his footsteps, rather than kiss his feet. At the end of a day his feet were full of scratches, because people would grab his feet as he walked. For them it was paying respects to him, to the point of seeing him as God. But Gandhiji said, “I have expressed my horror and strongest disapproval of this type of idolatry.” The illiterate behaved like this because they saw in Gandhiji the strength that will sustain them from the poverty of the world. But there is one instance when a lawyer traveling in the same train with Gandhiji fell out, head first. When he was picked up he was unhurt, and said that because he was in the train with Gandhiji he did not get hurt. Laughingly Gandhiji said, “Then you shouldn’t have fallen out at all.” 

Though people are more technologically advanced today, superstitions still play a part in their lives. Our contribution to Gandhiji is to reject superstitious beliefs and look at the practicality of life. This will enrich our lives.

We have seen the strength of the frail Gandjiji in many different ways. Just to mention a few – the Salt March, Champara village. After the Jallianwalla Bagh incident in Panjab and the deposing of the Turkish Sultan (Khilafat Movement), he returned the medals which he had received in South Africa, to the British Viceroy and said: “I can retain neither respect nor affection for a government which has been moving from wrong to wrong in order to defend its immortality.” Fasting for Gandhiji was his way of going inward for solutions to solve the Indian problem. How many of our leaders today would respond in this way to violence. Instead, we meet in the battlefield to settle our differences. Of course, he was accused of using fasting as a political blackmail. But for him he saw it as introspection to problem solving and gaining spiritual strength. Those of us who were born prior to 30th January 1948, can say that we lived on the same earth where Gandhiji walked and also breathed the same air. As Albert Einstein said, “Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth”.

I know we are remembering his birth, but birth and death are on both sides of the spectrum of life, therefore I would like to quote what the British Delegate at the UN Security Meeting said, “Gandhi was the friend of the poorest, the loneliest, and the lost.” Furthermore he stated that Gandhi’s “greatest achievements are still to come.”

The life of Mahatma Gandhi should serve as a beacon of light to guide humanity to a better world. He taught a lesson to all political leaders on how to work great social and political changes for the betterment of humanity in every walk of life. He said, “An India awakened and free has a message of peace and goodwill to give to a groaning world.” We can see his greatness expressed in his own words: “I have known no distinction between relatives and strangers, countrymen and foreigners, white and coloured, Hindus and Indians of other faiths, whether Musalmans, Parsis, Christians or Jews. I may say that my heart has been incapable of making any such distinctions.”

On this occasion of his jayanti, let us reminisce on the greatness of Gandhiji, the half naked fakir according to Winston Churchill. This fearless half naked fakir had the audacity to meet the king who commented on his attire, and Gandhiji told him that His Majesty had enough clothes on for both of them.

Urmila Das

Kabir Association of Canada

Gandhi, Mahatma, Spinning khadi, Half naked fakir

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