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About Mahashivarathri: Fritzof Kapra

Today is Mahashivarathri, which is celebrated all over India and in many parts of the world. On this occasion it is interesting to meditate on Lord Shiva in the author of the bestselling book “Tao of Physics”, Fritzof Kapra did, that inspired him to write that book. He wrote:

” Five years ago I had a beautiful experience which set me on a road that has led to the writing of this book. I was sitting by the ocean one late summer afternoon, watching the waves rolling in and feeling the rhythm of my breathing when I suddenly became aware of the whole environment as being engaged in gigantic cosmic dance. Being a physicist, I know that the sand, rocks, water and air around me were made of vibrating molecules and atoms and that these constituted of particles which interacted with one another by creating and destroying other particles. I knew also that the earth’s atmosphere was continually bombarded by shower of ‘Cosmic ray’ particles of high energy undergoing multiple collisions as they penetrated the air. All this was familiar to me from my research on high energy physics but until that moment I had only experienced through graphs, diagrams and mathematical theories. As I sat on that beach, my former experience came to the life; I ‘saw’ cascades of energy coming down from outer space in which particles were created and destroyed in rhythmic pulses; I ‘saw’ the atoms of the elements and those of my body participating in the cosmic dance of energy; I felt its rhythm and I ‘heard’ its Sound, and at that moment I knew that this was the ‘Dance of Shiva’, the Lord of dancers worshipped by the Hindus”.

I pray that many more people have the divine grace of Lord Shiva by which such experiences are granted to Truth seekers. I remember that when Paramahansa Yoganandaji used to discuss atomic physics with scientists like Millikan (of oil-drop experiment), when he was asked how he knew about these things, he answered: “I ‘see’ the particles about which you draw inferences from experiments.”

Swami Krishnanda




Two Theives

A Brahmin (Priest), whose profession was singing the glories of the Lord, was reciting Srimad Bhagavatam in the house of a Big Landlord.

A thief broke into the house where the recital was going on and hid himself in the deep corner. Perforce, he had to listen to Srimad Bhagavatam (Beautiful stories & Miracles of Lord Krishna).

The singer was now describing the ornaments worn by little Krishna. He described the various ornaments Mother Yasodha decorated on little Krishna before sending Him out with the cows.

The thief was excited and thought that he should meet that lad and rob all the ornaments at one stroke instead of struggling everyday with petty stealing. He waited till the entire chapter of Srimad was recited and left the place.

The thief wanted to know where this boy was. He, therefore, followed the Brahmin and waylaid him. The Brahmin was frightened and feared that he would lose even the small amount he had received as dakshina and told the thief, “I do not have anything with me”.

The thief replied that he was not keen to have any of his possessions but wanted some information about that lad he claimed to have the best ornaments and who used to go out for grazing the cows. He beseeched him to take him to that place where the lad was grazing those cows.

The Brahmin was in a fix now. He said, “In the town of Brindavana, on the banks of Yamuna river, in a green meadow, two boys come every morning. One is dark like the clouds with a flute, and the other fair, clad in white silk. The dark one will have all the ornaments I had described.”

The thief believed the Brahmin and set out for Brindavana immediately. He located the beautiful place, climbed up a tree and waited for the boys to arrive.

The sun rose. Faint melody of the flute wafted along the morning breeze. The enchanting music could then be heard closer and the thief spotted two boys coming.

He got down from the tree and went near them. The moment he saw the most beautiful appearance of the little Krishna, he forgot himself, folded his hands and shed tears of joy. The tears were from his heart and it was chilling.

He wondered which wretched mother had sent these radiant boys, chiseled to perfection, loaded with ornaments to the riverbank.
He could not take his eyes off from the divinity.

The transformation started.
He approached the boys shouting, “Stop,” and held Krishna’s hand.
The moment he touched Lord Krishna, all his previous karmas were wiped out like a ball of cotton getting burnt in fire and with all humility he inquired lovingly, “Who are you?”

Krishna looked at him, innocently and said, “I am frightened by your looks. Please leave my hands”.
The thief, now full of remorse, said to Krishna, “It is my evil mind which is reflected in my face.
If you are frightened, I shall go away.
Please don’t say, I must leave you”.

The Natkhat (Divinely naughty) Krishna reminded the thief the purpose of his coming there and mocked him, “Here, take these ornaments”.
Confused, the thief replied, “Will not your mother scold you if you gift away all your ornaments to me?”

Krishna with a smile said, “Do not worry about that. I have plenty of them. I am a bigger thief than you.

But there is a difference between you and me – however much I steal, the owners do not complain. I am lovingly called “Chitta Chora”.

Though you are not aware of it, you have a previous ornament in your possession, the “Chitta (Heart)”. I shall steal it now and take the same with Me”. So saying both the boys vanished.

To his surprise, the thief found a bag full of ornaments on his shoulder.
He brought it to the Brahmin’s house and told him what had all happened.

The Brahmin was now frightened and took the thief inside and opened the bag.

To his utter amazement he saw all the ornaments described by him as being worn by Krishna in the Bhagavatam, in the thief’s bag.

Shedding tears of joy, the Brahmin asked the thief to take him to the place where he saw the dark boy. The thief obliged and both of them waited in the same place where the thief accosted the boy the previous day.

Suddenly the thief exclaimed, “Look, here they come!”

However, the Brahmin could not see any one.

Stricken with disappointment, he said, “Lord, when You decided to give darshan to a thief, why not me?

Lord Krishna, out of abundant compassion, replied,

“You are reading Srimad Bhagavatam just as another story, whereas the thief actually believed what you told him about me.

I manifest only for those who have full faith in me

Jai Shri Krishna




The Shaykh and the Boy Selling Halvah / Neil Douglas Klotz

One story from the book. To read more, buy the book

Once upon a time, a famous Sufi shaykh lived in old Baghdad. The shaykh was renowned for his charity and goodness. Aside from what he really needed, he gave away everything he received each day to the poor. So, his reputation among the common folk was outstanding.
Almost everyone loved him. Almost.
There was only one problem. Since he didn’t own any-
thing, he borrowed everything that he gave away each
day. So the shaykh was constantly in debt to many people.
Usually some generous person came to his aid whenever
he really needed it, but nonetheless he was always only
one step ahead of his creditors.
The shaykh was getting on in years, and just as things
are today, people became less and less willing to loan him
anything for fear that he might not be able to pay them
back. Nonetheless, the shaykh’s good reputation ensured
that there were always people who would loan him what
he needed. If nothing else, rich merchants were afraid to
let it be known that they were too stingy to give to a gen-
erous holy man. It might diminish their customer base.

Now it happened that the shaykh fell ill. And, day by
day, he seemed to be failing. The shaykh asked his murids
(students) to bring his bed into a small meeting hall in the
khanaqah, the Sufi gathering place where he and a few stu-
dents lived. The shaykh told them that he wanted to meet
his maker there.
Unlike many such edifices in the ancient Sufi world,
this khanaqah was a very modest, mud-brick affair. The
students’ rooms surrounded a central, domed mosque
and meeting hall, like a heart with two wings enclosing it.
His students gathered around the shaykh’s bed,
many of them with long faces, hoping for a final bless-
ing from the great man. The shaykh was smiling benef-
icently and breathing peacefully. Gradually, word
got out of the shaykh’s imminent passing, and many
other people from the neighborhood began to gather.
Among them were the shaykh’s many creditors. Instead
of a final blessing, the creditors had another object in
mind: repayment. They hoped that before the shaykh
died, he would manifest some miracle and pay them
what he owed.
One of them whispered into the ear of another.
“How much does he owe you?”
”One thousand gold dinars. You?”


“Only 500 silver dirhams, thank God! But it’s still
enough for me.”
The atmosphere in the room was very mixed, to say the
least: sadness, hope, expectation, anxiety, and a growing
undercurrent of whispering and grumbling.
“If he owed that much to you, why did he also borrow
from me?”
“Couldn’t he have paid me back with what he bor-
rowed from Ahmed? He can afford to lose 600.”
“It’s incredible! He owes all of us!”
In fact, the room was now overfull, and only the small
circle of students around his bed protected the shaykh
from the increasingly agitated and growing crowd of
creditors who edged nearer and nearer.
The shaykh’s breath became more and more refined,
until only those nearest him could tell whether he was
breathing at all. He motioned for one of his students to
come closer.
“What are all these others doing here?” he whispered
loudly.
“Master, Allah forgive me, but many of them say that
you owe them money.”
“Money? Oh, yes, yes . . . probably I do. It’s all in Allah’s
hands.”

“What does your master say?” asked one of the credi-
tors in a voice everyone could hear.
“The master says,” relayed the student, “that your
money is all in Allah’s hands.”
A loud moan went up from the creditors.
“In Allah’s hands? You know what that means!”
“I’m done for!” cried one.
“You? I’ll be bankrupt!”
Others also proclaimed their incipient destitution,
with increasingly cataclysmic predictions about what
would happen to their businesses, their families, the
whole community they supported! And so on. They began
to fight among themselves about who would be more
destitute.
“What are they all talking about?” the shaykh whis-
pered to his nearest student. “This is a house of prayer. It
has become increasingly noisy in here.”
“Forgive me, Allah, they say that they will be bankrupt.”
“No,” said the shaykh, “how can it be? I don’t believe it.
Ya Alim! Allah knows the truth.”
The students also became increasingly agitated. Not
only was this very embarrassing, but it might distract the
shaykh from giving them a final blessing. Or, looking at
things from an earthlier viewpoint, it might diminish the reputation of the khanaqah as well as their ability to
gather donations for it in the future. The students also
began to talk anxiously among themselves.
Just then, a very loud, high voice out in the street cut
through all the hubbub.
“Halvah! Nice sweet halvah! Who wants to buy some?
Best halvah in Baghdad!”
Because the voice startled everyone, they all stopped
talking for just an instant, but then at once went back to
their angst-ridden conversations.
The shaykh motioned to his closest student.
“Ask the boy to come in, let’s have some halvah,” he
rasped.
The student went out into the street and brought the
small boy in, who was carrying a large silver plate cov-
ered with many pieces of halvah.
“Boy, how much for your whole plate of halvah?” asked
the shaykh.
“This is my last plate of halvah for the day, and it’s the
best halvah in Baghdad. There isn’t any even close to this
quality in the whole world!” The boy had clearly been
well trained. “So, one silver dirham.”
“One silver dirham!” exclaimed the shaykh softly,
raising one eyebrow in disbelief. “Is the halvah made of silver? No, boy, we’re just poor Sufis here. And I’m dying.
I’ll give you half a silver dirham.”
The boy paused, but only for effect, since he knew that
the plate was worth only a half of that, and he would need
to bring his master back even less.
“All right. But only this once. Because you’re dying.
And because you’re holy people. Or so they say.”
“Share it all around,” the shaykh told the boy, whisper-
ing hoarsely as loudly as he could so that everyone heard.
“These are all my brothers and friends here. Let them
enjoy the sweetness, just as I am about to enjoy the sweet-
ness of heaven . . . inshallah (Allah willing)!”
The boy went around the room, offering halvah to
everyone, and by some chance (or indeed miracle), there
was enough for all. For some blessed moments, conversa-
tion stopped, with only the sound of chewing and smack-
ing of lips breaking the silence. Someone burped.
After a discreet pause, the boy approached the shaykh
for payment, holding his hand out.
“Money? You want money? Boy, as I told you, we’re
only poor Sufis here. I agreed to a price, but I didn’t say I
would pay you.”
The boy became furious. “You Sufi dogs! You would steal from a poor boy? What
kind of people are you? I will be short when I return to
the shop. Don’t you know that my master will beat me?
In fact, he’ll probably kill me! In fact, he’ll kill my whole
family! In fact . . .”
The boy went on in this vein, becoming louder and
louder, increasingly and genuinely hysterical, his voice
echoing through the mosque.
The creditors also went into an uproar.
“First he cheats us, now he cheats this poor boy!”
“Call the judge!”
“I’ll never offer a friendly loan, not to mention a char-
itable donation, to a Sufi again!”
The students turned bright red and turned to one
another, whispering frantically, unsure what to do.
“That’s it. The reputation of our whole order is ruined!”
“We’re done for!”
“Doesn’t anyone have a half a dirham?”
They began to search through their robes.
While all of this was going on, a messenger in richly
braided and brightly colored livery entered the room.
“Hey!” he yelled. “Which of you is the shaykh?” As mes-
sengers were trained to have loud voices in those days, everyone stopped for an instant, now aware that some-
one important had likely sent the messenger.
“He is,” said one of the creditors, pointing to the shaykh
on his bed.
As it happened, the messenger was also carrying a sil-
ver tray, this one covered with a silk cloth. He approached
the shaykh.
“Someone hired me ten minutes ago to send you this,
express delivery. For some reason, it had to be on a silver
tray. I don’t know who it was, but we work for an expen-
sive service, you know. Had to be someone rich.”
The shaykh, who had been resting with his eyes
closed during the melee, opened one eye and asked his
nearest student to remove the cloth and see what was
there.
Under the cloth were two packets also wrapped in silk,
one very large, the other very small. When the student
untied the larger packet, it was full of gold dinars, more
than he had ever seen. There was doubtless enough to
pay off all the shaykh’s creditors, plus enough to support
the khanaqah for some time.
When he untied the small packet he found it contained half a silver dirham. The shaykh instructed his students to repay all the
creditors, keep the rest, and give the half dirham to
the boy.
Everyone was astonished. The boy grabbed the money
and ran off with it before anything else crazy happened.
These Sufis!
The creditors wiped their brows and breathed a huge
sigh of relief. Then they began to protest to the shaykh
that, of course, they knew that he was a righteous man
and would make good on his debts, and to please pray for
them when he got to the other side—in other words, they
began to talk total nonsense.
The students were also relieved. Life would go on
without them needing to face disaster, like getting jobs
outside the khanaqah.
“Master,” asked one murid, “how did this happen?
How could anyone know about the halvah? And why did
he (or she) wait so long to bail us out?”
“Allah knows!” said the shaykh. “But I’ll tell you this:
all these creditors don’t really need the money. They are
all rich men many times over. Their distress was all an
act. Also, all of you are perfectly capable of making your
own way when I’m gone. You may only need to be a littleThe shaykh instructed his students to repay all the
creditors, keep the rest, and give the half dirham to
the boy.
Everyone was astonished. The boy grabbed the money
and ran off with it before anything else crazy happened.
These Sufis!
The creditors wiped their brows and breathed a huge
sigh of relief. Then they began to protest to the shaykh
that, of course, they knew that he was a righteous man
and would make good on his debts, and to please pray for
them when he got to the other side—in other words, they
began to talk total nonsense.
The students were also relieved. Life would go on
without them needing to face disaster, like getting jobs
outside the khanaqah.
“Master,” asked one murid, “how did this happen?
How could anyone know about the halvah? And why did
he (or she) wait so long to bail us out?”
“Allah knows!” said the shaykh. “But I’ll tell you this:
all these creditors don’t really need the money. They are
all rich men many times over. Their distress was all an
act. Also, all of you are perfectly capable of making your
own way when I’m gone. You may only need to be a little. more . . . ingenious. It was only the boy who had real
need. You could hear it in his voice.
“When a real cry from the depths of the heart goes
out, then Allah always answers. Try to find more genuine
need in yourself. Then you will be on the inner path.”




SRF: Yogananda’s perceptive wisdom

Late one afternoon, Master and Brother Anandamoy were walking behind the retreat at 29 Palms. Master pointed to the rear gate and said: “Could you pour a slab of concrete by that gate?”

Brother replied: “Sure, I’ll do it first thing in the morning.”

“Do it now!” was Guruji’s response.

Brother said: “But, sir, that is impossible. In just a little while the sun will set and it will be dark. There is not enough time.”

And Master concluded their conversation by saying: “You can do it.” Then he left.

Brother doubted that he would be able to finish in time. But he figured that he could always sledge-hammer the slab, break it up, if it didn’t work out. However, wishing to be obedient to his Guru, he immediately got busy. So he dug up the ground, built the frame, mixed the cement. And he didn’t have a cement mixer. He had to mix the sand and concrete and water by hand. And then, not having a wheel barrel, he had to transport the fresh cement with buckets. But even though he worked as fast as he could, he just wasn’t able to complete the job in time. The sun had set and it was too dark to continue.

Brother sat there beside his buckets of hardening cement and felt utter despair. His consciousness was a whirlpool of dejection. He had not fulfilled his Guru’s wishes. And what’s more, Master had even told him he could do it.

Then, all of a sudden, Brother noticed it began to get lighter. And still lighter. He couldn’t believe it. “How can this be happening? It’s night-time.” In the next moment the full moon rose from behind the trees. “Oh, no!” Brother thought, “I forgot about that stupid moon! But Master didn’t. He knew there would be a full moon.”

Quietly Brother walked over to the retreat and peeked into the window. Master was engrossed in dictating his commentaries on the Gita. Brother sighed in relief and thought: “Master is so busy with his work that he wasn’t aware of my plight, my frazzled consciousness, my lack of faith.”

Then Brother Anandamoy got busy pouring the cement before it became too hard. Finally he troweled the surface and triumphantly stood over the finished slab. His consciousness was as clear as a mountain lake. He turned and started to walk over to the retreat to let Master know he had fulfilled his wishes. Halfway there he ran into Master, who had this knowing smile on his face. Before Brother could get out a word, Guruji began to give him a long lecture on the value of even-mindedness.

(Key: Learning to surrender in the face of something we think we can’t do. Realizing that if we’re willing, it won’t be that bad, the moon will come up, Master will help us.)

~~~~~~~
Story shared in the SRF Devotee Newsletter




The battle between Arjuna and Karan

There are many stories in the Mahabharata, some which may not be mentioned in the orginal. But many of them are very interesting and provide deep insight.

This is one such story:

While the battle of Kurushetra was at its peak, Arjuna and Karna were fighting each other. It was a battle to witness, a flurry of arrows were being exchanged, and even Gods were witnessing this epic battle between the two warriors.

Arjuna would shoot his arrows and the impact of these arrows would be so much that Karna’s chariot would go back by 25-30 feet. People who witnessed this were amazed by the skills of Arjuna.

Karna was no less. When he shot arrows, Arjuna’s chariot would also shake and go back by a few feet.

More than everyone, Krishna would applaud Karna every time his arrow hit Arjuna’s chariot. But not once did He applaud Arjuna’s skills.

At the end of the day, Arjuna asked Krishna: “Oh Lord, I have shot so many arrows at Karna’s chariot, it was being displaced like a feather in wind, but not once did you appreciate me. Rather, you would appreciate his skill despite his arrows just displacing my chariot a little”.

Krishna smiled and replied “Oh, Arjuna, remember, your chariot is protected by Hanuman at the top on your flag, Me as your charioteer in the front and by Sheshnag at its wheels, yet the whole chariot would still sway and displace whenever the valiant Karna hit us with his arrows”.

“But Karna’s chariot is not protected by any such force, he is on his own, yet he fights valiantly”.

It is said that after the battle of Kurushetra was over, Krishna refused to get off the chariot till Arjuna got down. Once Krishna alighted from the chariot, it caught fire and turned to dust.

Krishna said “Oh Arjuna, your chariot was destroyed by Karna a long time ago, it is I who was still protecting it.”

“Never in your life have the arogance to say that you have achieved something. If you have achieved something, it is the divine will, it is the divine intervention that has always protected you, cleared your path and given you the right opportunities at the right time”




The Story of the Chinese Bamboo tree

Brother Anandamoy of SRF, tells “The Story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree”

“There’s a story about the Chinese bamboo tree. They plant a seed and water it very carefully and repeatedly for a year. Nothing happens. Second year they keep on watering that seed, nothing happens. Third year, same thing, nothing happens. Fourth year, same thing! But they keep on watering that seed. Fifth year, WITHIN SIX WEEKS, the bamboo shoots up ninety feet into a powerful tree. And before that, those four years when seemingly nothing happened, that seed developed a powerful root system to prepare to support the tree.
And I often thought about that when it comes to kriya yoga. You practice and nothing happens, right? Seemingly, consciously, to your experience not much happens. But underneath, there’s preparation going on. Underneath there are changes going on, there is purification going on. And it may be longer than four years. Be patient, and practice, because it works.
As I said before, these subtle changes you do not notice until later. And you are bringing in the power, it is accumulated as you practice more. The magnet becomes stronger and there’s a greater flow of energy. And that does it, it brings about scientifically the changes that are necessary for the launching of the bamboo tree that is within you (Anandamoy chuckles).”




Save The Best For The Last

By

Vanisha Uppal

First time I saw death in my family I was 23 years old. Inmy childhood, grandmother made a story that seeing a dead body is a sin. Guess what I believed her too. How stupid of me. She told me “whenever you see something like this on the road or somewhere just close your eyes”.  When my grandfather diedthen it was unavoidable. Watching cricket match on T.V. was my grandfather’s favourite past time. That night he was watching India and Pakistan match alone in the T.V. room. Around 2 a.m. suddenly I heard a lot of noise. Hurriedly I got up and saw panic around me. Grandfather was surrounded by neighbours and family. He was quietly sitting with closed eyes but in tremendous pain. Before anybody could understand the situation and got him to the doctor, he was dead. He had a heart attack. I was standing at a little distance watching him. It put me through a great shock, I thought, this is impossible. Close family members were already there, they were crying but soon they got occupied in some or the other activity like informing distant relatives, arranging food and being particularly concerned about getting the rituals done in this or that order. I thought “what is this?  Are you kidding me?” Nobody was as shocked as I was.

In that state of shock, I looked for a lonely corner at home. I wanted to be alone with my internal turmoil. Many questions arose. Grandfather was here, where is he now? His whole existence, his body, his voice, his presence, his being, his personality? All was gone, evaporated in a minute. How is this possible? How can anyone disappear like this and we can’t do anything about it? I wanted to know, where is he now?

We know how to make big buildings, airports, rockets, aeroplanes and with so much knowledge – yet nobody knows where he is? He must be somewhere!  What are we all doing here in this world? Are we living on the surface, playing with papers, which we call money? Is this what we call life? I felt that we know nothing about life. Why are we running so much after money, if it cannot buy life and true knowledge of life and after life? Suddenly money looked to me like a piece of paper, nothing more than that.

These questions were there in my mind ever since that day. I had no idea where this would lead me in the future.  I was in this state of mind for many years. Grandfather used to come in my dreams, as if he was alive and I asked him; “Why are you hiding yourself for so long from us, where have you been all these years?”

Eight years later, a strange thing happened. God gave a sharp and hard turn to my life. Maybe I asked for it – this is His way of answering questions.  It was painful, but eventually, everything becomes an experience and now I want to share it.

At the time of my pregnancy, I was walking quietly in the corridor of my building. My due date was over. I was very anxious about the process. Two days later I was taken to hospital, where my husband was working. Government Hospital, maternity ward was a living hell. I was shocked by what I saw. Many women were in the same big room, in different degrees of pain. Suddenly I heard a terrible voice from a woman. It was coming from a smaller room, where babies were born. My husband was terrified and tried to console me, “you will be able to tolerate once you are in it”. This line was not so consoling, I was very frightened yet what could I do.

I got a bed in the big hall with many other women. The whole night I was watching others crying and howling in pain. Doctor residents were yelling back to them all around me. I thought that young doctors had no idea what a woman goes through, or, maybe they were used to all these things. This getting “used to” is a very a strange saying. One looses the sensitivity and concern when one is used to something happening everyday. The moment we ourselves are in a secure environment, it does not take long to get ‘used to it’.

I was thinking; would the doctors behave in the same way with me in my labour pain? In such stressful condition, nothing happened with me that night. Some women were moved to a small room to deliver the babies, and new ones arrived in the big hall with me.  I was the only one left from the night batch. By noon doctors decided to induce my baby artificially. The medicine soon showed its effect. That was the beginning of my pain. By now I wanted to get it over and done with.

Soon I realised how bad it could be. Gradually it became intolerable. But I discovered something new in myself. My own reaction towards pain; I became quiet – no complain, no crying, no discomfort on my face. It was the same what I saw on my grandfather’s face before dying.  I never thought I would behave in such a way. I was so much inside myself that I could not hear any noises around me, nor could I feel any one’s presence in the room. It was just me. As if I knew that from this point, things were beyond human control.

I was chanting with every breath. As the pain was building up more and more, my intensity increased. I did not leave chanting for a second. After 5 hours of intense labour pain, a doctor whispered in my ear and asked, “Do you want epidural,” I said “yes”. They took me to the Operation Theatre. After getting epidural, I felt like cool breeze had passed over me. Each cell of my body relaxed. 15 minutes later the doctor decided that I needed urgent operation. They took me back to OT. Epidural made body pain free but I was conscious about my surroundings. Doctor made a cut in my lower abdomen and the baby came out. I had no courage to open my eyes to watch my flesh stained in blood. I heard my baby’s voice and a doctor said “what a healthy baby”.

Suddenly I shouted: “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe”. I was suffocating. To think about this, still suffocates me. I was thrashing my limbs. In restlessness, I removed the oxygen mask so that I could get fresh air but I was unable to breathe. After much struggle – I don’t know how and when – I got into a deep, dark tunnel, which had no light, not even a sign of light. Hitting to the walls of it, helplessly I was rolling down deep into it. The tunnel had no end, I was crying and screaming:  “I want to go back, take me back.” No one felt pity for me. I felt that the tunnel would never end. How to describe the pain, it was incomparable to any other pain. It looked to me as many years had passed, and there was no hope of getting out of it.

All of sudden everything settled. I was no more in panic.  Which place was it, no darkness, no light?  More like blank but still calm. I don’t know how everything was changing, like cut, copy, paste. It was as a movie which flashed in fast forward mode and it was about my life. Some parts were very strange, few events and people were unidentified. I could not recognize all that ever happened in my life. I was not able to comment and question. I was silently watching the movie.

After the movie finished I heard a firm and clear male voice. He asked me “Do you regret anything” I spontaneously said “yes once I broke the heart of a boy. I should not have done that”. “Anything else”, I said “no”. The questions and answers were so direct and straight. No thinking, no confusion, even no explanation. Only truth as I had no choice.

A long silence after that. I could not utter a word, could not open my mouth without permission. I felt many years has passed again but this time I was not restless. I was calm and peaceful. Suddenly the deep silence was broken and I heard the same voice again, “Do you want to go back?” A vision appeared. I was lying on a bed in the hospital with a few people around me. I felt no attachment to my family and for the one lying on the bed, me. I did not feel any desire and longing at that point of time. From there it all looked so meaningless. I said “No”. I was at peace. But He said “You have to go back”.

I had no choice. I saw another vision of myself working in my kitchen towards the end of the ninth month pregnancy. After pondering over it for 10 years, now I feel that it was a glimpse of me being present in that moment. The importance of an ordinary moment. How important it is to be relaxed while working. Even a single moment counts and has much value. God gave me many clues in that experience. How wonderfully He was projecting the whole scenario, it was amazing. He presented everything according to my understanding and gave hints for my future level of consciousness. What a masterpiece! It needs lots of contemplation to explore the hidden truth behind these events. Many small details are still unexplored. Just like work done by Lord Krishna in Bhagavat Gita.

Finally I experienced something which I call return gift from God before leaving His home.  I saw splendour of light everywhere. There was no sun yet such strong light. I was sure it was thousands of suns shining together, in unlimited space and brightness. I can never forget what I saw. Nobody will ask for anything more after seeing that.  Everyone deserve to see and be there. At that point suddenly I realised I was not in my body, still I was present, seeing and experiencing it all. Where was my body? Where were my eyes? How did I see everything? How do I remember all this? I still don’t know. This lasted for a very short time.  I thought, I will not leave this place!

Why did God ask for my opinion when my decision did not matter anyway? Why did he want to send me back? These questions still bother me but I feel there is something good in it. Now I feel there are many higher levels as I have experienced later with the grace of my Master and God.

Next moment I found myself on the bed in ICU ward of the hospital, full of wires and tubes all over my body, unable to move and talk. I was very weak, lost 15 units of blood. Irrespective and unaware of my external condition I wanted to tell to the whole world that I had a talk with God and I had been there. Listen to me, talk to me, I am here now.

It was midnight. A resident doctor was on duty. I did my best to tell him about my visit but could only manage to say very little. He was not interested and went back to his seat. Next day I was moved to a private ward. I told my husband the whole story. No one believed me at that point of time. He also did not pay much attention to it. I understood it would not be easy to convey this message to others. I got myself engrossed in bringing up my child, Vrinda.

Many new reflections arose: Accumulation of wealth, land and money – where does it leads us? Are we fearful and insecure?  Does fear have any substance?

Is saving a bad thing to do? Are we saving for our children, to maintain a good life style, or, for our old age?

Maybe we should stop and ponder upon these questions?  Yes we are fearful and insecure of an unseen future. An accident might happen someday and then I should have good money in my account to pay my bills!

Imagine you are in the best hospital but no one visits you. Even if they do, they are not much bothered because of the way you priorotise them in your life. Our children and spouses have probably not been our first priority for our own reasons.  It is a manipulation to justify your own action which is not done so consciously. But why do we expect a different treatment from others?

Are we saving money for a better life style? There are multimillionaires. Are they happy? Money in itself cannot improve the quality of our inner condition. The most of joyful things in life have least money transactions involved.

Are we saving for our children?  Will not own efforts rather than easy money bring more good to them? How much money is needed to support them? I think the answers are clear.

That leaves us with old age. What is the reasonable amount of money required for old age. Eat simple food, exercise daily and do some mediation to stay happy. And most important of all; give unconditional love to your family. God will take care of rest.

Accumulation of too much money leads to restlessness if not used for a good cause. And the restlessness is naturally transferred to our children unknowingly and unconsciously.

How often do you think about the only certainty happening in your life – death? Is it possible to prepare ourselves for it? We are preparing ourselves for all kinds of uncertainties, but death we ignore.

At the time of death, there is a transition of our soul from this world to where? No one knows. Our inner condition when we leave this body, will that condition still be a part of us? Some subtle indications are there.

Do you know how long you would be travelling in that breathless and total dark state? How suffocating it would be? You have no idea. If you think transition is going to be easy then sorry dear, you are wrong. It might looks easy to others but one who goes through it, can give up anything to make it easy.

Let’s do a small experiment. Stand under the showerwhile bathing. Hold your breath and close your eyes. Don’t take your head out of it. Stay as long as possible.  What do you feel? Chant any Vedic mantra or try to remember what all you have read so far in the books and Vedas. Think of any Gods and Gurus. Hold it, keep holding your breath……..not so soon……hold…..little more…….10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2……….2……….  Where are the thoughts now, which trouble us all the time? Can you think of any material desire? Then how they all appear in our daily life and make us forget the purpose of life?

Life is an inner travel. What we realize of inner peace we bring with us wherever we are in the physical existence and beyond the physical?

The secret is, the death will be same as we lived our daily lives.  “Silence in activity” is the key. Each moment is important.

The purpose is to live a natural simple life in awareness, established in inner silence. This improves everything.

Later when I met Master and heard his experience “I am not there, only an unlimited space and the experience”, I understood immediately. He says we all have the potential to live in that element together with activity.

Master has potential to go there any time if he wants and much more beyond that he has mentioned in his spiritual efforts at website kriyabanservice.com and he has potential to take us there with the same ease. We need to put efforts and practise and he helps us in all possible way.

The picture and message is clear: Invest in yourself today.

Vanisha Uppal

 

 

 

 




IN THE FOREST OF THE WORLD

Once, a man was going through a forest, when three robbers fell upon him and robbed him of all his possessions. One of the robbers said, “What’s the use of keeping this man alive?” So saying, he was about to kill him with his sword, when the second robber interrupted him, saying: ‘Oh, no! What is the use of killing him? Tie his hand and foot and leave him here.” The robbers bound his hands and feet and went away. After a while the third robber returned and said to the man: “Ah, I am sorry. Are you hurt? I will release you from your bonds.” After setting the man free, the thief said: “Come with me. I will take you to the public high way.” After a long time they reached the road. At this the man said: “Sir, you have been very good to me. Come with me to my house.” “Oh, no!” the robber replied. “I can’t go there. The police will know it.” This world itself is the forest. The three robbers prowling here are Satva, rajas, and tamas. It is they that rob a man of the Knowledge of Truth. Tamas wants to destroy him. „Rajas‟ binds him to the world. But Satva rescues him from the clutches of rajas and tamas. Under the protection of Satva, man is rescued from anger, passion and other evil effects of tamas. Further, Satva loosens the bonds of the world. But Satva also is a robber. It cannot give man the ultimate Knowledge of Truth, though it shows him the road leading to the Supreme Abode of God. Setting him on the path, Satva tells him: “Look yonder. There is your home.” Even Satva is far away from the knowledge of Brahman. (2)

(Tales and Parables of Sri Ramakrishna )




Meeting With The Master by Vanisha Uppal

Master Per H. Wibe

By

Vanisha Uppal

In the year 2010 I had an intense inner desire to read Bhagavad Gita. After reading it a couple of times, I realised that somehow, somewhere I was missing the point, so I read it again and again. Each time I discovered a new insight which, it seemed, had never been told before. I felt Krishna was telling something, which was hidden behind the literal words. It was difficult to understand what needed to be done. Only thing I understood was, that I should follow my heart, else not following my heart would eat me up.

My destiny had a plan for me and I was ready to receive it. My grandmother’s death became the turning point in my life, for the cremation of ashes, whole family went to Haridwar. After completing the rituals, we all decided to go to Rishikesh, to a known ashram near Triveni Ghat. After spending two days in peace, on the third and last day of our trip, my Papa, my sister and I, went to Triveni Ghat early morning. The view of the river Ganga and the Ghat caught my eye. I did not want to leave the sight of it, however, my sister, dragged me away from it.

We were back in Delhi. I started getting some beautiful dreams connected to river and water. Something was pulling me from inside. One day, I packed up my little bag, for no reason at all and took a night bus to Haridwar. I got down in early dark morning somewhere in Haridwar. I took an auto and went to Triveni Ghat with a plan to be there for three days. The view of Ganga gave me immense happiness. The whole first day I was sitting at bank of river, doing nothing, watching the water flowing, taking an occasional bath and eating very little.

Next day, by afternoon, I suddenly became very sad. While walking on the bank of the river, I asked God “why am I here and how do I attain you?” Immediate I got the answer from inside, “reach no duality”. I asked again, “Tell me the way to reach to no duality”. I kept waiting but no replay came. In the evening out of nothing, I had a desire to buy my birth stone. From where to get it? I remembered my visit to Rishikesh in childhood; there were many gem shops near Laxman Jhula.

Next morning I took an auto and went to Laxman Jhula, got down in front of Kriya Yoga Ashram Gate. I overlooked that, silly of me, and went straight to closest gem shop and bought my birth stone. Soon after that I got a phone call from a friend, in the middle of the conversation, very causally he mentioned about Kriya Yoga teaching in Rishikesh. Don’t know why the word Kriya Yoga was all over my mind. “If I am here then why not look for Kriya Yoga”. I intensively started looking all around, without any clue about Kriya Yoga. I walked down the whole mountain and around the Ganga, and became very tired. I finally reached across to the other end up to Ram Jhula. I stopped by at Shivananda Ashram and asked, “Is there any Kriya Yoga learning centre near by”. They told me you just passed it in the back.

 

Mystically, my starting point was my destination, I guess I had to make whole journey to realise this. It did not take me long to decide that I would like to come back next month for the Kriya Retreat which would be conducted by Master Per. I neither saw any website nor read anything about Master, yet I was extremely happy to enrol myself for the course.

It was the 6th of September 2014, first time, I saw Master at the initiation, and I still remember his deep blue eyes, humble nature, yet having confidence like a lion. His silence needed no introduction. He was very different from the conventional and tradition Sadhus. He was not wearing any outer symbolic signs, like orange dress, beard and an attitude of having attained so much.

Everyone feels so comfortable with him like being with a true friend. He treats everyone equally. He neither brags about himself, nor does he give any theoretical knowledge. He inspires others to practice and to have their own experiences during the retreat. His teaching is to the essence.

His guided words, during the practice, always help me to go deeper in my own being. I was eagerly waiting to hear his voice in middle of the practice. His whole being is filled with so much of silence. His mere presence and voice is a complete meditation. At first I thought how he can teach the most difficult thing ‘to meet the true self’, in the most simple way, whereas others have written big books and talked great on spirituality. But now I know, that the one who knows the subject so very well, can only teach and make it simple for others. Before every session I close my eyes with Master’s vision, sitting on chair with white shawl on his legs, that is the magical view for me.

My first two residential retreats, I willingly maintained maximum outer quietness.  I watched master coming out of his room and going for long walks. His presence changes the whole atmosphere of the place. He carries an aura of light with himself. People around him are touched by the joy of freedom and love. Instantly a poem surfaced from the bottom of my heart after the first retreat with him.

During those days, I was sitting on the first floor, the glass door was closed, no one from outside could see inside. I saw master came out from his room; he wore his shoes and gave one glance to the glass door, as if something was pulling him towards upstairs. He hesitantly took one step up and after a little wait he took one more step. I was watching this and thought; “Would he climb up to me or will he just turn around and go for his walk, I have come a long way in search of him, he should also find me too”. Slowly he hesitated but climbed to the last platform and immediately I opened the door. He was very happy to see to me and I too was. He sat with me and asked some questions. It was a ten minute talk. His presence intoxicated me.

 

I went back home after the retreat, two things I was sure, first Kriya Yoga is meant for me and second I would join Master every time he comes to India for a retreat. I took the practice very sincerely. In meditation I got connected with him, I could feel his presence, it was very strong. I eagerly waited for next retreat, literally counting the days.

Master Per has lived his whole life while handling the duality in the most beautiful way. He does it effortlessly, we however makes tremendous efforts to reach to the silence, which we are unable to sustain for long. Managing to hold on to the inner silence for a longer time is itself a great task. We easily fall back to restlessness and duality. Whereas, he swiftly travels from ‘duality’ to ‘no-duality’ and sustains it. He says “More silence inside improves everything in life”. He supports his disciples when one is in the practice. Master has ability speed up one’s progress and give the experience of beyond if one is in regular practice.

He taught me how to breathe, as if I have never taken breath in the same way before.

 

 

Poem below ———-

MASTER

An Aspiring face of moon after dark night

Like a fragrance spread through and might

Just looking at him, all my doubts are gone

All questions are answered in his silence drawn

He knows everything, how can one hide,

An Aspiring face of moon after dark night

 

His silent presence is greater than million words,

He knows how and when to guide

He spends his lonely long hours in bringing down the light,

Just to give our soul a greater height

An Aspiring face of moon after dark night

 

His looks pour nectar on our rough and dry restless souls,

The words he utter as instruction are so very pure,

Just we have to be receptive to get it right,

His love is infinite and selfless, he doesn’t hold anyone so tight

What if he is physical apart, that does not make him too far,

He is in my heart, I can feel him and sees him beside.

An Aspiring face of moon after dark night