Monday, July 28, 2008


Love of God: The Essential condition

Another key point in Sri Ramakrishna's teachings is that we should be sincere in repeating the name of God. It is not important how many thousand times we chanted the name of God or how long we meditated. Someone may eat vegetarian diet and undertake severe austerities wearing a single piece of cloth and so on. These are of least importance if they lack sincerity of purpose. The important thing is whether we are able to love God wholeheartedly. Due to such a love for God, all other worldly attractions would fade into insignificance. We should always keep it in mind.

Srimad Bhagavatam says,'A genuine love for God reduces all other attractions of the world.' We are to tread the spiritual path with this standard. One may lose consciousness while singing of God, one may meditate the whole life sitting in one place, one may perform lakhs of japam for years, one can go on pilgrimages one after another. None of these really matter. Feeling constant presence of God in our heart is what really matters. There will be no space left for anything else, or any other person or even any other thought in such a heart. We ought to offer all our love and adoration on Him. We shall have to surrender ourselves completely at His feet. This is the gist of Sri Ramakrishna's spiritual teachings.

And if we succeed in loving God with our whole heart, we will be able to feel His presence in all the creatures of this universe. I sincerely pray that all of us may be able to live our lives holding fast to this ideal. May this ideal influence our lives to such an extent that everything of the world becomes insignificant. By His grace everything s possible. I pray to Sri Ramakrishna that all of us may have such intense love for God.

Sleep, an Obstacle

It is observed that people often fall asleep during meditation. Sleep is a great enemy and an obstacle to yoga. It may be advisable to splash water on the eyes and sit again. It may work for some time.

The reason for feeling sleepy is that the mind is forcibly withdrawn from the objects in which it generally roams about, but if it cannot be held on to the object of meditation after getting it weaned from those objects, it merges into sleep for not getting anything to sustain itself. The method of getting over this is to try always to remain aware and alert. What else can be done other than that?

The sleep which sets in after sitting for meditation happens due to the influence of lethargy(tamas). It happens due to two reasons. First, bodily tiredness or listlessness and secondly, lack of interest in japa and meditation. In the first case, if the body becomes tired and lethargic, it is necessary to take proper rest. The necessary amount of rest or sleep for the body is given. Rather, it is better to get up a bit late from bed if by doing so one may get good meditation. That is, if there is no over tiredness. Still these things depend upon one's mental and physical constitution. One should do what is convenient and befitting. The second is lack of interest, mind falls asleep. The reason for not getting interest in japa and meditation is, we are not well aware of the goal or the ideal. And so we don't get any taste in it. So the mind falls asleep.

If there is intense yearning for the object we are meditation upon and a deep and strong desire to get Him, then shall we be careless? As Sri Ramakrishna said, pearls and jewellery are hidden in the next room. Knowing this, can the thief sleep quietly in the adjoining room? No, he cannot. Until he enters the next room by breaking the wall and gets possession of the wealth, he will not be at peace. Similarly, if we know that He is in our hearts and we must get Him, then can we be careless? Can we sleep? We get lukewarm only due to want of yearning. Therefore one should always try to be alert an wide awake. By repeated endeavour it becomes a habit and impressions (samskaras) are formed.

We too use to sit for meditation again after a short stroll when we used to feel sleepy. Many ask,'If we feel sleepy, can we do japa while strolling?' That may be done. By that sleep may be driven away, but meditation is not achieved. Meditation means all the senses are withdrawn from their respective objects and activities. The mind alone will then stick to that object of meditation. Meditation is not achieved by walking.

The real thing is, whatever time we meditate, we should try to do it with proper feeling and mental attitude. Whatsoever time we devote to it will be really beneficial of we do it with right mental attitude. It is not possible to examine one's own self until the mind is calm and quiet. Mind cannot be analysed otherwise.

Be at Rest

It is essential that the mind must be quietened to be able to meditate. When the mind becomes quiet, its effect will be produced on the whole life. Words and deeds -everything-will become peaceful,serene. Lie will become peaceful, character too will become pleasing and mellowed. Character will imbibe softness. Restlessness will not do.

This happens to everyone-everyone knows about it. In this, mind thinks of object other than the object of meditation. In this, case one has to try to concentrate the mind again on the object of meditation. If the mind is coloured by sense-pleasures or the desire for enjoyment, it will be attracted towards the sense objects due to desire for enjoyment, let it remain alert and be aware of it.

Be Patient and Determined

Whatever little noble effort we make, will not go in vain however little it might be. It remains stored up. If we stretch one little step towards the ideal, the distance does get less by that much. At least that much is stored. However, it is also true that unless we get intense yearning in our mind whatever we do is of no avail. Does that mean that we must give up all effort? No. As long as we don't get that type of intense yearning, we must go on struggling. Our slightest effort is not lost, will not be lost. It will remain accumulated. When in the future we shall get blows, difficulties and counter-blows, then this small but noble effort which we have put in,will save us. However little the effort might be, none of the noble endeavours must be forgotten. Its remembrance at the time of difficulty and adversity gives strength to the mind, gives mental sternght. One must remember the early attraction for God, spirit of dispassion, and the endeavours one had put in during one's early days. Then we shall fell,'Oh, what a state of mind I had then! What attraction for the ideal, what dispassion I had!'

We shall have to remember that there is no hope of our reaching the goal if we fumble on the way or become complacent. We must have that kind of patience which cannot be exhausted even by several lives of failures and sufferings. Of course, this sort of perseverance cannot be achieved in a day or two, not even in a few years. But the object of our search is worth so much that even hundreds of lives may be spent in it's quest. Nothing can be attained for which we have not paid adequately. Perhaps, in spite of our utmost struggle, the goal may still be so far away as to make us despair of reaching the goal. Or perhaps it may be very near our reach! Who knows when the good moment will come!

Ultimately we have to depend on His grace. The consummation of all our sadhanas is complete surrender to Him and dependence on His grace.

With the above, I have completed the book, Spiritual Initiation - What it is, by Swami Bhuteshananda. I am blessed, to be able to share this with you. Together with you, let us implement into our lives what was preached by Sri Ramakrishna and his disciples.

Books can be ordered at

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Altar at Ramakrishna Mission, New Delhi

Altar at Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Gol Park, Kolkata

This is all I have for now... I trust you have enjoyed and are blessed, by seeing THEM at the altar at the various centers....

" More are the names of God
and infinite are the forms
through which He may be approached.
In whatever name and form
you worship Him, through them
you will realise Him."

Sri Ramakrishna


Ramakrishna Mission and Math, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Altar at the Ramakrishna Math in Ulsoor, Banglore

Altar at theRamakrishna Math & Mission, Nirala Nagar, Lucknow

Mother's House - Ramakrishna Math, Baghbazar, Kolkata

Altar at Sri Ramakrishna Math, Hyderabad


Sri Ramakrishna Sarada Sangha,Petaling-Jaya, Malaysia

Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre, Gretz,France

Vedanta Society, Toronto,Canada


Ramakrishna Ashrama,Bagerhat, Bangladesh


I am fond of downloading and saving the altar's of the Trio's from all the websites that I visit...I just love to see them,THEY look so real and alive and I feel very peaceful..... and I thought it would be nice if all of you too can enjoy these altars like me......

Altar at the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York

Vedanta Center of St. Petersburg, Florida

Vedanta Centre Geneva

Altar at the Ramakrishna Centre of South Africa

Ramakrishna Mission, Vacoas Mauritius

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Guru Purnima


Another thing, the real nature (sattva) of the Chosen Deity (Ishta) is to be remembered during meditation. For example, we meditate upon the picture of Sri Ramakrishna, sitting in a high yogic state. The whole of it is not arising always in the mind.When the meditation becomes deep then we will see his facial expressions, the extend of his deeply indrawn sight. In other words, we too will dive deep into the depths of his real nature. Now, glancing at the picture of Sri Ramakrsihna superficially, we will not understand the extent of the depth, where his consciousness has merged. But as we dive deeper in our meditation, we shall be able to contemplate more and more the real nature of Sri Ramakrishna.

Let us consider the meditation posture of Sri Ramakrishna. Sri Ramakrishna has himself said, 'This picture depicts a very high state of Yoga.' Do we understand anything of it? Why don't we? Because it is necessary to become a yogi for understanding a high state of yoga. We are not yogis, so we don't understand this. But one thing we can understand by meditating on the picture in depth, by observing it carefully, by thinking of it - though it is entirely my personal view and feeling, I am telling what I myself feel about it - that that is a deep indrawn state of Thakur. Eyes are almost closed. As if the universe has completely got dissolved. There is not the slightest trace of outward consciousness. What an extremely indrawn state! As if he is completely submerged somewhere. No worldly consciousness. In this state, what Thakur is thinking or in which he is submerged-we too should think about during meditation.

Besides, this can be though that he who incarnated as Rama or as Krishna in the past for the welfare of the world, the same 'He' with the help of the power of Maya has come down in the form of Sri Ramakrishna in this age. Meditate like this. At one place in the Siva-mahimnah stotram (25) it is said addressing Siva,'You are verily that Being which the Yogis contemplate during meditation.'

The meaning of that sloka is, 'Thou art indeed that indescribable Truth which the yogis realize through meditation on the self, by controlling the breath according to scriptural directions, and realising which they shed of thrilling joy and swim as it were in the pool of nectar, enjoying inner bliss.

During meditation it will be observed that thoughts are continuously flowing in the mind. It is hardly possible to make mind free of thoughts. And the wonder is that we too flow along with the current of thoughts. After, a long time, we come back to awareness and say, 'What the hell was I thinking about!'That means I was not alert. I too was following in the direction in which the mind was pulling em. If we observe the mind or gradually examine it, then it can no longer drag us. We gain control over it. The mind cannot overpower us. we can control it.

I often think about another characteristic of the mind. The same mind can be divided into two. One is the seer, the other is the seen. that is to say one is the seer-mind and another is the seen-mind. When the seer-mind examines the seen-mind, then it is not possible to get drifted away by the thoughts of the mind. That is why Swamiji has instructed, 'Do not start meditating immediately after sitting on the seat. Observe the mind for some time. Observe what it is doing. You will see that gradually the flickerings of mind will stop. The mind will be concentrated. Then meditate.'

Though we try to meditate with the help of imagination, still it is not merely an imagination. It is imagination to think of some unreal object which has no existence in a real sense. As for example 'imagining a garden in the sky.' It has no real existence. It is merely an imagination. It is impossible for a garden to exist in the sky. But we do not disbelieve in the existence of the object of meditation...

To be continued....

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pacchai Ma Maalai - Bhoopalam

The song is simply beautiful, sung by

Guru Purnima


Five Codes of Conduct

Our conduct should be in tune with our state of being initiated. I recommend following five codes of conduct at the time of initiation. There is nothing secret about it. Everybody should know it. Hence I speak for everyone. No one can move towards God, unless he is pure in conduct. To proceed towards God the conduct must be pure.

We often hear about the necessity of taking pure food. Does it mean that our diet should include sufficient clarified butter? Not that. Pure food implies sattvika food, nourishing food. This is the scriptural injunction. The food that is beneficial both for the body and the mind and for building them up is to be consumed as much as the body needs it, i.e., one must not eat to satisfy one's greed. We must partake of the food with the idea that it will nourish our body and mind, and we shall use the nourished body and mind for contemplation of God.

Purification of one's conduct is even more important than purification of food. We shall state here the five types of good conduct.

1. We should pray for the welfare of all. We should behave in such a manner that no one's feelings are hurt and no harm is caused to anyone. We must not do anything by which anyone is hurt physically or mentally or whereby evil befalls anyone. The scriptures speak of Ahimsa or non-injury. It not only implies not hurting physically or mentally anyone, it also means not to think ill of others or harm others. This must be practiced in thought,word and deed.

2. We must hold on to truth always in such a way that under no circumstance should we deviate from it. We should never have recourse to falsehood. We must honour our commitments. Sri Ramakrishna used to say, 'One who holds on to truth rests in the lap of God.' He further says, 'Truthfulness is the austerity for Kaliyuga.' I am not saying that it is easy to stick to truth.It is not at all easy. We will have to make a lot of sacrifice in life to observe truthfulness. Hence, it is never an easy job. But we should not forget that holding on to truth is our ideal.

3.Let us not cheat anybody or deceive anybody in any way. Let us not get anything by cheating somebody. Let us be satisfied with what is due. This is honesty in our dealings with others. It is of great help in spiritual path.

4. WE have to bring all our sense organs under our control. Let us not be guided by them. Control over one or two sense organs will not do. All the senses are to be brought under control. It is a must for spiritual life.

5. Life is meant for thinking of God and for realising HIM. Lead a simple, straightforward and natural life. We should not seek luxury. I do not mean that all should wear clothes like beggars or live miserably. I mean we should strive to maintain ourselves with minimum requirements. we should be absolutely free from greed. The man who earns thousand rupees a month wants to earn five thousand instead. Another one, earning five thousand a month wishes for ten thousand monthly. In a similar fashion others are after a target of one lakh from ten thousand and even one crore from one lakh and so on. This is how our desires are continuously increasing. Such ever increasing cravings keep the mind constantly restless.


We meditate on Sri Ramakrishna. Different people have different conceptions about him. It is natural because he is full of diversities. The more we evolve spiritually, the clearer becomes our ideal. The ideal gets evolved. For example, when we see a house from a distance, it appears hazy, as an outline. The more we get near it, the more it goes on becoming clearer and clearer.

Many ask,'Is it not enough to stare at the picture of Sri Ramakrishna?Why is it necessary to close the eyes?' The reason is,though it seems that we are gazing at the photograph of Sri Ramakrishna, along with it we are also seeing other things. The sight gets diversified away in different directions. The sight does not always remain fixed at the same place. Many try to concentrate their vision on a point. But the focus on a point does not remain still for long. That is why eyes should be closed. The external distractions are avoided by closing the eyes.

Then the endeavour should be only to eliminate the internal distractions. Both internal and external distracting factors remain if we keep eyes open. Therefore naturally, distractions get reduced to a considerable extent if one meditates with closed eyes. The internal distractions are eliminated by persistent meditation.

Meditation means negation and abolition of thoughts other than those of the object of meditation, the meditator, the meditating object and the process of meditation become one. the mind does not exist at that time. Because mind means constant cogitation (sankalpa -vikalpa), that is restlessness. When the mind is absolutely quiet, it is as if non-existent. That is why it is said that the three become one.

To be continued

Monday, July 21, 2008

Guru Purnima


I was unable to complete this, by 18th July, as my husband was down with fever and I took time off to take care of him... Nevertheless, I will complete this, and I trust you enjoy reading it as much I enjoy writting this..

An example

Narada went to Bhagavan Sanatkumara for initiation. Sanatkumara said, 'Tell me first what you know;then I shall decide what is to be taught.' At this Narada gave a detailed list of what he had studied. None of the principal scriptural texts were left out. He had come to Sanatkumara after finishing the studies of all the major scriptures. He said he had read Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, Atharva Veda, the six Vedangas; also all the principal puranas(eightteen), and many texts dealing with secular branches of learning. In spite of so much learning he said, 'I and not in peace, neither am I satisfied. I still feel discontented. This sense of unfulfilment is probably the cause of my mental unrest.' 'Well, Narada,' said Sanatkumara, 'I understand that you have studied quite a lot. But what you know are only some words. You have become a master of words; but you do not know yourself. You are not an atmavid. Only a knower of the Self overcomes grief. since you are not an atmavid, a knower of one's Real Nature, you have been overpowered by grief.' Then Narada humbly said, 'Bhagavan, kindly impart me that knowledge by which I can get rid of all misery.'

Moral of the Above Story

What does this story suggest? It suggests that it is necessary to prepare the ground of one's mind before initiation. It is no use sowing seeds without preparing the soil. The soil must be properly tilled, and manure must be spread beforehand. If the seed is sown after that, it grows well. But if we sow the seeds without tilling the soil and without adding manure, will there be a good crop? No. Similarly, careful preparation is required before receiving spiritual initiation. This preparedness conduces to success. This must be kept in mind.

Most humbly, I want to touch another point. There is no end to this preparation. Before taking the name of God, before receiving the mantra, the soil of our mind has to be processed. Unless the mind is pure, the mantra will not be effective. The mind has to be prepared through the practice of good conduct, humility, sraddha, and tru yearning.

Have True Yearning

If there is a genuine urge in the mind for taking the name of God, the result of initiation will be higly rewarding. There is a beautiful simile given by Sri Ramakrishna. The oyster eagerly awaits with it's mouth open. If a drop of rain falling during the ascendancy of the Swati constellation enters, the oyster closes its mouth, goes to the bottom of the ocean and turns it inot a pearl. Spiritual initiation is just like this drop of water in association with the star Swati. Before having initiation, one must keep one's heart open to receive that Truth with great yearning like an oyster. Only then will the mantra be effective in life.

Have Sraddha

We always say, even at the time of initiation, that without devotion and faith it does not become fruitful. Hence we must have faith. One has to receive the mantra with sraddha. Only then the mantra, like a seed, will sprout and flourish into a full grown tree, bearing flowers and fruits. Hence it must be borne in mind that preparedness before receiving the spiritual initiation is mandatory. In fact, nothing in spiritual life can be achieved without preparation.

The scriptures recommend that a spiritual seeker must approach the guru for learning the ideal by being serviceful, humble, with selfless devotion, making himself pure and blemishless. Why is so much importance laid in the scriptures on preparedness? the reason is, the moment is an invaluable one, when the name of God is presented to us. Receiving that holy name in our heart with faith and devotion and concentrating our mind on it, f we can dive deep into our being, like the oyster, and remain engrossed in it, the most valuable gem will take shape within us. This is to be especially borne in mind. We get this lesson from the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna.

Be Humble

In the Bhagavad Gita also it said,'This is never to be spoken by you to one who is devoid of austerities of devotion, nor to one who does not render service, not to one who cavils at Me' (18.67)

Why have these categories of people been excluded" Because the field (of their mind) is not prepared. The criteria mentioned earlier are only preparatory steps. Once the field is ready, one develops love for the name of God. This is to remembered by both - those who are seeking diksha and also those already initiated. Hence it is said in the scriptures that one must be humble, inclined to serve and must keep one's life as pure and stainless as possible.

Before being initiated, our hearts are to be purified to receive initiation. Before installing the diety, the temple and its surrounding must be well cleaned. Then only can we think of the installation ceremony. Receiving mantra signifies installation of God in one's life. all preparations are aimed at this only. Without compliance to these conditions, or even being indifferent to them, we cannot really install God in our heart. This must be especially borne in mind.

To be continued....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Guru Purnima


Glory of the Guru

In the Tantric scriptures the guru is said to be non other than God Himself.As it is said in the 'Hymn to the Guru.'

Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu
Guru Devo Maheswarah
Guru Sakshath Parabrahma
Thasmai Sri Gurave Namah.

Guru is Brahma, guru is Vishnu, guru is siva, guru himself is the supreme Brahman;salutations to the guru.' The guru is supposed to be none other than the supreme Brahman. Sri Ramakrishna used to say that Satchidananda, the Ultimate Reality, Brahman alone is the guru. This is in conformity with the teachings of the Vedas and other scriptures. But when one goes for initiation one does not realize that one is being taught by that all-knowing supreme Reality called Brahman.

We approach an individual whom we choose as our guru because we feel he is competent to guide us. That person has birth and death and other human limitations, but as such cannot be identified with Brahman. But our scriptures strictly enjoin us to look upon the guru as the Supreme.

Does this not lead to a conflict between theory and practice? Yes, in a way it does. But then, it is just like our practice of worshipping God through images. We make images of God signifying particular aspects of Him. The image is made of materials which are nonsentient and we meditate or worship God, who is the infinite Spirit, through that image. why do we do it? Because our mind cannot grasp the Infinite, the pure Spirit which transcends our thoughts. Therefore, we have to take recourse to a physical representation of It - either an idol or a picture or simply a symbolic diagram. There is no religion in the world in which God is worshipped without either an image or symbol. If we do not worship God through symbol, we cannot conceive of Him. Even religions that strongly advice the eradication's of all images from the mind take recourse to one symbol or another.

Is it necessary to go to a guru to progress along the spiritual path? Obviously it is the practical approach. A guru has to have certain qualifications without which he will not be able to direct the ignorant disciple.

The first qualification is that he must be a srotriya, that is, he should have a knowledge of the scriptures. But mere scholarship does not make one a guru. He has to be a man of true knowledge, enlightenment; he must be a man who has realized the Truth.

Secondly, he must be avrjina, his conduct should be above repreach. He should live strictly in conformity with the scriptural ideal. He must be free from all sins. He must be absolutely pure.

Lastly, he must be akamahata, his relation with his disciple should not have any kind of selfish motive. He should be free from the desire of getting any advantage from the disciple by imparting the mantra. These are the main qualifications that have got to be kept in mind when we proceed to accept any one as our guru.

To be continued...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Guru Purnima


Potency of Mantras

Through this living contact the mantra becomes more powerful. It is to preserve this power that our scriptures enjoin a kind of secrecy on the part of the disciples and lay down rigorous punishments for those who infringe this rule. Of course, the purpose of this is just to prevent people from taking mantras lightly or frivolously. One must take the mantras very seriously. One should not experiment with them. They are very important in our lives. When we try to devote ourselves to the realization of God, we must know that it cannot be done in a light-hearted manner. The Guru transmits not only the mantras but also the knowledge that he has derived through personal experience or through the experience of the teachers of that line and is therefore competent to teach the disciple in the right manner.

Another point comes to my mind in this connection. There are innumerable mantras. If they are all placed before us, we will get confused as to which ones are to be accepted and which ones are to be rejected. To remove such a confusion the best principle would be to follow the dictates of a competent person who has direct knowledge to them. That person is the Guru.

Mantras are symbolic representation of divinity - God in the form of revealed words. These are instances of devotees mystically experiencing God in the form of an effulgent diagram or in the form of the luminous letter of the mantra. This is, of course, and example of a mystic expressions. We cannot always justify rationally these experiences which transcend reason. We cannot prove to the uninitiated people of the world that these experiences are real.

The image of God may be a material idol,of God may be expressed through a word or symbol, and such experiences are absolutely necessary in order to attain God realization. The human mind can conceive of the Reality only through forms. It cannot conceive of the Formless.

It may be asked, 'Have we to remain bound by forms for ever?' No, we need not. Through the forms we reach the Formless. We can never reach the Formless all of a sudden or directly without transforming present state of mind. In the beginning our mind cannot think in any way except through forms or symbols. so, a symbol is absolutely necessary for spiritual practice and the mantras are symbols representing divinity.

If we love a particular aspect of God, represented in a particular image, we do not like the image to be maimed or deformed. similarly, the mantra is to be repeated as it is, without introducing any changes. Furthermore, we have to adhere to a single method of practice for the sake of concentration.

To be continued

Monday, July 14, 2008

Guru Purnima

Realize the Significance of Spiritual Initiation

We should not forget that spiritual initiation is a very significant event in life. So, it should be taken with all seriousness. Here I would like to point out one thing not only for the initiated but for everyone. Let not initiation be looked upon as a status symbol or as a means to attain a status either. Let us not forget that it is a means of God realization only. Those who come to take initiation should be serious about it. That the moment of initiation is a unique one should be borne in mind.

Suppose the guru is speaking something that requires close attention but some are not attentive and are thinking of something else. It clearly suggests that they have not understood the importance or seriousness of spiritual initiation. I have no intention to criticize anybody. I mention it to drive home the point that one must have a reverential attitude towards initiation. One must remember that it is important event in one's life. Otherwise, one will not fell the worth of this event.

Read Our Specified Literature

Many desire to have initiation. Some show great interest. But before initiation, unless one is familiar with the ideal which we want to present before you, the initiation will not be fruitful. That is why it is our practice that one must be familiar with the life and teachings of Sri Ramakirshna, Holy Mother and Swami Vivekananda. Hence one seeking initiation is asked to prepare himself. Those who are found under prepared are advised to wait. Only eligible candidates are advised to take initiation. This preparedness helps us to do our duty properly. Besides, the recipients also are able to grasp easily what we instruct.

Necessity of the Guru

The Upanisads declare: 'Knowledge gained from a teacher alone becomes fruitful.' If a bit of knowledge is to be made really effective in our lives, it must be heard from a Guru. The idea behind it is that the Guru not only gives the mantra but along with it he transmits some of the spiritual power that he possesses, to the disciple. When one reads the mantras in printed books, this kind of transmission of power does not take place.

Let us try to understand this in a more intelligible and rational sense. If we read certain ethical codes in a book, they may have some effect on us. But when we hear those ethical teachings from a person whom we love and revere, the effect will be naturally very different.Similarly, though we may not understand the actual process of transmission of spiritual power through spiritual initiation, we can understand at least this much that it is only from a lamp that another lamp is lighted. It is necessary that to kindle a soul there must be some soul that must have already been kindled. That is what is meant by transmission from the Guru to the disciple. Without that sort of living link, transmission of spiritual power is not possible.

To be continued

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Guru Purnima

Guru Purnima is celebrated on the full moon day in Ashada (July).This year,Guru Purnima,is on the July 18 2008.This day is dedicated to Guru and he/she is honored and given due respect. Sage Vyasa is considered the Adi Guru or the first Guru in Hinduism and therefore the day is also known as Vyas Poornima.

It was our blessings that Swami Virabhadrananda explained to us on 'Guru' and 'Mantra Diksha'. But not all would have the opportunity like us and I am sure there are many out there, who ponder on What is Guru??....What is Mantra Diksha???...Do I need one????...Why????? and many other questions.....

In the conjunction of Guru Purnima,I would like to take this opportunity to share about what I have read in the book titled 'Spiritual Initiation - What it is' by Swami Bhuteshananda. I hope with this some of the question as above will be answered......

What is Spiritual Initiation (Mantra Diksha)

The Sanskrit word diksha means to take the vow of making a beginning. It is translated into English as 'initiation', which means to make a beginning or to cause somebody begin a certain course.

What is a mantra? A mantra is a spiritual or mystic formula, the repetition of which brings about liberation from bondage of ignorance, i.e. liberation from the chain of births and deaths. That is the purpose of mantra diksha.

There is a great deal of confusion in our minds regarding what diksha is and to what extent it is important in our spiritual pursuit. Many people seek diksha without being clear in their minds as to what it meant and what should be achieved by this process.

And diksha means to make a beginning of this repetition of the mantra in a particular process prescribed by the Guru.

A mantra is to be preserved very carefully so that no change may occur in its form and character. Nothing should be added to or subtracted from it.

To be continued tomorrow........

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Swami Saradananda
(1865 - 1927)

Sharat Chandra Chakrabarty (Premonastic name of Swami Saradananda) was born in Kolkata at 6:32 p.m. on Saturday, 23 December 1865.Shashi (Swami Ramakrishnananda) a cousin of Sharat was studying and living with Sharat’s family. In October 1883, Shashi, and Sharat visited Sri Ramakrishna.

The first contact of the two cousins with Sri Ramakrishna during October 1883 -- was a turning point in their lives. Friendship with Narendranath (Swami Vivekananda) gave a further fillup to their spiritual and monastic aspirations.

At first sight, Sri Ramakrishna recognized Sharat and Shashi as his own. Sensing their spirit of renunciation, the Master said: “Bricks and tiles, if burnt with the trademark, on them, retain those marks forever.Similarly you should enter the world after advancing a little in the path of spirituality. Then you will not sink in the mire of worldliness.”

Sri Ramakrishna set the fire of renunciation in the minds of Sharat and Shashi. Sharat began to visit Master on a regular basis on Thursdays a college holiday.

Sri Ramakrishna kept a vigilant eye on his disciples. Observing Sharat’s spirit of nonattachment, the Master asked him, “Whom do you love most of all?” “Well sir,” answered Sharat, “I don’t think I love anyone.” At this Master indignantly said: “Oh, what a dry rascal! Fall either into one pit or the other- into pit of filth or into the pit of gold!” But who is foolish enough to want to fall into pit of filth? If one has love in one’s heart for one’s fellow beings, one can easily divert it towards God.

While in ecstasy Sri Ramakrishna's behavior would often be mysterious. One day in such a mood, he sat on the lap of a young man, Sharat Chandra, and remarked, `I was testing how much weight he could bear'. This Sharat Chandra who was later known as `Swami Saradananda' successfully bore the burden of running Sri Ramakrishna Math and Mission as its (General) Secretary for nearly three decades.

Sharat, who was an adept in serving the sick, both by temperament and by experience, was one of the few important disciples of Sri Ramakrishna who nursed him during his fatal illness. After his passing away, Sharat too joined the select band of monastics under the leadership of Narendra and became `Swami Saradananda'.

Like his other monastic brothers, Swami Saradananda also spent a few years as an itinerant monk practising severe austerities. However, when Swami Vivekananda called him for continuing his work in the West, Saradananda went to London first and later to New York for the same. While he was proving to be a great success in the West, especially due to his spiritual attainments, he was recalled to India in 1898 by Swami Vivekananda to take over the executive responsibility of the Sri Ramakrishna Math and Mission as its (General) Secretary in which capacity he served till his last day.

The way he served Sri Sarada Devi, the Holy Mother, was a model par excellence for anyone to emulate, In order to build a residence for her at Calcutta which would also house the office of the Udbodhan, the Bengali Monthly of the Ramakrishna Order, he labored hard. To repay the debts he had incurred in doing so, he wrote the now monumental work Sri Ramakrishna Lilaprasanga (`Sri Ramakrishna, the Great Master').

The Swami was as learned as he was spiritual. His courtesy and gentleness were so overwhelming that even the rudest of men would melt into submission. Equanimity and coolheadedness, even under very trying circumstances, were another remarkable characteristic of his.

Soon after successfully convening the Ramakrishna Mission Convention at Belur Math in 1926, he took ill and shuffled off the mortal coil on the 19th August 1927.


Through selfless work the mind gets purified. And when the mind becomes pure, there arise knowledge and devotion in it.

Whatever work stands in the way of God-realization and increases discontent is bad work. You should wholly discard it.

The Ramakrishna Mission does not like to express any opinion, good or bad, about political discussions, for the Master did not instruct us to do anything of the kind, and Swamiji asked the Mission to keep itself aloof from such effort. That is why the Mission has been all along engaging itself in spirituality and service to humanity.

Now-a-days there are so many religious societies, but people lose all interest in them after a few days. What is the reason for this? The reason is our words are not in accord with our thoughts. The first step in religion is to be sincere to the core.

House For Sale 22X80 (1760 ft2, 163.509 m2)

Greetings to all,

Asking Price: RM125,000 (Negotiable)

FREEHOLD SINGLE STOREY 22X80 TERRACE HOUSE FOR SALE AT SEREMBAN, TAMAN THIVY JAYA. Near to schools both primary and secondary and kindergarten, shops, hypermarket, wet market, ‘pasar malam’ (night market) twice a week, golf resort,PLUS HIGHWAY, and many more.

Has 4 rooms and 2 bathrooms.Have renovated the kitchen and the front hall. Kitchen cabinets (wood) are available. Friendly neighbourhood. No issues of traffic jam.

The address is as below
482, Jalan Nuri Indah 9,
Taman Thivy Jaya
Negeri Sembilan

Pls contact Chandra at 017-6950024