Lets do something very special today to celebrate Gita Jayanti – The Day when Lord Shri Krishna spoke the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita.
I have uploaded a special verse from the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita taken from our upcoming Gita Memorization course Chapter 12.2 Where the Beloved Lord says:
By fixing their minds on me, those who constantly engaged in loving devotional service to me and who possess absolute commitment are engaged in the best way possible, this is my opinion.
Here is the sanskrit transliteration:
Listen to the audio and read the above text, at least 5 times. Hopefully the enchanting sound of the Beloved Lord’s words will remain in your mind and become a part of your very being. This is the traditional way of memorizing the ancient Hindu scriptures and I feel very privileged to share this with you.
Email me HanumanDass@godharmic.com or comment below letting me know if you were able to memorize the verse, you can even record yourself chanting the verse and send it to me.
Wishing you all the very best.
Be Here Now was first published in the 1960′s and spoke to hearts of a whole generation. It is difficult to quantify its impact on the modern American mind. The book was one of the very few books Steve Jobs kept it on his Ipad.
Ram Dass is my spiritual teacher and this book more than any other convinced me that Hindu Philosophy has a profound and important role to play in the world.
The book is divided into four unique sections, the first being his personal transformation from Harvard Professor Dr.Richard Alpert to Baba Ram Dass. It is a fascinating story and perhaps a spiritual transformation that we will all make eventually.
The second section is full of free form imagery inspiring spiritual thoughts. Here is one of them:
The third section is a manual for a spiritual life. It describes how you can live as a Yogi in the world. Some of the difficulties you will encounter, what kind of diet you should have, how to make your home into a mandir, performing puja, and so much more. The way Ram Dass brings ancient Hindu practises into modern understanding is unparalleled.
Here are some nice quotes from the book:
“It’s only when caterpillarness is done that one becomes a butterfly. That again is part of this paradox. You cannot rip away caterpillarness. The whole trip occurs in an unfolding process of which we have no control.”
“Just because you are seeing divine light, experiencing waves of bliss, or conversing with Gods and Goddesses is no reason to not know your zip code.”
“If you think you’re free, there’s no escape possible.”
The fourth section, titled Painted Cakes is about books. It is divided into three parts: Books to hang out with, books to visit now and again, and books nice to have met. I have nearly purchased every book that he recommends in this section, there are some rare ones on the list that you may find difficult to source.
I initially wanted to divide my book reviews category into similar sections and perhaps this is something I may do in the future, This book definitely goes into the section ‘Books to hang out with’. Keep it close to you, read it often, and Be Here Now.
The last question Arjuna asks Lord Shri Krishna in Chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita is, ‘what is the description of a person established in profound knowledge?’
The Beloved Lord then replies with a wonderful description of a being devoid of all selfishness. A person who with senses restrained is absorbed in yoga on the Lord. Free from attachment and anger, the sage is always calm and free from suffering. This sage is like the ocean which is continually filled with active rivers but stands still throughout.
Today is the 93rd Birthday of his Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. This is a being who I think embodies this higher wisdom. With the wishes, prayers and desires of hundreds of temples, thousands and thousands of devotees, he is an ocean of compassion for so many people. His life is one of selfless service to God and Humanity.
In 2.77 The Beloved Lord says, ‘Abandoning all selfish desires, a person moves through life free from materialistic cravings. Without the sense of egocentricity and without the notion of ‘I am the doer’ that one obtains true peace.
When I read this verse, Pramukh Swami comes to mind. He exists only to serve us all, without ever having met him you can feel the love and wisdom that emanates from a being like him. He continues to set the highest example of how to live to us all, I wish him a very Happy Birthday.
The Following blog is written by Vijay Sodhi who is working on a very exciting project, a feature length movie titled Rama: The rise of Dharma. I think it is crucial to use technology and the best in innovative creativity to carry forward treasures of India. Obviously, I love this idea, I hope you do too, visit the Kickstarter page to help them achieve this goal after reading the blog.
Over to Vijay:
Why is the Ramayana Relevant Today?
2 years ago we agreed, come what may, we would do our best to bring the story of The Ramayana to the big screen. But where to start such a journey? We turned to the Ramayana itself for an answer. Sri Ramchandraji before embarking on any task, seeks the blessing and guidance from his parents and his teachers. And so did we.
Armed with the confidence of these blessings, we began the journey. We knew that it would be full of pitfalls, challenges and disappointments. We’d have to face mountains that we’d not know how to start climbing. But the words of our teacher echoes in our hearts, “in order to understand the Ramayana, to be able to tell its story, you, yourselves must become fit instruments to do so.” That meant reading, studying, discussing and learning this great story from the Masters that revel in it. We need to apply it to our lives, contemplate and allow the story to sink in, we need the story to permeate down to our very core. And only then can we become fit instruments to channel the glory of Lord Rama.
Now what does making a movie have with the odyssey of Sri Rama? Everything.
The story of the Ramayana has the power to transform the storyteller and the listener. In it our hero, Sri Rama, overcomes so many obstacles. Obstacles that we could not even imagine facing. Disenfranchised from his kingdom, banished to the forest, his wife kidnapped and going to war against the most fearsome of foes. The lesson in it all for us is not what obstacles he faced, but how he faced those obstacles.
We may not face an army of demons today, but the way in which Sri Rama faced them is certainly invaluable. Even tempered, steady, sure, without anxiety, without over confidence, he went about life with skill and equanimity of mind. So too with the demons of our own mind, we have to commit this same resolve. How do we do that? We learn that this resolve arises when we hold on to a higher ideal and delve into the cool waters of knowledge, to penetrate the fogginess of our likes and dislikes and bring clarity and joy to our lives.
The Ramayana’s appeal can be attributed to so many things; its story is both spanning and deep. It’s themes of adventure and love, courage and honour, good and bad, knowledge and ignorance explore the full array of human experience and emotions. But drill down to just below the surface, past the everyday themes, and there is a beautiful treasure waiting to be found. The sub-stratum of The Ramayana, the very foundation and supporting structure, the essence that makes the Ramayana what it is, and without it, it would be just another story… is Dharma.
Dharma. That intention, that thought, that action which holds, supports, unites us all – as nations, communities, families and individuals. Dharma. The means and the final destination. The art of righteous living, and the essence of all human beings. Dharma is subtle. It cannot be learnt. It has to be lived, and can only be lived by those with a strong and pure heart. We understand the subtlety of Dharma by observing Lord Rama’s life and how he handled every situation, small or significant.
The goal of human life remains the same. It always has and always will. So does the means: Dharma. Therefore the Ramayana is as relevant today as it was 5000 years ago. It offers a glimpse below the surface of what is ordinary. It provides an understanding of the nature of all things. And if you open yourself up to it, it reveals to you your own true nature.
If we are to be fit instruments, it would be through our adherence to Dharma.
With the blessings of our teachers and those that came before us.
Jai Shree Rama!!
Rudraksha Films is currently working on bringing the story of the Ramayana to the big screen. Rama: The Rise of Dharma is their first feature film. Please have a look at the below links to support the project:
Different paths to realisation are found in the three Vedas, by the philosophy of Sankhya, Yoga, Shiva worshippers, Vaishnava Shastras. People follow many different paths, straight or crooked, according to their individual temperament, depending on that which they consider best, or most appropriate–and reach you alone just as rivers enter the ocean.
I’ve included the Sanskrit transliteration here as I feel it is one to memorize. What do you think?