Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Commonwealth Games 2010- India

The Commonwealth Games is the biggest sporting event after the Olympics; very few countries get the opportunity to host CWG. We are very lucky that such an event is happening in our country and our city- Delhi.

While the games may have been in the news for all the wrong reasons, even in as desperate a situation as Delhi might find itself, the attitude of its people can rise above their leaders’ failings – and create an overall positive impression. Let us ensure that the visitors carry a positive image of the games when they leave from here. Let us showcase the hospitality that is rooted in our Indian tradition.

We must remember that the Commonwealth Games do not merely show the capacity of Indian politicians and officials to handle a major international event. It is the entire city of Delhi that is on show, and all of the people contained within its walls. Let us focus on what we can do -- remain "positive". National pride is involved with the event and every effort is being made to make it a success. Let us acknowledge the hard work and dedication put by the people responsible for the event. The faceless people who have sacrificed everything – from their home, livelihood, to even their lives and those who have travelled thousands of kilometers and worked relentlessly through the rain in trying to get Delhi “ready” for the games and to save “our national pride”.

Anyone who has crossed Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium late at night would have seen laborers hard at work, dangerously balanced high on top of the stadium buildings, without any safety equipment. 128 people have suffered injuries working on the construction sites and 45 people have died working for the CWG till date.

With less than 4 days left for the games, irrespective of how the events turn out –the next time we are stuck in our cars in a traffic jam, cursing the Games, the Delhi Government, the corrupt officials etc, lets spare a thought for those who have lost more than we can imagine to make our lives a little easier in the end. Now Let us do our bit to help the event being a success. Let us believe in the people responsible for the event, let us encourage them to deliver their best, let us work as a team to make everyone more productive.

The Games shall showcase India's organizational ability to go with its rising stature on the global stage — as the spectacularly organized Beijing Olympics did for China. This event is an opportunity for India to showcase itself as a potential world leader of tomorrow. I am sure the country will deliver a good Commonwealth Games despite the controversy-marred build-up to the event. India will come out in flying colors with a good show at the CWG.

Let us pray to God together- “Dear Lord, in the struggle and conflict that goes on for the success of the Games, we don't know how to resolve it but You are our Savior. Please save and restore, and bless us all, making this event a huge success, providing security and safety of everyone involved. Please cast out the fear we feel and replace it with confidence in Your sufficiency and guide us all in making this event a huge success, bringing pride and honor to our country.”

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ganesha Chaturthi- An Insight

One may install idols and worship them. But let us remember the inner significance of all worship. All external activities are necessary only to help us to get into the spirit of non-duality. Love and sacrifice are very important. Where there is pure, unsullied, selfless, sacred and sublime love there is no fear at all. Giving and not getting is the underlying principle of spiritual dedication.

On these festival days, let’s remember that God is one, and all religions uphold the same principle of "One God, who is omnipresent." One should not have contempt for any religion, as each is a pathway to God. Fostering love towards our fellow-beings, receive the noble love of the Divine. This is the goal of life.

Ganapathi should be worshiped for this purpose because he is the master of the senses and only the mastery of the senses can make man turn his mind God-ward. If we want to lead a life of happiness, free from troubles and difficulties, one should pray to Ganapathi, the remover of all obstacles. Vighneshvara (Ganesha) dwells in each one of us as our Buddhi (intelligence) and Vijnaana (wisdom). When we make proper use of our inherent intelligence and wisdom, we shall be successful in life.

The Ganesha story brings home an original message: that we must all do our own deeds out of inclination in our own world, and for our own reasons. Also, we must firmly hold to our own centre. Reason: it’s only when devotion is observed without any ulterior motive can we purify our mind and receive God’s – Grace.

The portrayal of Lord Ganesha as the blend of human and animal parts symbolizes the ideals of perfection and this form of Ganesha also symbolizes philosophical concepts of profound spiritual significance. A Ganesha idol – an indispensable element of every home – depicts a human being having in one’s persona the entire Cosmos, with all its spiritual energies and authority.

Ganesha’s head symbolizes the Atman [soul] -- the ultimate, or the supreme, reality of human existence. His human body signifies maya, or illusion – the earthly existence of human beings.

Elephant head, small mouth, and large ears: the large head of an elephant symbolizes to think BIG, --understanding, and a discriminating intellect that one must possess to attain perfection in life. The small mouth represents to talk less. The large ears signify that a perfect person is the one who possesses a great capacity to listen to others and assimilate ideas. To hear even minute sounds, hearing the glory of the Lord- is the first step in spiritual dedication for which ears should be sharp. After hearing one has to ruminate over this and put it into practice. The elephant takes the Dhuushana and Bhuushana (praise and blame) equally. When it hears something bad, it moves its body this way and that way and shakes off the unwanted things while it retains goods things quietly.

Elephant eyes: are said to possess natural deceptiveness that allows them to perceive objects to be bigger than what they really are. Thus the elephant eyes symbolize the idea that even if an individual gets "bigger and bigger" in wealth and wisdom, he should perceive others to be bigger than him; that is, surrender one's pride and attain humility

The trunk and two tusks with the left tusk broken: the trunk epitomizes Om – the sound emblem of cosmic reality. There is no known human instrument that has an operating range as wide as that of an elephant's trunk. It can uproot a tree and yet lift a needle off the ground. Likewise, the human mind must be strong enough to face the ups and downs of the external world and yet delicate enough to explore the subtle realms of the inner world. The sweets He holds in His trunk indicate that one must discover the everlasting sweetness of the eternal Atman.

The two tusks denote the two aspects of the human personality, wisdom and emotion. The right tusk represents wisdom and the left tusk represents emotion. The broken left tusk conveys the idea that one must conquer emotions with wisdom to attain perfection.

The four arms and various objects in the four hands: the four arms indicate that the Lord is omnipresent and omnipotent. The left side of the body symbolizes emotion and the right side symbolizes reason. An axe in the upper left hand and a lotus in the upper right hand signify that in order to attain spiritual perfection, one should cut worldly attachments and conquer emotions. This enables one to live in the world without being affected by earthly temptations, just as a lotus remains in water but is not affected by it.

A human body with a big belly: the human body possesses a human heart, which is a symbol of kindness and compassion toward all. Ganesha's body is usually portrayed wearing red and yellow clothes. Yellow symbolizes purity, peace and truthfulness. Red symbolizes the activity in the world. These are the qualities of a perfect person who performs all duties in the world, with purity, peace, and truthfulness. The big belly signifies that a perfect individual must have a large capacity to peacefully digest all good and bad in life.

A mouse sitting near the feet of Ganesha and gazing at the tray of Laddus: a mouse symbolizes the ego/ desire that can nibble all that is good and noble in a person. A mouse sitting near the feet of Ganesha indicates that a perfect person is one who has conquered his (or her) ego/desire. Mouse as the vehicle indicates that one should ride and keep the ego/desire under control and don’t allow it to take you for a ride.

Right foot dangling over the left foot: as stated above, the left side of the body symbolizes emotion and the right side symbolizes reason and knowledge. The right foot dangling over the left foot illustrates that in order to live a successful life one should utilize knowledge and reason to overcome emotions.

Let us celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi realizing the inner meaning of the aspects of Lord Ganesha. Let us do away with the binding worldly attachments by freeing ourselves from the illusion of discrimination and vanquish the ego by surrendering to the Lord who promises protection and attain the sweetness of bliss of spiritual enlightenment.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cutting Edge- Ingredients of Success

We have the power to create a perfect job for ourselves only when we use our choice for how we approach our work. We can make our personal and work life more fun, more creative, imaginative and rewarding, by just a little extra effort. There are ingredients of success that work for each one of us regardless of what business one is in or what kind of person he/she is. There's a certain magic in the ability to command and control the forces of life—to bring wave of dreams into reality, doing work as a form of self-expression, as a medium of joy and self-satisfaction, as an instrument of growth.

This redefinition of work from tedious drudgery into the purpose of life, or at any rate integral to it, is a paradigm shift of impressive proportions. Work is no longer separate from us; it is an important part of us. It is no longer the means to an end; it is an end in itself. Money, financial security, power, fame, and prestige shall cease to be the goal of work, they shall become it’s by products.

One can make life rich, multi-hued and dynamic, where work and self are intimately intertwined. Work derives form that we are, and in turn, it impacts on who we are. Draw strokes on society's palette that is strong, unique, and positive. In realizing perfect work, we are actually realizing ourselves.

Happiness happens when we fit with our life. When we fit so harmoniously that whatever we are doing is our joy. In other words, one should choose to enjoy the work. Being happy comes from the way we think at our very core – and that thinking shapes the work we do. Not the other way around.

Learning starts with knowing our own self. Socrates said “Know thyself” for a good reason. Feeling inadequate is stressful, but knowing we have unique gifts to contribute to the world of work provides immense satisfaction. The more one knows about the strengths, more one creates the work life of enjoyment. Let us identify our strengths so that we can redesign our job as such it becomes more meaningful and fulfilling because it capitalizes on our strengths. One understands his life’s purpose and defines himself as who he is, rather than what he does. Knowing life’s purpose allows creating a passionate work life that feels more like play than work. Expressing true self escalates self- esteem.

One should be honest to admit strengths and weaknesses. Know where to improve and do not waste time neglecting the weak aspects of personality. Instead, work at it so that they will be well-rounded to be able to adapt to different situations. When our life moves toward the direction of our focus, we receive the richest rewards when we support our strengths rather than warring against our weaknesses. When we concentrate on our most valuable talents and contributions, seen and unseen resources help us accomplish our purpose.

The key here is one is always blessed with and has that personal power within to create a meaningful, joyful and fulfilling work environment- you are the creator. You are yourself the miracle, whom you are searching and seeking for last so many years of your life. A fulfilling life doesn’t create a happy individual. A happy individual creates a fulfilling life- the cutting edge to succeed is always with you, just use it and succeed.

Irrespective of what others might have told, our personality is as flexible as that of a newborn baby. With self- awareness and clear intentions, one can reconfigure the brain as many times and in as many ways and shapes the soft clay can be molded. One has the ability and choice as to how does one respond and perceive any situation. One always has the power to mold the attitude and respond in ways that are winning.

One can anytime reprogram the neural network of the brain by carving new pathways of joy and intelligent optimism. When faced with an unpleasant situation, which cannot be altered, embrace the challenge with the curiosity of a small child- “I wonder what I shall learn this time”. Solving situations is exciting because the process would eventually produce personal and professional growth. One has to focus on how to be productive and identify what can be enjoyed in the present moment.

When we have the power to change our self, we have the power to change the world around us. With this knowledge one is free. Notice the mirror effect in action, whatever image and energy we project in it, it comes back to us multifold. When we radiate a calm accepting presence we are immediately rewarded with the kind supportive, external environment.

We are the sole commander of our attitude, emotional state, and how we react to challenges. Employees who are peaceful and fulfilled recognize that most challenges can be resolved by shifting perceptions. It is impossible for any situation to trouble us. Only our opinions of circumstances cause despair, anger and agony.

Inner turmoil is never caused by what exists. It is brought about by the desire for something different, and we resist and do not accept the reality. Pain is created by resistance to what exists. Identifying our preferences yet being detached from a specific outcome produces a profoundly beneficial state of mind, the mind is our private inner sanctuary of freedom and peace. Recognize that unpleasant situations are opportunities for growth. When we change our perceptions then the world rewards with a very different reality.

If we are to enjoy our jobs and reach our highest levels of self- actualization, it is essential that we encounter every situation as a possibility of growth and development.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Spirituality At Workplace

We all are facing numerous personal and business challenges today, much because we are unable to find the meaning in our job/ work and life as a whole. Our job/ work play a significant role in our lives and it is important that we find fulfillment in what we do. Work is as much about spirit and soul as it is about salary.

Work spirituality has become a significant aspect of organizational culture in most of the business organizations today. The values of spirituality greatly enhance the sense of accomplishment in an individual, which impacts on the overall productivity and growth of the organizations. Regardless of what type of job one has and how unfulfilling it might be, one should take steps to make his/her job “more lovable.” Let us discover the steps to achieve spirituality at work place.

At the individual level, spirituality at work is a distinct, multidimensional experience characterized by cognitive, spiritual, interpersonal, and mystical dimensions. Spirit at work involves:
Engaging work characterized by a profound feeling of well-being, a belief that one is engaged in meaningful work that has a higher purpose, an awareness of alignment between one's values and beliefs and one's work, and a sense of being authentic;

A spiritual connection characterized by a sense of connection to something larger than self;

A sense of community characterized by a feeling of connectedness to others for a common purpose; and

A mystical or unitized experience characterized by a positive state of energy or vitality, a sense of perfection, transcendence, and experiences of joy and bliss. We yearn for work to be a place in which we both experience and express our deep soul and spirit.

We want to feel supported, we want respect, we want to belong and we want to evolve spiritually. Money has very little to do with any of these factors. Learning to respect and accept others helps unite us together, strengthening that universal energy that keeps us alive. What one calls this universal energy is unimportant. It is there, whether we see it, feel it or believe it. When we are in harmony with it, our lives are smoother and easier. When we fight it, we are only fighting our self.

A house divided cannot stand; a person divided cannot function fully, whether in the workplace or in our personal lives, our attitude about the world defines how our life unfolds. Make a choice today to live the fullest life possible - filled with friends and enjoyable work. The world will be a better place for all of us.

The philosophy of spirituality at the work place encourages the emotions of generous love, care, humanity, creation, inner satisfaction and self fulfillment. It is a fact in today’s dynamic business environment; organizations’ performance, productivity and competence are an exclusive outcome of leadership spirituality.

Leadership spirituality intrinsically motivates and drives an individual’s internal focus towards organizational development by aligning their personal values with the values of organizational vision and mission which creates a psychological affiliation between individual and the organization and increases the level of self fulfillment at work.

Leadership spirituality provides the essence for improving the capabilities of individuals, their productivity and growth by setting up an organizational perspective containing the values of love, care affection, affiliation, wholeness and loyalty which builds an inner connection of the individual with his organization.

Spirituality in the workplace promotes the expression of talent, brilliance and genius — talent in the sense of our Divine gifts; brilliance in terms of our intellect and the intensity of the light we have to shine; and genius not as a scarce commodity, but as something that everyone has. Our true job is to connect with that genius. And moreover, spirituality in the workplace also leads to increased self-fulfillment, contentment and a deep sense of belonging.

The orientation of leadership spirituality in organizational culture empowers an individual morally and ethically by making them bold, confident and competent, which as a result enhances their job involvement and job satisfaction. Spirituality impacts in the strong communication and interpersonal relationship among employees by setting up a culture of individual support, collaboration and intrinsic motivation of employees that subsequently leads to highly productive and satisfied work force.

The work spirituality is also found very significant in reducing the pressure, tension, anxiety and burden of work and makes the job more enjoyable. Spirituality is found extremely beneficial in reducing the feelings of tensions, anxiety as it aids the individual to cope with the burden and pressure of work.

Our work is an extension of ourselves, in ways that are personal and complex. Almost any job has some level of natural enjoyment. In strictly economic terms work that provides us with joy, work that we would do even if we weren’t paid for it, isn’t work at all. But we all need to make a living. The level of toil or natural enjoyment is a large factor in how various jobs are compensated. Many people choose jobs that they enjoy doing, even though they could earn higher wages doing something they found more toilsome.

While working with spirituality, one has to have a sense and satisfaction of being a competent and creative producer. As an employee, our spiritual self is one of the diverse strengths we bring to the table. Simply by approaching projects, goals, and interpersonal relations in the workplace with intention, one can pursue individual fulfillment while also doing our part to gently promote a holistic, healthy and harmonious working environment.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Transforming Limiting Beliefs

Limiting beliefs serve as filters of our reality. We see the reality in a different way than others because we have different beliefs than the other person. The same situation is viewed differently by different people. That's why the situation that we find funny might be completely depressing to others. At times we mistakenly look at the world and think that what we see and perceive is the real world. However limiting beliefs color our lives in the way that is only true to us. It's very hard at that time to understand that the life that we perceive is only so because of our own limiting beliefs.

Here I would like to share a small childhood story, which explains how a limiting belief can influence the entire lifespan of an individual.
It goes:
Once upon a time, there was a large mountainside, where an eagle's nest rested. One day an earthquake rocked the mountain causing one of the eggs to roll down the mountain, to a chicken farm, located in the valley below. The chickens knew that they must protect and care for the eagle's egg, so an old hen volunteered to nurture and raise the large egg. One day, the egg hatched and a beautiful eagle was born.
Sadly, however, the eagle was raised to be a chicken. Soon, the eagle believed he was nothing more than a chicken. The eagle loved his home and family, but his spirit cried out for more. While playing a game on the farm one day, the eagle looked to the skies above and noticed a group of mighty eagles soaring in the skies. "Oh," the eagle cried, "I wish I could soar like those birds." The chickens roared with laughter, "You cannot soar with those birds. You are a chicken and chickens do not soar." The eagle continued staring, at his real family up above, dreaming that he could be with them.
Each time the eagle would let his dreams be known, he was told it couldn't be done. That is what the eagle learned to believe. The eagle, after time, stopped dreaming and continued to live his life like a chicken. Finally, after a long life as a chicken, the eagle passed away. The moral of the story: We become what we believe we are; so if you ever dream to become an eagle follow your dreams, not the words of a chicken.

The true source of the problem is our own unexamined thoughts and feelings. When we are willing to explore these unresolved places in ourselves, we stop projecting them onto others. We stop wanting others to change so that we feel better. We accept the fundamental reality of people and situations and respond accordingly. This approach potentially shifts the whole dynamic of a relationship. Friction fades to freedom; resistance to wise responding.

“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” African proverb

It is so important to realize that how you were treated had very little to do with you. The person who could not give you what you needed was unable to tend to their own painful emotions. Both of you were unaware of what was happening and both ill-equipped to handle it wisely. Let us work on that and check the limiting belief here.

How can we go about identifying and transforming any limiting beliefs that may be hurting our health and overall quality of life? This may not be easy to do because most limiting beliefs are subconsciously at work, and were likely acquired when we were growing up. But there are a few key steps that we can go through to shed clarity on any limiting beliefs that we may be holding on to. Remove that emotional glue to limiting belief and enjoy a life of happiness and freedom.

Any belief that is hurting, scrutinize its base find out that if it’s based on a lot of solid evidence or only a few assumptions. Examine and question assumptions. This technique involves asking first what assumptions are being made to support that belief and then questioning the validity of those assumptions.

Many of these beliefs bring painful past experiences, and reveal a lot of negative emotions. What needs to remembered is that these beliefs are not true! Don't beat yourself up for them and don't feel guilty, because we're about to change our limiting beliefs into empowering statements that will drastically change our inner and our outer worlds.

We have to actually work to let go of our limiting beliefs by focusing our energy to consciously create new and inspiring beliefs about ourself and our world.
Some of the Beliefs to live by:
I believe the following to be true and I see evidence of these statements around me all the time.
• I orchestrate my own experience of life
• Life is naturally abundant. There is enough for everyone
• Life, when lived properly, is easy and happy
• I can do anything if I apply myself in the right way
• Circumstances arrange themselves and opportunities are presented for my greatest good

Once an empowering belief is identified, stitch it into the life. Beliefs are like muscles and they become stronger with regular exercise and in the case of our beliefs, we exercise them by thinking, writing, and even talking about them.

‘The thing happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.’ Frank Lloyd Wright

We are what we think ourself to be!
We are limited only by our own thoughts!!
Let’s throw off the limits and empower ourself!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Delhi Rains

This year rain has been really different in Delhi, in my lifetime I have not experienced this kind of rains in Delhi. Till date we have received a total 846.5 mm of rain so far during this monsoon, 45 percent above average. The month of August alone has received 455.1 mm of rainfall - almost 100 percent above the average. And In September, we received 145.3 mm of rainfall till date- almost 88 percent above average. (IANS). Altogether it has left Delhi much greener whether cleaner or dirtier is debatable. Since we have had unique rains this year, one article on rains ‘to banta hai’.

There is no doubt, in the Northern Indian planes, rains bring in a new lease of life for Nature and human beings alike. Monsoon rains have a special and magical link with the hearts of Indians. It never fails to move us. Along with the rains we experience some of the wonderful blessings of the nature like: clouds, breeze, lightening, tears and raindrops.

When it rains soft grey sky drifts to the ground, it feels as if sky has come down and wants to touch and feel the earth, it over shadows it beautifully. The rain drops falling from the sky wash away all sadness from the hearts, along with it. The fresh smell of first rain, when it touches the ground is an unforgettable one, it has its own magic, so thick, and so sweet, difficult to put it in words, as if it is the smell of God, when one rests his head on His shoulder.

The feel of the rain on the face, and the wind on the skin, the drops are chilling, and send shivers down the spine, when I close my eyes and raise my head toward the clouds, they look so young and so restless, and so full of life, so calm and collected, as if the wind speaks to me, telling me of life, and of sorrow, of love, and of joy, of many things, both amazing and sad. When one hears the lightening it sounds as if the universe is roaring and calling for the rejuvenation of the earth.

Rain represents God's blessings to us. These blessings are seasonal, since to everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heavens. There is a time to sow and a time to reap. Sowing is in our hands, what shall be the results of that sowing depends on the rains. When this rain comes, it softens the ground, so that the resources can be utilized to the maximum.

It comes to break the fallow grounds so everything will become fruitful. Previous areas of resistance begin to give in. Second, the rain comes to "discover" sown seeds. Have you ever sown a seed which did not grow, and you had totally forgotten about these seeds, until the coming of the rains, when suddenly they sprout up much to your surprise. That is why I call rain as a blessing from the heaven, because the hard work done in the past and even forgotten can yield the result later, so keep sowing. Seed is the metaphor for any good deed done in the past and rain is the metaphor for God's Love on us.

The rain comes to REFRESH the soil. It comes to refresh our souls, our house, our families, or even our work environments begin to change. If we utilize the opportunity properly and work on our transformation at this time, move to a new work environment or move up the ladder at work, we can understand the blessing of spiritual rain in action. The diversities and the draughts change. God commands the earth to bless you.

The rain comes to increase the measure of water in the "almost dried up" rivers. One tributary joins another and the level of water increases. Rivers become stronger and stronger until the Word of God reveals.

There are lot of interpretations and imagery which can be drawn out of rains, which gives us the mystical links to this beautiful gift of nature, getting wet in the rain means that soon one shall be cleansed from troubles and problems. Rain also symbolizes fertility and renewal. Seeing and hear rain falling, symbolizes forgiveness and grace. Watching the rain from a window with open heart brings lot of spiritual ideas and insights to our awareness. It may also symbolize fortune and love. Hearing the tapping of the rain on the roof indicates spiritual ideas and blessings coming to mind. It also suggests that one will receive much joy from home life.

And if it rains too much, and you are getting too much trouble because of that, don’t forget the sun will shine soon.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Celebrating Hurdles

Maturity does not come with age. There are even kids who are matured and sensible, on the other side there are adults who are immature and cannot handle their stuff appropriately. Why I am discussing maturity here is because as we grow mature we know how to celebrate our hurdles. Otherwise hurdles are like problems--problems in personal lives, in homes, and in office. Problems in these areas are caused by immaturity more than by anything else. If by just growing up, we would get matured, it would have been really simple. But we have to grow mature in order to become VICTORS instead of VICTIMS, celebrating all our hurdles. Hurdles are to spiritual maturity as the chisel is to sculpture.

"When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade!" is an old proverb. It is easier to smile at that statement than to practice it, but the basic philosophy is sound. Successful people are the ones who can turn defeat into victory and trials into triumph. We can do the same and experience success! Whether we are dealing with trials on the outside or temptations on the inside --

Hurdles, WILL COME and they tend to be unexpected and for the most part they are initially unwelcome. They are unwanted and unwelcome experiences of life that come about when we least expect them. They are common experiences. They can come from the normal flow of life; they can be allowed by God or even sent by God. But we should not respond in anger or disappointment… Because they…HAVE a PURPOSE. All hurdles work together for the good, although all things might not be good. But God will take those tests and trials then use them to shape and strengthen our faith.

Many who rise triumphantly never label what they go through as "bad" and, thus, don't agonize over it. They simply take it as a given situation– like an engineer surveying a swamp through which a road is to be built. From his perspective, the swamp is not a bad thing. It is merely something that has to be addressed in his construction plan.

Trials and tests are not to produce growing faith for God; it is to produce enduring faith in our self.The purpose is to complete us, to make us perfect… this is not about a high unachievable standard, example… if one lacks patience one can bet that some of the trials will require patience. Why? To complete oneself. If one lacks compassion one may find himself in tests that require compassion. Why? To complete oneself. If one is short on wisdom, one shall find himself in situations that require to look to God’s wisdom. Why? To complete oneself.

To UNDERSTAND how to properly REACT and GROW, we are supposed to use life, to react differently in life and to grow in it. If we moan and groan about hurdles that arise then we are telling the world that God is not wise enough to teach us how to get through the rough spots… but with God’s wisdom we see that hurdles provide us with greater opportunities, hurdles promote our spiritual maturity, hurdles prove our integrity and gives us an opportunity to celebrate. And anything worth a celebration shall not come easy.

Always remember, God did not get us, where we are today, it was always our choice, …so Don’t BLAME God for what we got our self into. This is the problem today; we would not just simply accept responsibility for our actions. It is ok to ask God why something happened… just don’t blame Him for it. The largest portion of the problem here is that we don’t want to accept a moral responsibility. Fortunately God will get us out of the mess we got our self into.

The earthly crown of life is being able to live life and enjoy, to savor it and understand that hurdles are not personal (it is not at all about you). But with God’s perspective and long reaching faith we find that living down here is not all that bad… as a matter of fact, that life is really worth living and celebrating. This is really a cool place; even we can celebrate the trials when we have God’s wisdom. All Joy???

Here is the actual hard part, putting this into practice… making it real in our lives so that we can have a joyful and happy life even in the face of the bad or trying times..

COUNT IT ALL JOY So the first step to turning trials into triumph is to: IMMEDIATELY THANK GOD AND ADOPT A JOYFUL ATTITUDE! And part of that Counting is Counting blessings. When we stop to count all the things that God has done in our life, shall remember in the midst of the test or trial that GOD PROVIDES and HE WILL DO IT AGAIN.

We are to understand that: Trials test our faith and then Faith tested can bring out the best in us! Just as fire purifies gold and just as training makes the athlete stronger with this understanding, we can have joy in trials because we know that: Testing works FOR us, not AGAINST us.

To truly turn trials into triumph, we must let "patience" do its work... Too often; we want to get our trials or difficulties over with quickly. But there are times when the best course is to bear up under the trial patiently. Instead of grumbling and complaining... patiently endure the trial, doing good despite the trial -
We get in such a rush don’t learn from our trials and we repeat mistakes again and again… for when patience has had an opportunity to work, it produces "maturity"!

If we lack wisdom, ask for it from God! He has promised to give it liberally. And he will not browbeat us for making such a request. What exactly is this "wisdom"? We should be careful to distinguish "wisdom" from "knowledge”, Knowledge involves information, facts, etc. Godly Wisdom is the ability or insight to properly use those facts in the most expeditious way or in a way that provides the best ability to overcome the hurdle. AND DON’T DOUBT GOD.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Janamashtami- Celebrating B’ Day of Lord Krishna

Krishna Janmashtami is a joyous occasion which is celebrated by Hindu's all over the world; we celebrate Krishnajanmashtami to commemorate the birthday of Lord Krishna, the birth of one of our most enchanting and beloved God, Lord Krishna.

Janamashtami is a very important Hindu holy day. The festival of Krishna Janamashtami takes place during the month of Sravana, eight days after Raksha Bandhan. When I dig deep in to my memory, I am reminded of the various jhankis (exhibits) used to be part of the long winding procession that was taken out through the streets to mark the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna, jhankis depicting Krishna in a novel way and in the best of attire. Till date the celebrations of the festival remains quite similar.

For two days, worshipers will not rest, but instead will dance and sing traditional Hindu songs known as bhajans. These songs are an important form of worship, used to celebrate the memory of Krishna- supreme God. It is believed that Vishnu was reincarnated as Krishna at midnight and thus it is at this hour that the Janamashtami festivities really begin.

To understand the importance of Janmashtami, one has to learn how Krishna takes birth. It is not an ordinary birth. It is Divine, Transcendental. Krishna is believed to have descended on Earth at midnight so devotees celebrate the anticipation by keeping strict fasts. Some keep a nirjala fast where nothing not even water is consumed. Many observe partial fast eating milk, fruits and nuts. Breaking of the fast usually occurs at midnight with prasadam – sanctified food offered first to Krishna. Fasting is accompanied by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and kirtan, as devotees join together and sing about Krishna with music and dance.

Janmashtami, the birth of Lord Krishna at midnight which is the darkest moment of the night, symbolizes that the Lord manifested Himself from the prison cell, thus vigorously illuminating the universe, dispelling the darkness of ignorance. Krishna's advent signifies the dispelling of darkness, the removal of troubles, banishing of ignorance and teaching mankind the Supreme Wisdom.

Worshipers also act out plays, which are based on scenes from Krishna's early life. Idols of Krishna are bathed and placed in cradles to the sound of ringing bells and the song of the conch shell (shankh).

The word, “Krishna” means, “one who is always in the transport of joy”. Let us understand the meaning of the term Krishna. The word has three meanings. One is: "Krishyathi iti Krishnah" (The one who cultivates is Krishna). What is it that has to be cultivated? The Hridayakshetra (field of the heart). Krishna cultivates the field of our hearts by removing the weeds of bad qualities, watering it with love, ploughing it with the use of sadhana, and sowing the seeds of devotion. This is how Krishna cultivates out hearts.

Krishna is known by many other names according to the characteristics he had and the feats he accomplished. He is known as “Makhan Chor” as he was fond of makhan (butter) and used to steal it with his friends. The incident of lifting Govardhan Mountain to save the people from rain made him famous as Girdhari. Also known as Banwari - the one staying in the groves of Vrindavan.

Today when we are celebrating the Birthday of Krishna, we are attaching importance to His body, but not to His teachings. We can celebrate Krishna's Birthday in the true spirit of the term only when we put His teachings into practice. Remembering few of the lessons taught by Krishna:

All the actions that we undertake must be sacred. There should be harmony in your thought, word and deed. The proper study of mankind is man. "Work is Worship", "Duty is God". This was the teaching of our ancient seers. Consider all activities as an offering to God and all work as God's work. Just as two wings are essential for a bird to soar high in the sky, two wheels for a cycle to move, Prema (Love) and Seva (service) are essential for man to reach his destination. No benefit accrues from rendering service devoid of love. Do not expect any returns for the acts of service. The satisfaction which one derives from rendering service is itself a reward.

Never lose your song – Krishna’s flute and his ability to attract people by music were legendary. Many times, when we become focused on our careers or family, we lose sight of our hobbies and real interests and this makes life drudgery! Krishna taught us to put music into life and life into music!

Work sharper not just harder – Krishna always worked sharper rather than harder! There were many times during the Mahabharata war, where it was his intelligence that helped to defeat powerful adversaries. Brute strength is ok, but brain strength is far superior!

Happy Janmashtami to all, and may the blessings of Krishna bless all of us.