Sunday, February 1, 2015

Everything happens as per decree of God

Once, a lawyer asked Bhagavan Ramana: "Which one is true? Only the major incidents of life like the birth, death, marriage, education are predetermined or every small incident of life is predetermined?" Bhagavan replied: " Every small incident of life is predetermined." Then the lawyer immediately switched off a table fan and asked Bhagavan: "Is this act(switching off the table fan) also predetermined?" Bhagavan replied: 'Certainly." Bhagavan Ramana said: " A film is already shot before being played in a theater. Similarly allour lives are predetermined before our arrival from our mother's womb. Therefore our lives resemble a cinema that has been already shot."

You don’t get anything new out of your penance

Once, a lawyer asked Bhagavan Ramana: "It is said that everything is predetermined. However we hear several stories from the epics like a particular person performing a great penance and asking for a specific boon. Do such people attain anything new (which they are not destined to get) out of their penance? Bhagavan replied: "They ask for only such things which they are ordained to get as part of their destiny."

Everything happens as per decree of God

Bhagavan Ramana mentioned in the UpadeshaSara: 'Karturaagyaya praapyatey phalam, karma kim param karma tat jadam'. Here Karta refers to Supreme God. In spite of possessing immense power or money or qualifications externally, all of you represent dolls only. Only God's ordain materializes. If you become the recipient of any benefit, you consider it to be due to your intellect. But it ought to happen due to God's will and so it happened. This is true in case of both the auspicious as well as inauspicious deeds. Sometimes you may do great deeds but it may beget very small results. Sometimes you may get great results for a small deed. It is because the gross object (the work done) has no power to determine the result. It is Supreme God who determines the result. This is what ‘karturaagyaya’ implies. Nothing can happen and nothing will happen to the entire Jivas of this creation without the decree of God. Our lives do not resemble the parted kites. Supreme God decides in advance every moment of the body as well as when our breathing should exactly stop and then sends us onto this earth. Even before you come out of your Mother's womb, the work to be carried on through your body is decided in advance. Supreme God drives your situations according to your destiny. Remember that nothing happens according to your intellect. Everything happens as per the decree of God alone. This is what ‘Karturaagyaya’ implies. There are a lot of people who tried for the position of president and remained position-less. There are some people who did not even attempt to become President but became President effortlessly. You may try to become Prime Minister but may fail in becoming so. You will fail in spite of your attempt because it is not the decree of God. Sometimes your small effort may lead towards a big success. You got that result only because of God's ordain and not merely by your effort. If you remember this verse, your ego will subside gradually

Sunday, January 11, 2015

We are all but creatures of Destiny

After the war of Mahabharata, Yudhisthira asked Bheeshma: "Having killed so many people in the war, what should we do with this Kingdom?" Bheeshma replied, "This is only called as Destiny. How can you call it destiny if you know it beforehand?" Therefore Shakespeare said: “We are all but creatures of Destiny." We cannot say what is going to happen in an hour. It is because everything happens in its own time. Though, in a hurry to die, death doesn't approach you even a minute earlier. Suppose you have the desire to live more and the purpose for which the body came onto the earth is fulfilled, the death of the body happens as per God's will. It doesn't stop even for a minute.

Even suicide is a part of destiny. It is the will of God that a particular body has to end in that manner. When and where the body has to take birth, the parents, relatives, enemies etc pertaining to the body are all part of destiny.Money, Scholarship, honor, power,and fame are all part of destiny. Whether the body has to be tall or short, whether it has to be black or white in color, whether it has to be fat or thin is all decided by the destiny. Even intellect is decided by the destiny.

Ravindranath Tagore addressed the Supreme Lord in the National Anthem: Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people and the dispenser of India's destiny(Janagaṇamana-adhināyaka jaya he Bhāratabhāgyavidhātā). Therefore destiny prevails even for a nation. Wars and natural calamities affect a particular nation only due to that nation’s destiny.

Who can change the lines of the forehead(destiny)?
Several mysterious incidents took place in Ramayana. There is a lot of similarity between our lives and Ramayana. Ravana had abducted Sita very cunningly. It is the foolishness of several people that enabled him to do so. Lord Rama is an incarnation of God. Sita asked him to bring her a golden deer. A golden deer cannot be found in this entire Universe. Rama should have told His wife: "It is not a golden deer. It seems to be a golden deer but is an illusion." But did He do so? No. Is Rama a fool to run after a golden deer? No. But he acted thus at that point of time. Hardships are inevitable even to the Supreme God when He incarnates as a human being. Even we act so foolishly. Rama kept Lakshmana as the custodian of Sita and ran after the golden deer.But didn't Lakshmana also act so foolishly? The destiny is most powerful. Rama's running after a golden deer in order to fulfill Sita's desire,Lakshmana abandoning Sita inspite of having been assigned the duty of a custodian, Sita crossing the protective line of Lakshmana, enabled Ravana to abduct Sita. How can we judge who has blundered here? Who can change the lines of the forehead (destiny)?

Your thinking faculty is driven by destiny
It is the destiny that drives your thinking faculty. This is very well depicted in Ramayana. Kaikeyi loved Rama more than Bharata. However a day before coronation, her mind changed. We think that Kaikeyi was influenced by her servant Manthara. Where is the rule that Kaikeyi must change merely by listening to Manthara? There was a probability that Kaikeyi might not have changed even after listening to Manthara. Rama told Lakshmana: "Kaikeyi is thinking in accordance with our destiny. Till date Kaikeyi had immense love for us. However today her love turned into hatred and therefore she wants to send us to forest. Perhaps there is some work to be done with this body in the forest and it has changed the mind of Kaikeyi accordingly. Kaikeyi got this thought only in accordance with our destiny. Therefore have no anger or hatred for Kaikeyi. It is only God's will, that will be fulfilled. Let’s abide by the same.

Everything is but the play of destiny
Vali's consort Tara was very intelligent. She advised Vali not to fight against Sugriva for the second time. She said: "Just now Sugriva left after a humiliating defeat. But He is back immediately inviting you for a fight once again! I heard that these days Sugriva got acquainted with Rama and Lakshmana. Inspite of being defeated, His challenge for an immediate fight indicates that we have to act very cautiously now." Hence Tara advised Vali not to accept Sugriva's challenge for the second time. Vali replied: ' Oh! Tara, I accept that you are more intelligent than me. You are giving me a good advice. But I have a weakness. If anyone invites me for a fight, I cannot stay back at home. I cannot change my nature in this aspect. I would prefer either killing the enemy or being killed by the enemy but cannot stay back at home. Sugriva is my brother. Though I am capable enough to kill him, I am unable to get rid of my attachment for him. Though I may get a chance to kill him, I will only chase him but will not slay him down." But Tara replied: " You may not kill Sugriva but Sugriva has an external support. So you may get killed. Therefore you must not accept Sugriva's challenge for a fight." Vali said: "I heard that Rama is a gentleman and also very intelligent. I never had any enmity with Him. If Rama is a gentleman or God in a true sense, will He kill me? No. I can’t trust your words."However, it was Rama who slayed down Vali. How can we judge who was right here? We can only conclude it to be the play of destiny.

Your strength is insufficient to combat destiny
After Ravana was killed by Rama, Mandodari entered the battlefield. Lamenting over Ravana's death, she said in a deep distress: "Oh! Ravana, you are my husband regardless of being good or bad. You have been the most prosperous as well as one of the greatest kings. Oh! My dear husband, I can’t judge whether you brought Sita or a blazing fire to burn Lanka.Oh! Ravana, I gave you several good advices. But you never paid any attention. It is because 'The Destiny' is most powerful. The destiny pertaining to your body did not allow you to listen to my words. What could you do about it? Therefore Mandodari advised us: "Irrespective of your power and prosperity, your strength is insufficient to combat destiny."

"The Kingdom of heaven is within all of us" - (Dr.Mithin)

It was for quite sometime that I was trying hard to meet Sri Nannagaru. Because of poor health he was not coming to Hyderabad and work was not permitting me to go and meet him in Jinnuru. Finally one Saturday i called him and asked whether I could come and meet him in Jinnuru.

I heard him say "You may come!' in a charming way. So next day early morning I went towards Jinnuru

The Mountain Path had published an article of mine Thank You God which taught the meaning of life to be Thankful to God at all times.

As I clutched the book and traveled towards Jinnuru I understood why I was not able to meet him all these days. It was because it had been destined that I meet him with this book and show him the article.

I went to his room where he was applying ointment to his body. He looked at me and gestured at me happily to come and sit in a chair opposite to him. He smiled at me and expressed his happiness and asked me about my journey.

I replied to him and gave him the book with my article. He just glanced at the article and said and "this is Sharanagathi"

Next few minutes he read through the article smiling and nodding all the time. Once he finished he happily said " Its a very good article. I am very proud of you.'

I smiled. He asked me about my recent trip to Singapore and then asked me to wait outside where he would come.

I waited outside and saw some patients as Sri Nannagaru joined us. I have seen a very important facet of Sri Nannagaru regarding Patients. He would be very very concerned and would ask a lot of questions to me about their conditions and medications and their side effects. Once having asked me he would make it a point that I would communicate the same to the patients and also make double sure that the patients also understood the treatment and its side effects.

He was a wonderful Communicator!

After that he looked at me and said " How is your sadhana?"

I have had spiritual experiences recently which I could only attribute to Sri Nannagru's Grace.

"Without sadhana I am receiving your Grace" I replied truthfully.

He smiled and then after some small talk about Singapore and my parents he asked me to go and take rest in the ashram room of his and come in the afternoon after lunch.

One more thing about Sri Nannagaru is that he would be very particular that I take some tea or coffee when I visited his house.

In the afternoon I returned to meet him and sat beside him.

In a recent experience of mine in the early hours of waking I saw that the world was a thought and I was about to enter that thought. The world is nothing but a thought I felt. If I had no desire I would not enter the world and I would be in Peace I felt. But invariable I entered it and woke up. I narrated this incident to Sri Nannagaru and asked him its meaning.

He said " The world and body is not separate. Both are the same. They are nothing but Thought."

I asked "Is renunciation of thought...."

He nodded in the middle and said "Except Truth everything is Thought. It is called Brahmam. It is independent. If there is anything that you see in the world which is perceived as different to Brahmam it is a dream. It is asat. Not Sath(Truth). The Buddhists call the same Brahmam as Shunyam. Brahmam is the Ultimate Truth. Brahmam is Independent entity. The body itself is a also is the world. Desires are born as body. There no individuals. You see because you think yourself as individual 'I'. It is false 'I' and is imagination, Individual I is not your true nature.'

He paused and showed me some Muslims who had come to meet him.

"They are devotees of Allah" he said.

He gestured one lady to come forward and talked to her about Quran and other things relating to Islam.

The lady in the course of the conversation asked him "Do all people who follow different religions reach God?'

Sri Nannagaru replied " People call water by different names. Some call it jal some pani some call it tanni and some water. But its meaning is the same. Religions also are like that . All paths are true. There is no bearing of caste color or religion or country on the realization of Truth. Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is within us. Man seeks happiness. When man realizes happiness he gets unconcerned about gods and goddesses. As we identify ourselves with the body when we say 'I' so too we should naturally identify ourselves as the universal I when we refer to ourselves, then we attain peace and that peace results in Happiness. This should be realized either through the Gita, Quran or Bible. Tiruvannamalai is called Navadwarapuram. There are nine roads leading to it. Whatever road you take you will reach Tiruvannamalai. When Truth is realized the things of the senses appear distasteful. Attachments come when there is absence of renunciation."

Sri Nannagaru then talking about a recent death of a devotee said " All things are predetermined"

It was time for me to go. He looked at me and blessed me and said "The Kingdom of heaven is within all of us. Remember this always"

I saluted him and took my leave.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

There is destiny that shapes our ends

The Gita says, 'Individual cannot achieve anything on their own as they are, but puppets in creator's hands. They have to play the part, destined by their prarabdha.' Can one escape one's prarabdha? Yes, if one has conquered 'I am the body', thought, then name and form do not bind, even prarabdha does not bind. Prarabdha is experienced by mind, which leaves the mind once the mind is torn.

None can stop the course of Destiny
The fruit of the actions done in previous births is called as Destiny. If a calf is left amongst 1000 cows, it still comes back to its Mother cow. Similarly irrespective of the number of your births , the fruit of your action gets back to you alone. Destiny resembles a stack of hay being over flown in a river. None can stop its course. If you think of changing your destiny utilizing your intellect, it is either equivalent to trying to stop a tsunami with your hand or trying to obstruct a bull dozer with your head.

Nothing is too heavy for destiny
Destiny is most powerful. Valmiki said:"Nothing is too heavy for destiny." Though you may seem to be an elephant, if your destiny is un-favourable, you will turn out to be an insect. Though you may possess a hundred thousand crores, if your destiny is un-favourable, you may lose it within ten days. If the destiny is not favourable, even the greatest empires will vanish away. For instance the British and Mughal empires also vanished away due to destiny

What is not to happen will never happen and what is ought to happen will not fail to happen
When Bhagavan's Mother found Him in Tiruvannamalai, she begged him to return, but no amount of weeping and pleading had any visible effect on him. She appealed to the devotees who had gathered around, trying to get them to intervene on her behalf until one requested that Ramana write out his response to his mother. He then wrote on a piece of paper: " Inaccordance with the prarabdha (Destiny to be worked out in current life) of each, the One whose function it is to ordain makes each to act. What is not to happen will never happen, whatever effort one may put forth. And what is ought to happen will not fail to happen, however much one may seek to prevent it. This is certain. The part of wisdom therefore is to stay quiet.

"We cannot do anything without his grace" - (By Nagalakshmi Garu)

I met Sri Nannagaru for the first time in the year 1989 in Bhimavaram. After 3 years I got to know that he has been visiting Kukatpally off late. Upon knowing that we stay closer to the place, he said "I'll surely come". I visited him not very often. Nannagaru once asked Jaya - "We haven't seen Nagalakshmi lately". Jaya used to yell at me, and force me to visit him. The association of a devotee will effortlessly pull towards God; such is my relationship with Jaya. I used to argue with Jaya that family comes first and then God. She got fed up with me and said - "We'll see whether you will tread my path or I will tread your path, and God will decide that." After some time she used to forcefully take me to satsang gatherings. Rather than saying that I got closer to him, I think it would be correct to say, it was actually he who pulled me towards Him. His words made me think through, I would find everything new and beautiful in life. The mind which was always worried got transformed into a peaceful mind through his teachings. I never found questions in his preaching. His preaching made my mind still then and there.

Nannagaru once said, "The importance that we give to money and fame, we don't give the same to purity". After hearing this sentence I felt we should put some effort in order to gain purity. In order to get a grip of the subject, and to constantly contemplate upon the same, he always asked me to attend spiritual gatherings. During initial days, I used to feel that the beauty in listening to the subject doesn't exist in teaching the subject. Afterwards, I felt that if ego doesn’t involve while teaching, then there is beauty in teaching as well.

How can I repay the debt of Sri Nannagaru, who changed my perception that worshiping God alone doesn't constitute devotion, corrected me and gave qualification to practice Self knowledge and showered the nectar in it. Sky is the limit for his preaching. Every sentence that he preaches should be grasped with interest and remembered, if possible should be shared with others. The specialty of Nannagaru is whatever he preaches, he will make us experience in due course.

We cannot do anything without His Grace.