Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Perceive Everything in Truth and Reality

 ‘Avidya’ means ignorance, and this is the greatest disease on earth. Just as disease has its  symptoms,  ignorance has its symptoms: lust, anger, greed, illusion, pride and envy. And these things are filling our minds and filling our hearts because the disease of ignorance is covering the natural healthy condition of our self. So the process of self realization is to simply heal that diseased condition and come back to our natural original state–love of God. Love of all living beings is inherent within us. It is our original consciousness. By chanting the names of God, by avoiding those activities which further perpetuate this ignorance,  we are naturally healed.
If we have the disease of the body, the first thing the doctor will do is to give us the medicine that heals the disease; he will also tell us to refrain from those activities which further aggravate the disease. Similarly, for the disease of ignorance, the medicines are,
1. associating with saintly persons
2. performing puja with proper understanding of what we are doing and why we are doing
3. philosophical reflection on the real goal of life
4. and especially the chanting of God’s names.
And to cure ourselves from the disease of ignorance, we have to refrain ourselves from sinful activities.  There are four pillars of sinful life: intoxication, illicit sex, gambling and meat-eating. They destroy the qualities of truthfulness, cleanliness, self-control and mercy respectively.
In this way, by curing ourselves of ignorance, we literally awaken the original consciousness within us. And when we are purified, we can perceive everything in truth and reality.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Attracting Grace

For the treasure of divine love to awaken in our hearts,  to overcome the ahankar, the false ego, and to free ourselves from the shackles of endless selfish desires and fears, it’s only possible through grace. Why? Because there are powers beyond our intelligence, beyond our physical strength, beyond our will power that we are up against within this material manifestation.

This grace cannot be attained simply by our efforts. We could memorize entire scriptures, we could eat one grain of rice a day, we could sleep 5 min a day, we could build enormous temples, we could feed 1 million people, we could chant a billion names of God, but that doesn’t necessarily attract grace.
But when we are sincere, serious, humble and  are eager to serve the Supreme Lord and all living beings through Him, with no ulterior motives, then Krishna is eager; Srimati Radharani, the feminine potency, the source of all grace, is eager to deliver us.

You cannot digest food if you have no hunger. This is the principle of Ayurveda. Digestion is the key to good health and you can’t digest unless you are hungry. So similarly grace is everywhere. Grace is all-pervading, just like the sunlight is all-pervading, but we have become so habituated to live in dark places. In order to digest and assimilate that grace we have to be hungry for it. We are beggars for grace. We understand the need for grace.

- Radhanath Swami