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    Devotion, , , Jay Lakhani, , ,   


    Why so many Gods – Jay Lakhani 

     

    Following is a record of the conversation in Jay Lakhani’s video:

     

    Question :

    In Hinduism, there are many forms of God. So we follow Ram, we follow Sita, we follow Krishna. But is there one particular form of God that we should be praying to – be it Matarani or be it Krishna, or are they all just representatives of one sole God?

     

    Answer :

    OK. This question actually worries or confuses lot of Hindu youngsters. And forgets about the Hindus, it confuses the non-Hindus even more. They think this weird religion has got so many Gods.

    And if I ask all of you, “Look Shiva, this is ultimate, almighty?”
    You say “Yes”.
    “Vishnu?”
    “Yes”
    “Ultimate, almighty?”
    “Yes”
    “Ultimate?”
    “Yes”
    “And Mother Goddess?”
    “Of course, Mother Goddess, how can you forget them? She is ultimate too”

    This is kind of a contradiction. Come on, you cannot have too many “ultimate”s. This is not ultimate enough. So which one is the right one? Can the real God stand up please?  That is what she was asking in a nice way.

    What is the answer? The answer is this. It is very interesting. You see this is important for you to know. It is very good that the question comes from you.

    This religion that appears polytheistic….

    It is called polytheism. Many gods.
    Then you all say yes. Many Gods. Yes. We all go Yeah.

    Actually it is not polytheist. It appears polytheist but is actually pluralist. It says, the same ultimate reality that you are trying to relate to, you can call it by different names and give it different forms. Names and forms can be different, but same reality – ultimate reality.

    So, not many Gods – but many ways to think about God. This is a big difference.

    If you say many Gods, you say naive, not well thought out religion at all. They have not thought it out properly.

    And then, when you say many ways to think about God that is grand, that is majestic. It allows different individuals to relate to the idea of spirituality in his own individual mode.

    So different groups will say “We love Krishna.”
    “OK, sing his glory.”
    “Oh! We like Shiva.”
    “Go for it my friends.”
    The way you are relating to the ultimate is through the name and form of Shiva. Go for it.

    This is the answer.

    The name the Hindus give to the comprehensive idea of God is, you’d be surprised, is Brahman. The word Brahman there is no person like Brahma is different person, not Brahma. Brahman-Brahma.

    The world Brahman means spirit, not as a person at all but as a principle that underpins reality. They said the whole of this creation is nothing but an expression of this principle. Look, not a person – a principle that becomes visible, manifested as the world we see in front of us. And the same principle, Brahman, becomes more visible, (because) clearer as living things and the most clearest vision of Brahman, this principle, is humanity – men and women.

    That is why I said you are the clearest manifestation of God on earth. Where else will you find your God? He is lighting you up. Not you, everybody.

    So this is a principle oriented religion but then it allows a personalized approach. Because, in that case why shouldn’t we just go Brahman and why should we bother with Ram and Krishna and Shiva and Mother? The reason we have to bother is because we are human – and we got human failings, if you like, human limitations.

    If we are human, the only way we can build a relationship with this principle called Brahman, is to think of this principle as a personality.

    Suppose I say “Build relation with Brahman”.
    You say “What do I do now?”
    I say “No, No, No, think of mother Goddess, sweet with flowing hair” and you want to say “Mommy”.
    It is easy to build relationship.

    With Brahman how do you build a relationship? It is a principle, it is abstract. When you turn the principle into a personality, then you can build friendship, relationship, like a mother figure, father figure, friend.

    See the Hindu religion is the only one that allows you to think of God in a variety of different ways. Not just father in heaven, like Christianity. Mommy in heaven. Why not mommy? Mommies are sweeter, kinder, cuddlier, less hairy than daddies. Why can’t you go like “Mommy”? Why daddy all the time? Why fixation? In fact the Gayatri (Mantra) that you just recited, gives you the clue of the Hindu tradition. This is what it translates as. Let us meditate on the glorious effulgence of that supreme being that created the universe. May she enlighten our hearts and direct our destination.  She. Addressing God as She. The central part of Hindus think God is a woman.

    See? Because we are human, we like to relate to this principle in a human manner, that is why we create all this imagery. Lets go for it. The same one becomes all this.
    People say, how do you reconcile principle and personality?

    This is how they reconcile. It is like ice and water. Water is fuzzy, like no shape nothing, just fuzzy. When you freeze it, it can take on different forms. It is the love of the devotee that freezes this principle called Brahman into the various forms that he likes. Suppose I like to think of God as Shiva, this principle reduces itself and becomes Shiva and comes in front of me and interacts with me. This is Hinduism.

    The love of the devotee freezes his principle into the personality of his choice. See the power of religion. Real democracy. Spiritual democracy.



     
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    Devotion, , , Narendra Modi, Pluralism, ,   


    हमारे यहां तो जैसा भक्‍त वैसा भगवान है। अगर भक्‍त पहलवान है, तो भगवान हनुमान है। और भक्‍त अगर पैसों का पुजारी है, तो भगवान लक्ष्‍मी जी है। अगर भक्‍त ज्ञान में रूचि रखता है तो भगवान सरस्‍वती है। यानी हमारे यहां जितने भक्‍त, उतने भगवान इस प्रकार का माहौल है।

    -Narendra Modi, Valedictory function of the 6th World Ayurveda Congress 2014



     
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    Devotion, , , , , Rev. William Smith   


    A New Year’s Greeting – Reverend William D. Smith 

    Text below was printed in a religious periodical called “The Christian Work and Evangelist” in January 1904.

    I wish you Health enough to make work a pleasure;
    Wealth enough to supply all necessary needs;
    Grit enough to battle with difficulty and overcome it;
    Grace enough to confess your sins and forsake them;
    and Patience enough to toil until some good is accomplished.

    I wish you a Cheerfulness that shall make others glad;
    a Charity that shall see some good in your neighbor;
    a Love that shall move you to be useful and helpful;
    a Faith that shall make real the things of God;
    and a Hope that shall remove all anxious fear concerning the Future.

    I wish you the Dignity which befits the children of God;
    the Humility which is needed in every follower of Christ;
    the Prayerfulness which develops and enriches the soul;
    the Push and Progress which were manifested in the life and labors of our Saviour;
    and the Piety and Perseverance which come from the abiding presence and influence of the Divine Spirit.



     
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    Devotion, , ,   


    Story : Get back into your natural element 

    Years ago, I was walking along the sea shore and I saw a little fish about three or four inches in size. But this little fish was in so much worry, flapping again and again, lying on the dry sand. I do not know whether it was a male fish or a female one. Let’s say it was a male fish, so that the fish could be addressed as ‘he’. So I looked in his eyes and he just looked in total confusion, frustration and misery. Somehow or other a wave had washed this little fish up and there he was, lying on the sand. The fish could not breathe properly. He was flapping and suffering.

    Now I could have got a female fish and put next to him; would that be of any help? I could have got some mango lassi with some nice sanitized straw and put it next to him. I could have got him a diamond ring or a ruby crown. I could have offered him a BMW. Would anything of that make him happy?

    Because he was out of his natural element, nothing could make him happy. So I tried to pick up that little fish and throw him back into the ocean. But he was so intensely worrying that every time I picked him up he just flapped so hard that he flapped right out of hand back into the sand. And I picked him again, but again he flapped out of my hand into the sand. At least 5 times I picked him up and he flapped out.

    I was his well wisher trying to save his life but he could not recognize me, because he was just in such a state of trauma. Finally, with both my hands I cupped him and trapped him so he couldn’t get out; then I threw him as far as I could into the ocean.

    Radhanath Swami



     
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    Devotion, , ,   


    The culture of devotion fertilizes the field of the heart for the seed of true love to grow.

    Radhanath Swami


     
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    Devotion, Ecstasy, , , , True nature   


    To feel the inherent ecstasy of God’s love within ourselves is our true nature and to try to find happiness without tasting that love is like a fish trying to find happiness on the sand of the seashore.

    Radhanath Swami


     
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    Cooperation, Devotion, Dispute, ,   


    The challenge of co-operation in today’s age of quarrel can be achieved by adjusting every situation according to the higher principle of loving God.

    Radhanath Swami


     
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