Life 29 (Nov 17 - Aug 18)

Re: Life 29 (Nov 17 - Aug 18)

Postby winston » Thu May 10, 2018 4:28 pm

What is the role of rites and rituals in places of worship?

The scriptures teach that all actions and activities must lead ultimately to non-attachment, for this is the best qualification for the development of the knowledge of Ultimate Reality.

Of the three: Devotion, Wisdom, and Renunciation, Devotion is the queen. The rules and rites are the maids-in-waiting; the queen treats her maids with kind consideration and favour, no doubt, but if the ceremonies, which are only “servants” and “aides”, disregard the queen, they should be mercilessly dismissed.

All the formalities and rituals in the temples must therefore subserve the glorification of the queen, which is devotion; this is the sum and substance of spiritual practices that must direct and govern all temples. Only then can individuals reach the goal.

- Dharma Vahini, Ch 10

The heart with compassion is the temple of the Divine.

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Re: Life 29 (Nov 17 - Aug 18)

Postby winston » Fri May 11, 2018 5:32 pm

What is the connection between loving the Divine and control of our senses?

Buddha gave utmost importance to sense control. To control your mind, you should control your five senses. Only then you can realise Him.

Develop the spirit of surrender. Perform all deeds with a spirit of devotion to the Divine and as an offering to Him. Then your every action will become divine.

Everything in this world can be acquired through love alone. Love is Divine, live in love.

We can understand spirituality only by cultivating love. That is why I often say, “Start the day with love, Fill the day with love, Spend the day with love, End the day with love - This is the way to the Divine”.

The world cannot exist without love. Everything is possible by the power of love. Never entertain bad or inappropriate desires, it will bring about your ruin. You can train your mind and senses to be peaceful and sacred by loving Him always.

- Divine Discourse, May 26, 2002.

The Divine Is Love – Live in Love

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Re: Life 29 (Nov 17 - Aug 18)

Postby winston » Sat May 12, 2018 4:33 pm

Why should we give up attachment to the body and how can we do it?

First and foremost, reduce your attachment to the body. As your attachment to the body increases, your suffering also increases.

The body is the temple of the Divine. Think that this is not your body but the temple of the Divine. The body is sacred as the Divine resides in it. It is His gift to man. Hence, use the body for performing sacred deeds and attaining bliss therefrom.

When you share bliss with others, you will experience divinity. Continue your spiritual practices. But remain always suffused with the feeling that the Divine is in you, above you, below you and around you.

Never think that the Divine is away from you. “I am not alone. the Divine is with me.” Strengthen this feeling in you and shape your life accordingly. Lead your life with love.

- Divine Discourse, May 26, 2002.

If you feel you are a hundred percent dependent on the Divine, He will look after you and save you from harm and injury.

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Re: Life 29 (Nov 17 - Aug 18)

Postby winston » Tue May 15, 2018 1:46 pm

Why should we strive for spiritual wisdom and which is the best way to acquire it?

“Spiritual wisdom is the panacea for all ills, troubles, and travails.” This is how the Scriptures describe it.

Who among people are in urgent need of medical treatment? Those who are badly ill, right? So too, those who are groping in ignorance, are first entitled to the teaching and the training leading to the acquisition of spiritual wisdom.

There are many paths to acquire this wisdom, and the chief among them is the path of devotion.
As the oil is to the flame in the lamp, so is devotion to the flame of spiritual wisdom.

The heavenly tree of joy of wisdom thrives on the refreshing waters of devotion. Understand this well.

There are no hurdles in the path of devotion. Young and old, high and low, man and woman - all are entitled to tread it.

- Jnana Vahini, Ch 18.

Among all the forms of spiritual discipline, Devotion is the easiest and the holiest.

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Re: Life 29 (Nov 17 - Aug 18)

Postby winston » Wed May 16, 2018 10:42 am

Why is it a futile effort to satisfy the cravings of the mind?

The mind seeks to acquire something with much effort in the hope that its possession will give pleasure. But the pleasure derived from it does not last long. And the sorrow caused by its loss is considerable.

There is trouble during the process of acquisition. Possession confers only temporary pleasure. The loss of the object leaves a trail of misery. Very often the pain from loss exceeds the pleasure from gain.

It is a futile waste of one's life to go after such transient pleasures. Realising the meaninglessness of such pursuits the sages practised self-control as the means to enduring happiness.

They evolved the technique of turning the senses and the mind inward to seek the source of lasting bliss. Control of the mind is the means to moksha (liberation). Purity of mind is the primary requisite.

- Divine Discourse, Jul 31, 1986.

By constant contemplation on the Divine, the mind should be turned away from mundane desires.

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Re: Life 29 (Nov 17 - Aug 18)

Postby winston » Thu May 17, 2018 8:22 am

What is a prerequisite for drawing maximum benefit from the scriptures?

Without genuine and deep faith in the Divine, it is utterly useless to master all 700 verses in the Scriptures; it is simply a burden on the memory.

Reciting the Scriptures, repetitive reading of scriptures, reading or listening to stories about great sages with superficial interest are at best, mental gymnastics, and have little spiritual value.

It is only when you recite, study or listen to them with deep faith and earnestness, that they begin impacting your thoughts and actions.

They will then cease to become mere stories and become sources of inspiration and solace for transforming your own life.

Draw the right lessons from the scriptures. Develop self-reliance to face the problems of life with competence and fortitude. Discharge your duty every day with devotion.

- Divine Discourse, July 31, 1986.

Be good, do good, see good - this is the way to the Divine

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Re: Life 29 (Nov 17 - Aug 18)

Postby winston » Fri May 18, 2018 9:44 am

Why should we critically observe our inner feelings as we experience each day and correct them if necessary?

Just as while eating you reject bad food, you must reject bad thoughts and take in only good and wholesome thoughts into the mind.

Do not bear any ill-will towards those who may have done some harm to you. By returning evil for evil, how are you better than the other person? It is only when you do good even to the person that causes harm to you that you can show your better nature.

Your face is the index of your mind. When you bear ill-will towards anyone, your enmity is reflected in your face and manners.

When you entertain good and loving thoughts, your heart is filled with joy and you experience an upsurge of happiness.

If you fill your heart with hatred, envy and pride, your life will become a dreary desert. On the other hand, if you fill your heart with love, your entire life becomes a saga of love.

- Divine Discourse, Jul 31, 1986.

If you cannot get rid of thoughts, then cultivate good thoughts. Turn your thoughts towards the Divine.

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Re: Life 29 (Nov 17 - Aug 18)

Postby winston » Sat May 19, 2018 4:45 pm

Why are we unable to understand the secrets behind the entire creation?

For the Divine, this drama of time in three acts - past, present, and future is clear as crystal. In the twinkle of an eye, He grasps all three, for He is omniscient, and it is His plan that is executed, and His drama that is being enacted on the stage of creation.

But, actors and spectators are lost in confusion, unable to surmise its development and meaning. For, how can one scene or act reveal its meaning? The entire play must be witnessed for the story to reveal itself – isn’t it?

When the mystery is cleared and the play is discovered as ‘mere play’, conviction dawns that you are in Him and He is in you. Therefore, seekers of wisdom, always be conscious of this: The Divine is in every heart, in the subtle and the gross forms. The Divine is in the ant and the elephant, in atom and the atmosphere!

- Jnana Vahini, Chap 19.

Resolve to carry on the quest of your own Reality. Resolve to live in the inspiration and constant remembrance of the Divine.

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Re: Life 29 (Nov 17 - Aug 18)

Postby winston » Sun May 20, 2018 7:58 am

We often pray to the Divine to bless us with selfless love, devotion and grace. What can we do in our daily life to receive these precious gifts?

The Divine is not different from faith. Faith and the Divine are one and the same.

Love is Divine, Devotion is Divine - they are not different entities.

What does devotion mean? Devotion is that which enables the unmanifest Divine Principle to manifest itself in the devotee’s inner vision. Then, for the pure devotee nothing exists other than Him.

To reach that stage you must discharge your duties keeping the Divine in mind constantly. To cross the vast, deep ocean of worldly existence, you need the small boat of the Divine’s Name.

In the beginning of the spiritual journey, His name is the foundation for progress, but it should evolve gradually into loving service to the Divine at all times.

Whatever service you render, do not feel that you are serving others, but you are serving the Divine Himself.

Even while serving food to your family or to a needy person, consider that He has come in that form and you are offering it to the Divine Himself.

- Divine Discourse, Mar 30 1987.

A true human being is one who has the noble qualities of adherence to truth, duty, devotion and discipline.

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Re: Life 29 (Nov 17 - Aug 18)

Postby winston » Mon May 21, 2018 7:33 am

Is it even possible for us to change our habits and tendencies, that at times pull us down?

Amongst the qualities that make up a flawless character, love, patience, forbearance, steadfastness, and charity, are the highest, and must be revered.

The hundred little deeds you indulge in everyday harden into habits; these habits mould your outlook towards life.

All that you weave in your imagination, seek and yearn, leave an indelible imprint on your mind and form a picture of ‘your world’ and then you get attached to it.

But whatever is your character today, it can certainly be modified by changing your thought pattern.

The wickedness of nobody is incorrigible. Wasn’t the robber turned into a kindhearted person? Didn’t the thief become a Sage?

You have within your reach, the capacity to challenge your own evil propensities and change them.

By selfless service, renunciation, devotion and prayer, old habits can be discarded and new habits that take you along the divine path can be instilled.

- Prema Vahini, Ch 2.

If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in character. If there is beauty in character, there will be harmony in the home.

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