DISCOURSES AND THEIR IMPACT


Swami Udit Chaitanya is a persuasive and eloquent speaker. I and my family are hearing his discourses for the last few years. His philosophy is seemingly simple. God resides within us. We should seek him within ourselves so as to enhance or elevate our mind and thinking. Seeking God’s help to solve personal issues is futile. (Lord Rama and Lord Krishna had enough problems of their own during their sojourn in the earth. If they could not solve their own problems, how would they solve ours? ). The emphasis is no increasing mental strength to face the tsunamis during our existence.

I find this a frightening idea. I have survived so far by believing that my frequent visits to temples (near and far) and prayers turned the tide during difficult times. Now I am being convinced that God is a silent and perhaps inactive spectator to our vicissitudes. The corollary to this approach would be that while I could continue to make more PPTs to God in Sanskrit, matters would take their own course- with little or no inputs from God.

Actually the prayers recited in Sanskrit slokas sound impressive, but if recited in English or any other language the results would be less impressive. An English translation of one Para of Purushasuktha is given below.

Om= Name of God = World. Experienced as a+u+m.
Experience of waking state is “a’, dream is “u”,
sleep/death is “m”

Sahasra seershaa purushah=God has 1000 (a very large number) of heads.
Because all heads belong to the world=God

Sahasrakshah sahasra path =1000 eyes, 1000 feet. All eyes, feet belong to
God=world

Sa bhoomim viswato vritvaa=Covers the earth from all sides as sky/space

Atyatishtat dasaangulam=Yet he exceeds by 10 digits the whole world.
(exceeds finite space and time)

The real purpose is to understand and digest these prayers and not recite them unknowingly expecting some divine benediction.

While the above approach appeals to logic, the fact still remains that chanting sukthams and similar Sanskrit prayers, especially by a large and coordinated group, arrests our attention- physical and mental. Anyone who has learnt these chants (whatever is the age) starts repeating it mentally. The fact that some of these represent the earliest human record of prayers which were given from generation to generation orally is a testimony of their value and strength. (In today’s parlance – sustainability or Sustainable Development).

Progression in chronological age brings in external changes. But the mind can still retain its youth and strength. (not my original idea, but borrowed from Swamiji). Good example is Narayana Murthy. No one would call him an old fogey or one having out dated ideas. His achievement is to create a sustainable organization which has a huge ripple effect. Another example is Late H T Parekh. After retirement from ICICI , he created HDFC in 1977, at a time when Housing Finance was unknown. I know it because, I was newly married and was looking for my own house in early 80s. So age has nothing to do with freshness of approach or thinking by an individual.

What next? Is a question which gnaws at the back of my mind. If we are fully responsible for our actions and their results, then the sense of responsibility increases significantly (somewhat like boss telling a subordinate that you are on your own on this project, I have nothing to do with it). I wonder what the goal that I desire to achieve is and whether the efforts to reach it are worth it. It is nice to think that there is a fate (Lord Brahma or some other responsible God has a supercomputer which ordains what would happen to me and I could ascribe all actions and results to it) and my life moves according to it. Some paths are one way , some no entry and some you have to definitely pass thru .
Several years back, I used to visit electronic shops to look at latest TVs and Home Theatre systems and ask their prices. After some such visits, my wife refused to accompany me inside the shops for such visits. After I purchased the TVs and Home Theatre systems I desired, I would still look at those shops with longing- that is longing for something to look forward to.

Life is somewhat like that. There should always be something to look forward to. There is a tomorrow which will make a difference to my life and to others. Once that tomorrow holds only bleakness and lots of empty place, then the next cycle should start.

How would that start? According to Swamiji (the one referred to above) the life inside us represents some form of energy which is on continuous journey- thru human bodies. Once this journey ends (trains reaches VT station or Madras Central then the engine is separated from bogies), then another begins.
I find this appealing as under any circumstances, there is something to look forward to.

Do you agree?

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5 Responses to DISCOURSES AND THEIR IMPACT

  1. Dilip Deole says:

    My own thoughts too run some what along these lines. I firmly believe God is a creation of we, human beings. This does not mean absence of a supernatural force. It’s very difficult to explain the cycle (is it a cycle or a one time event ?) of life and death. Is it preordained or just an event in this universe. Who am I and what happens to me after my death ? We simply don’t know. We keep guessing and have given it a name and thought “GOD” so that everything is easy to explain.

    Not every person has the inner strength, moral courage, stoicism to face all that good and bad that befalls on us during our lifetime. God and all those chanting, temples, pujas were created to make-up for the lack of inner strenth. It also a kind of moral policing. God will punish you both in this world and also after you die if your don’t behave.

    Initially it was the sun, moon, water (sea), fire and wind were the Gods. As manking made progress, we got more colourfull and imaginative. We created charecters, stories, philosophies, thesis and made the concept of God, all the lot more interesting, esoteric, more credible and more daunting for a non-believer to tread outside the boundaries of accepted behaviour. If Ramayan was an ideal system, Mahabharat had two themes or morals – ultimately evil or evildoer is vanquished but in the pursuit to destroying evil all amoral means are justified. That is why nobody condemned the scheming Krishna. However in the perfectly moral word of Rama, his wife abdicates him in the end. Rama has no answer and probably the creator of this epic is trying to say that even in the perfectly moral world of Rama, there are imperfections.

    However sometime after the Ramayan and Mahabharat were written our creativity seems to have come to an end. We have no epics written thereafter, What we practice today was written and practiced centuries ago. No fresh thinking, ideas or creativity seems to have happened.

    I go to temples, in fact I visit more often than my wife who is a typical God fearing person. But I go to some temples only which give me a peace of mind. It is not the sight of the idol but the whole atmossphere that is important to me. It’s a place where I can enjoy the peace and calmness, the architecture of the temple, a place where I can leisurely take a round and spend time. The visits give me some kind of a inner strength and courage to face life.

    We have to take life in our own hands and try to live by a moral code of conductg that we ourselves define. We may not be right all the time. Our code may need rectification. We improve upon it as we go along and as we gain experience. At times I think back and rue for not taking a certain stand or decision. Often I pride in being right and having had the ability to see the consequence. It more like you win some and you lose sum. I don’t control the future, somebody else or a force does !!!!!

  2. Sathyanarayanan says:

    Nice post – God’s indifferent to our lot in troubles. God as an entity is perfect. He gives the so called tsunamis to shape the mind. No one promised us a cozy five star comfort stay on earth. We rise and we fall; we create gods and then offer our prostrations….behind this all is a perfect alignment and universal laws at work. God is only Karmaphalladhata in our religion – he cannot create karma but he gives the fruits. Better if you take those results with devotion simply because there is no better way. Why burden with our reaction when the law is decimally correct to the last proportion. God’s names is used for mental purification so prayers are not altogether wasted.
    Regards
    Sathya

  3. S Viswanathan says:

    The essence is “Aham Brahmas mi” => I am the God. If you read any scriptures it finally lands her. Energy is not destructible and it always reappears in another form. It is the fact of science. The prayers and visiting temples are the emergency exits which exist when there is a need. The reason for personification is because when you see something you are likely to accept. All boil down to tuning your mind to the thing which it likes. Sukthams and slokas are in some way are medicines to treat your body and soul. There are many articles which say that sound therapy is one of the ways. If someone does SamaGhanam you know how effective and soothing to hear. Once Kanchi Maha Sannidhanam was asked why people chant mantras without knowing the meanings. He replied that chanting knowingly and willingly gets the desired effect as these contain powerful words. Out of box thinking people are always achivers may be with a lot of road blocks but ultimately they win and age no bar. Responsibility and accountability are in built process for a good movement. Our life is definitely a journey where we meet unknown faces who vanish at the destination except very few exceptions. As all regions point, desire is the root cause of all evils. There are situations like driving in Mumbai where we struggle to find road among pot holes and mad drivers will make us feel frustrated. We always look for changes and more comfortable rides. Well that is life – Learn Indicated For Ever

    vishy

  4. Wonderful post as always Sir.

    As for me, Thanks to my Father’s spiritual & philosophical teachings over the years, my mind has adapted itself with a need to attend such events whenever I can. These, I refer to as “Mind Cleansing Seminars” including Uditji’s discourses. My father always tells me that attending such discourses is like “recharging the battery”, which is very true.

    While I was learning ‘The holy GITA’ and slokas from Gurus like ChinmayanandaJi & Sir YDN Iyer, during my early teens, I used to think of these courses as “purely spiritual” books and nothing more. But, with growing experiences in life, it became clear to me to incorporate as many of these teachings (history lessons) to our routine to find answers to, many complex situations in our lives.

    As a matter of fact, I scored outstanding in my Management course, thanks to Bhagavad Gita as my Faculty too used Gita’s chapters to explain Financial Management & Market Capitalization.
    Its like, when we look back, you seem to be able to connect the dots, as in your experiences and what you could eventually overcome due to those experiences.

    The spiritual seminars and slokas I strongly believe help us to focus and handle more adversities for eg. When I think of Sri Ram who himself got into so many difficulties in the amazing history of Ramayana, the two things that come to my mind immediately are “Irrespective of how nice or great you are, there are things in our lives which are beyond our control” & no matter how grown-up or educated or successful one might become, one always needs “people” to make things right and to stay sane.

    I loved the fact that you mentioned, “Looking forward to”, especially knowing your accomplishments in life, this phrase sounded wonderful to hear.

    Each of us look forward to something more. That’s what makes life more desirable and enjoyable. No wonder we find “giving back” as an important part of our lives, as it tells us that our purpose is not only to have a “rich” and affluent life, but to add value, share skills and make a difference to someone who does not otherwise have access to many a privileges which at times we take for granted. This is why our mind searches and keeps looking forward to for more than what we already have. No circle is complete without “giving back to the world”.

    We enter the spirit of life, we learn, grow and achieve. It cannot be completed without the magic of giving back to the lesser fortunate. Why else, would Warren Buffet or Bill Gates donates billions, they don’t need PR nor to prove themselves to anyone. It just lets them stay sane.

    All these discourse teach us the same. When we see God within, we see all those around as our own family and with that the desire to see others happy and contended. That’s the lesson we take away.

    To look forward to doing more than just growing!

  5. Anantharaman Ayyappan says:

    Good one Chitappa. I totally agree that we should know and understand the hymns that we chant. That said, there are some things that you end up doing despite lack of any rationale to back it up. The prayers that i end up chanting daily gives me a sense of satisfaction and positive energy to take up the challenges awaiting me during the day even though i don’t understand most of the chants. It is a way of pepping yourself up with a belief that someone higher up will help you reach the goal. It might sound a little over-simplistic but i guess it helps to keep it as simple as possible for matters pertaining to God

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