Aum Namo Narayanaya
My Salutations to my divine Master Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother, Swamiji and to all the embodiments of Narayana.
I feel really intimidated and anxious about penning my first blog. This blog intends to discuss and bring Vedanta into discussion from a youth perspective. Having being involved in youth development for many years I have come to learn that the solutions of the world are not political but can be found through the rich , noble and lofty teachings of Vedanta. I gained the courage last Friday to setup the blog; I was for some reason not inspired enough to contribute anything. I realised that it was the will of god, as the days that followed provided so much material and inspiration for discussion.
I awoke this morning in a democratic free South Africa that was celebrating or should I say commemorating the 35th anniversary of the Soweto uprising on June 16 1976, declared a public holiday known as youth day, by the democratically elected government post 1994. The youth of 1976 are remembered for their role and sacrifice for justice and equality in South Africa.
And as the day started to unfold I reflected on a very significant reality of life, that everything in life is a huge struggle. We have to continuously fight and struggle to maintain what we have or acquire what we need.
This has been happening since time immemorial, reflected by our great scriptures like Mahabharat , Ramayana where great wars were fought in order to maintain righteousness. In the philosophical sense this also represents the internal struggles in our minds to maintain a level of sanity. Even in the material sense our bodies are continuously fighting to defend it against the bacteria waiting to devour it.
We now understand that some sort of struggle is a central part of our lives, and continuous exposure to such will only result in pain, misery and sorrow. However, deep down we are seekers of joy and peace. We are intrinsically and fundamentally embodiments of bliss, this is clearly overshadowed and polarized by the environmental, mental and material struggles.
On Saturday 11 June 2011 our Temple The Shree Veeraboga Emperumal Temple consecrated a beautiful Ganga Rani(fountain with Ganga water)on the occasion of Ganga Dasami. The Ganga has enjoyed the admiration of gods and sages since creation. She represents purity, strength, selflessness and divinity. I believe that our solution to attain the peace and bliss that we seek can be found in Mother Ganga.
Soon after the consecration of the Ganga Rani, I made my way to the Ramakrishna Centre Headquarters for satsangh and spent the night. I was overjoyed by the thought of spending time in the company of our revered Maharaj Swami Vimokshananda. After partaking of supper we took a relaxing walk within the ashram precinct and Maharaj gave a wonderful story related to Ganga ma.
Once Ganga Ma who allows all to utilise her waters, was feeling really impure as so many sinners were bathing in her. She approached Brahma and asked for his sage counsel. But he said that since she is the daughter of Maha Vishnu (AS SHE EMERGES FROM HIS BIG TOE) we should go see him. But at the chambers of Maha Vishnu , he responded that the only one with a solution would be lord Shiva. They all then went to lord Shiva , who smiled and said that she should not worry as in time she will be purified as sages , sannyasins and noble men bath in her waters.
How beautifully the Master has been the architect of this discussion. In our discussion that night with Swamiji we have also deduced that Mother Ganga represents the grace of Maha Vishnu or God.
Like how the mighty Ganga flows from the source through the gangeiatic planes into the Arabian sea, serving the sadhus, providing water, food, irrigation, electricity, industry, sports and recreation to millions , the grace of god is always flowing.
In the same way we make an effort to get Ganga water from India to South Africa for our use we must make a concerted and sincere effort to tap into the grace of God. The moment this grace is channelled into us, the intensities of our daily struggles are diluted by his divinity. As Shri Krishna Says in the Bhagavat Gita, surrender completely unto me and I will deliver you from the cycle of birth and death.
The question then is how can we attract the grace of god into our lives. Develop good character, do regular pooja and japa, meditation and most importantly keep good company. If you have the opportunity seek the company of sadhus( sadhu sangh). These practices will ensure that we attract the grace of god into us and mitigate the distractions and pains that result in our conflict with this material world.
In parting from my first entry I want to say that devotion (bhakti) is the grease that we need to reduce our friction with this material world. Intense devotion to God will bring peace and tranquillity of mind, inner peace and overall joy.
I look forward to some interesting contributions and discussions on the various challenges in our lives especially as youth and how we can utilise the wisdom of Vedanta to reduce them.
May we all attain the grace of god is my sincere prayer