Monday, August 17, 2015
As a classic example of propagating communal harmony, Mohammed Zahir works as a caretaker of Lord Shiva temple in Khandwa, Indore. August, being an holy month of Srawan for Hindus where they worship Lord Shiva in different traditions across the country. Zahir still shows equal enthusiasm serving for the temple as he would do for a Dargah.
According to Dainik Bhaskar, he sweeps, decorates the Shiva Linga and sticks around from dawn to dusk in the temple premises for the past six years. The temple comes under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and they employed him as the caretaker. The 40-year-old man finds the job as a privilege and has been happy to serve the temple.
The temple does not have a ‘pundit’ to conduct prayers or do rituals and he sometimes commits to help tourists by offering their prayers and performs ‘archana’ to the Shiva Linga. Interestingly, he also serves a Dargah which is just a stone’s throw away from the temple which also comes under ASI.
Zahir believes that his services to both the temple and Dargah will teach equality and harmony to his five children.
(Picture: Is symbolic)
Friday, December 10, 2010
Lynne McTaggart's latest blog:
December 10th, 2010
As I prepare for our special cancer teleconference with the pioneering Dr Patrick Kingsley this Sunday, Ive been looking over the many things I have written about the disease.
I have largely characterized it as a deficiency disease a slow-motion starving of vital nutrients resulting from the wholesale industrialization of food or disease of toxicity a poisoning from our chronic exposure to some 20,000 chemicals present in our air, food, water and homes.
Clearly, these elements play an important supporting role. But perhaps not the leading one.
They do not, for instance, explain spontaneous remission how a giant mass can be there one day and virtually melt away the next. A small body of research concerns terminal cancer patients who, with little or no medical intervention, end up beating the odds.
Although medicine likes to pretend that these cases are rare, one in eight skin cancers spontaneously heals, as does nearly one in five genitourinary cancers.
Virtually all types of illnesses, from those where organs have supposedly packed up, as in diabetes or Addisons disease, to those where a body part is supposedly irretrievably damaged, as in atherosclerosis, have healed on their own.
Rather than calling these cases what they are the bodys ability to self-correct medicine refers to them as spontaneous remission, as though the illness has simply decided to go into hiding, but might still suddenly spring out at you again at any moment.
We all marvel at cases of spontaneous remission because even the most enlightened among us subscribe to the body-as-machine paradigm. Under this model, what is broken stays broken, until a seasoned mechanic comes along with the right monkey wrench or spare part.
Clearly, whats going on there is something more complex than eating your greens and throwing away your toxic cleaning products.The sheer volume of cases of spontaneous remission shows that self-repair and renewal is natural to the human body.
Losing the plotLately, Ive been sifting through these studies, looking for the common thread. What these cases collectively say about cancer is highly instructive. In case after case, they describe people up against a major roadblock in their lives: an unremitting stress; an unresolved trauma; a prolonged hostility; a marked isolation; a profound dissatisfaction; a quiet despair.They describe people who are boxed in a corner with no apparent way out, people who have lost not only the plot but also their role as the central protagonist of their own life drama. They are people who, in short, hurt deeply in their very souls.Those people who beat their cancer, whose survival remains unexplained, are those same individuals who find a way out of the corner. They get rid of the source of the psychological heartache: they divorce the abusive husband; they resolve the problem with their mother or daughter; they take full responsibility for their illness.
But, most important of all, they find the lost meaning in their lives. Most cases of spontaneous remission seem to take place after the patient has made a major psychological shift to recreate a life that is engaging and purposeful. They play the piano or go trekking in Tibet, if thats what they always meant to do before they got derailed in their lives. They find a path back to their joie de vivre.
The power of thoughts
Most people, this would suggest, get ill because theyve lost all hope of life ever being good. And this suggests that they have cancer because of their thoughts the thoughts they think about themselves and their lives.
For many years, Ive studied evidence of how profoundly and quickly the brain alters its function and even its physical structure from mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation is more than just relaxation. It creates a profound change in your worldview: an acceptance of what is in the current moment without a judgemental overlay.The research on mindfulness suggests that our physicality is like Play-Doh, to be molded from our conscious thoughts. Form follows function. If the brain can be physically revised throughout life just by thinking better thoughts, so too can the rest of the body.
Indeed, the dynamic plasticity of the body its ability to go from ill to well overnight demonstrates how deeply it is a maidservant of consciousness.
Much has been written about the so-called cancer personality. For me, the real question is getting to the heart of the cancer in your soul.
-LynMcTaggart is the best selling author of The Intention Experiment and more
Sunday, December 5, 2010
[Note: This was at the time when Swami Shyamananda Giri (he was not a swami then) was looking for a quite ashram near Calcutta where he could retire from responsibilities and meditate. At the same time he had heard of Yogoda Math at Dakshineshwar and was contemplating joining YSS. Below is an extract taken from an article `In Memorium: Swami Shyamananda Giri' from the SFR Magazine – Fall 1971. Swami Shyamananda Giri had this to say about Daya Mata then.]
"In 1958, I decided I would try to find a quite ashram near Calcutta where I could retire from responsibilities and meditate. I had heard of Yogoda Math, which was a short distance from Kali temple at Dakshineshwar. I went there and found that it was indeed secluded; not many visitors came, and it was beautifully situated on the banks of the Ganges. I talked with one of the monks about possible accommodations. He told me about the founder and shwoed me his book, Autobiography of a Yogi. I bought the book and went away.
"I was skeptical about a yogi who would write his autobiography, and especially one who had spent many years in the West. But as I casually leafed through the pages, I saw this was no ordinary text - whatever passage I chanced to read rang with spiritual vitality and truth.
"But imagine my astonishment when I turned to the page on which Mahavatar Babaji's picture appears. 'It is he!' I exclaimed, 'the one in the vision, for whom I have been searching these many years! Can it be? or am I only imagining?'"
Then he remembered that the monk at Yogoda Math had told him they were making preparations for the visit from America of the president of Paramahansa Yogananda's society. He also remembered his sceptical reaction: "An American Spiritual leader? And a woman at that? Absurd!" Such were his thoughts. Yet he felt somehow drawn, and within a few days he found himself talking to Sri Daya Mata. "When I came away from that meeting, I knew she had supplied the ingredient that had been missing in my sadhana. I had been following the path of Jnana Yoga, inspired by the illustrious example of Swami Vivekananda; but my own swadhana remained dry and empty.
Ma told me I must cultivate more devotion, more love and longing for God. My heart began to fill and I knew she was right. Strange, that first meeting with Ma was on the very day, twelve years after, of my vision of Babaji in Rajgir; I felt my search had ended."
Yet doubt waged a battle in his mond. The whole of his life and search would be wasted of he were misled by delusion now. He kept at a distance, coming to the ashram to meditate quietly, and then slipplig away. He even tried staying away for long periods of time. But when he came again, the same peaceful assurance crept over him. Sri Daya Mata had already singled him out of the crowds as the one outstanding soul she had thus far met in India who was deeply seeking God.
He travelled to Ranchi when Daya Mata went there on her visit to the place in India where Paramahansaji's work had started with a flourishing boy's school. There they has many heart-to-heart talks about the work. Daya Mata poured out to him her heartache at finding her Guru's work in India badly neglected and deteriorated - it was a dying institution. She felt his keen response and understanding.
He also accompanied Sri Daya Mata's party to the Yogoda Satsanga ashram of Swami Yukteswar in Puri. If any doubts remained in Shyamananda's mind, on this trip they were to be dispelled forever.
Jagannath Temple at Puri is considered one of the holiest in India. It held a special reverential place in Shyamananda's heart. He had made pilgrimages there many times, and his meditations in its sacred environs had always been blessed deeply. By special concession granted by His Holiness Sri Shankaracharya Bharati Krishna Tirtha*, Sri Daya Mata was the first American ever to be allowed to enter Jagannath Temple^. Shyamananda was in her party that day.
As she meditated before the alter - on which are images of Krishna in the aspect of Jagannath, Lord of the Universe; his sister Subadhra, and his brother Balarama - she went deep into an ecstatic state, becoming totally oblivious of all around her. Shyamananda related his own experience at that time:
"I stood at a distance on one side, against the wall, watching Ma in meditation. Suddenly her form began to disappear into light. I looked at Jagannath's image at the alter, then back to Ma, and again at the alter; several times I did this, shaking my head to be sure I was not imagining. I knew they were One! This experience continued for a long time, then gradually Ma's form began to reappear. After a while she got up and left the temple. As she did so I noticed that she dropped her ochre handkerchief. I wondered why those who were with her did not pick it up. I was extermely reluctant to touch it. In that sacred place, witnessing what I had just witnessed, that handkerchief was a symbol. To pick it up was to commit myself before the Lord, as if picking up her banner. I had never thus committed myself to anyone or any organization. Yet I couldn't leave it lying there. I looked frantically at the alter and prayed, "Lord, what are you doing? What are you asking?' Finally I said, 'What is to be, let it be, O Lord.' And I picked up the handkerchief and carried it outside to Ma."
Sri Daya Mata had been only dimly aware of dropping the handkerchief, and of sensing his reluctance to pick it up. She also understood it was a symbol. When he handed it to her, it was a confirmation of what she already knew: God had chosen him to help rebuild her guru's work in India.
[Note: A similar symbolic act of "picking up Guruji's banner" had taken place years earlier in Shyamananda's life when during a Durgapuja in 1930 the young Binayendra (Swami Shyamananda's name before he became a YSS_SRF monk) and a few of his friends were on a holiday at a rented bungalow in Ranchi. Unknown to the vacationers, this bungalow, a part of the Maharaja Of Kasimbazar's estate, had once been used by Paramahansa Yogananda's Yogoda school, but had been vacated in 1929 when it was outgrown. "When we arrived there," said Shyamananda, "I noticed a Yogoda signboard lying on the ground. It was covered with dirt, and the white ants were eating it. I could never bear to see anything being spoilt, even if it did not belong to me. I also thought, 'This must have been some spiritual institution; it is not right that this sign board lies on the ground for people to walk on it.'" He picked up the sign, brushed off the dirt and ants and propped it against a tree: his first thoughtful, though unknowing, act of service to his Guru.]
[* - Spiritual head of Gowardhan Math, founded in Puri in the 9th century by Lord Shankara, India's greatest philosopher, and reorganiser of the Swami Order.]
[^ - Since its founding, centuries ago, the temple had been closed to non-Hindus and Westerners. That restriction had been lifted coincidentally with Sri Daya Mata's visit to Puri. Not long afterward, the restriction again became the rule.]