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Spiritual Meditations

The Case for Low Ideals
David Brooks
The Case for Low Ideals
David Brooks

“The happiness of society depends on virtue” — not primarily material conditions. But, and this is what makes her an idealist, she believes that better laws can nurture virtue. Statecraft is soul craft. Good tax policies can arouse energy and enterprise. Good social programs can encourage compassion and community service......

 
What Is Caesar’s and What Is God’s?
Fr Charles Irvin
What Is Caesar’s and What Is God’s?
Fr Charles Irvin

What, then, is Caesar’s and what is God’s? That question is being argued out in our times in a great debate over the importance and value of religion in our society. Reasonable people may differ in the application of answers to that question. But however much reasonable people may differ it is unreasonable to assert the notion that our American republic was built on the secularist mantra that freedom of religion in these United States means freedom from religion in our public affairs….

 

What Pope Francis is attempting is revolutionary. It is also essential, i feel, for the Church’s renewal and continued relevance to the millions who cherish it, and cherish an association with it, but cannot get themselves to agree with all its doctrinal principles. Indeed, other Christian orders have been quicker to coordinate their faith with modern lives and mores and the Catholic Church is making up for lost time. There is a feeling that the Church is in a moment of dramatic transition, not unknown in its history but still worth taking note of…..

It is a fact that everyone who walks down the street will encounter hundreds of Allah’s signs and blessings. Wherever one looks, there is the beauty and matchless artistry of Allah. However, the important secret here is that everyone delights in the images he sees in direct proportion to his faith. A pair of eyes with faith will enjoy an ineffable delight when they look on nature, adorned as it is with Allah’s infinite artistry. They will be filled with excitement when they see a lovely and innocent child…….

Devi Mahatmayam: Alchemy of Energy
Swati Chopra
Devi Mahatmayam: Alchemy of Energy
Swati Chopra

The three central episodes of the Devi Mahatmayam revolve around the allegorical slaying of ignorance by the Goddess. Rapacious demons, symbolic of afflictions of the mind and the ego wreak havoc on heaven and earth, which indicate one’s inner environment. In the first episode, two demons attack Brahma as he prepares to launch a new cycle of creation. He calls out to Vishnu for help, who is asleep. Brahma then petitions the Goddess in her form as Yoganidra (yogic sleep), who withdraws from Vishnu, causing him to awaken. So while Vishnu does the actual slaying, Devi enables him. She lifts the veil of ignorance from him, an awakening occurs, and the afflictions of the mind and the ego are slain…..

 
Doubt as a Sign of Faith
Julia Baird
Doubt as a Sign of Faith
Julia Baird

If we don’t accept both the commonality and importance of doubt, we don’t allow for the possibility of mistakes or misjudgements. While certainty frequently calcifies into rigidity, intolerance and self-righteousness, doubt can deepen, clarify and explain. This is, of course, a subject far broader than belief in God.....

“Why, sir? I’m just stating a fact,” I replied. “You have a name, and if it is Paul, as you said it is, then that’s what I am going to call you—MISTER Paul. I, at least, don’t consider you to be a special creature of God or to have any special connection with Him, and so I don’t see why I should give you any special respect that I wouldn’t give to any other fellow being.” “In our religion, our priests are called ‘Father’,” he mumbled, clutching his crucifix…..

Give Peace a Chance
Francis Gonsalves

Although politicians shrewdly theorise about peace, they’d rather keep the fires of communal conflicts blazing since it’s easier to garner votes of frightened people. However, it’s the Aam Aadmi/Aurat who matters most in ensuring peace within him/herself before embracing the world with peace……

 
You Can Become a Super Achiever
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
You Can Become a Super Achiever
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

The building of a personality depends on your own efforts. If you are an easygoing person then you are bound to receive less energy from your mind and the result will be that your personality will become weak. If you are ambitious and choose to embark on a great task, then certainly your mind will release a greater amount of energy, the result of which will be that you will develop a strong personality. Everyone is born with the same mind that is full of energy.....

 
Mending My Manners
Roshan Shah, New Age Islam

There’s one thing that I really can’t stand—and that’s bad manners. I’m not bragging, but I do think I’m polite. That’s something that I love about myself. Saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you very much’, ‘if you don’t mind’ and so on comes naturally to me, and I really mean it when I use those words. And so, when I see people behaving absolutely manner-less, it really disgusts me….

 
Signs of the ‘End Times’?
Musing Along Forever

When you see pictures of people like evil-faced, black-turbaned Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (self-appointed ‘Caliph’ or religio-political head of the so-called ‘Islamic State’ in Syria and Iraq) and his henchmen dressed in black and brandishing weapons  and when you hear horrific reports of the deadly crimes that they, the Al-Qaeda and other such self-styled defenders of Islam are committing in the name of Islam in various parts of the world, you might be provoked to wonder: Are these hate-driven men among the allies of the Antichrist, enemies of God and the faith they claim to champion, whom the Prophet warned us against more than a thousand years ago?.....

 

Radhakrishnan states that just as the mirage does not disappear when scientific knowledge is gained, the world too does not disappear when intuitively we come to know about the source of the world’s existence. The world continues to exist, though it is valued differently. A Jnani, after attaining Jnana, begins to perceive the world from a totally different perspective. He sees the world being permeated by particles of Chitti or pure Consciousness…..

 

When you realise that God is taking care of His universe in exactly the way He wants to and knows to be best, you won’t any longer fear that given the way the media says the world is going, you might soon lose your mental balance. And so, I try to convince myself, there’s absolutely no need for me to allow myself to develop a headache and feel sick or to fall into a depression over the horrors that the newspapers routinely report......

 
A Long Chain of Goodness!
Roshan Shah, New Age Islam

“Whatsoever one Sufi says will be said by all the Sufis Buddha, Christ, Krishna, Lao Tzu, Mohammed, Bahauddin, Bayazid…they are not saying different things…maybe in different ways, but not different things. They are witness to a single truth, and the truth is that the kingdom of God is within you.”....

 
Cooking His Way to Contentment
Das K, New Age Islam

It’s truly amazing, Raju Anna’s passion for his work. It’s made me unlearn some things that I thought were plainly obvious—for instance, that it’s only if you are paid a hefty salary that you can truly enjoy what you do for a living. Or that for all poor people, their work is necessarily, and in every case, an imposed drudgery, and that, therefore, they are doomed to always being agitated, unhappy and discontented with life….

 
The Material and the Spiritual Aspect of Human Well-Being
Muhammad Hisyam Mohamad
The Material and the Spiritual Aspect of Human Well-Being
Muhammad Hisyam Mohamad

In actual fact, the word Ibadah refers to everything one says or does for the pleasure of Allah that is not only limited to rituals and beliefs, but also encompasses social activities, economics, politics, etc.....

 

Worse, they actually believe that lasting peace can be established through relentless war. Thus, our world is scarred by violence and strife. But when the darkness of ignorance is dispelled by the first glimmer of understanding, we will realize that different races and different nations are members of one global family. How grievously will we then repent our misdeeds! Piteous is the need of the nations for such a light—the light of oneness, the light of brotherhood, understanding and compassion.....

 
To Forgive Is Divine
Dada J P Vaswani

Psychiatrists tell us that when people refuse to forgive and forget, their life takes a definite turn for the worse – a downturn. They become bitter; they wallow in self-pity; they even develop disorders like paranoia and persecution complex. They stop seeking the company of positive, optimistic cheerful people who give them good counsel; instead, they lock themselves up in a self-made prison of isolation and alienation......

 

Muslims everywhere will celebrate the coming of Eid ul-Fitr with happiness, special prayers, and food to commemorate the end of the fasting month. As during the month of Ramadan itself, Muslims should commit themselves to good deeds -- for the benefit of all humanity -- at Eid al-Fitr. Moderate, traditional, spiritual and conventional Muslims may be expected to join in the mourning of the people of the Netherlands and Australia as well as Malaysia. Prayers for all the dead of MH17 should be delivered in mosques and elsewhere Muslims gather. Muslims should contribute to relief for the families of the dead, whatever their faith or belief......

 

If Muslims wish to escape this horrific picture in which even children are being slaughtered en masse, if they want the tragedies afflicting them to ease and if they truly want peace, then they must follow the path shown by Islam and constantly demand peace. They must not forget that hatred will inevitably create more hatred and end in tragedy, and that war cannot put an end to war. They must always take the road of peace, as our Lord commands in the words, “You who believe, enter absolutely into peace!”……

 
What Religion We Want
Swami Ramdas
What Religion We Want
Swami Ramdas

Religion, whose function is to guide and inspire mankind towards a life of mutual understanding, help and friendliness, has strangely been the cause of racial hatreds, destructive rivalries and false attitudes of superiority. We want a religion shorn of all its narrow particularisation and free from dogmatic beliefs, superstitious impositions and bigoted and sanctimonious ways. We want a religion which appeals to the inner spirit of every man and woman....

 

The Gita teaches us that whatever may be the purpose or way of worship it invariably reaches the Lord of the universe. It also reveals that people worship God for protection from danger, acquisition of desirables, realisation of truth and identification with innermost Self. Our devotion is proportionate to immediate motivation and we cannot sustain devotion for mere abstraction for long.......

 

Dalai Lama: Buddha himself stated 'oh my follower should not accept my teaching out of faith, out of devotion, but rather thorough investigation and experiment, the scientific way of approach.' So all the Nalanda masters like Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Asanga, Chandrakirti, all these great masters of Nalanda, even Buddha's own words, they carry investigation whether Buddha's statement is acceptable or not. So they are always based on logic and experiment so, therefore, I follow that pattern, tradition. For example Mount Meru, many Buddhists no longer accept that.

NDTV: Really?

Dalai Lama: Yes I hope. I still bully Buddhists. So we have liberty. We must accept the reality. The round world, now scientifically through calculation, through observation we actually see that. So the flat world, in centre Mount Meru and sun and moon go like that. As a Buddhist you cannot accept that.....

 

Thus, most Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Bahais and Hindus are so simply because they happen to have been born into families that claim to be Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Bahai or Hindu, and not for any other reason. Their inherited religious beliefs so indelibly mould their minds that very often, as adults, even if they do care to study other religions and belief systems, the religion which they happened to have been born into still appears to them as supposedly the best, the most reasonable, the most humane, and even the most ‘scientific’.....

It makes no difference by what name you call God, Baba Nanak tells us here: Ram, Khuda, Gosain or Allah. It doesn’t matter what method of worship you adopt, or where you seek Him: in the bathing Ghats of Kashi, in India, or in the Kaaba, in Mecca, Arabia, or what colour ‘sacred’ dress you wear. What you call yourself—‘Muslim’ or ‘Hindu’ or whatever—too, is immaterial: it’s just a label.....

 


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