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Spiritual Meditations

Gandhi’s Despair and the Struggle for Truth and Love
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam
Gandhi’s Despair and the Struggle for Truth and Love
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

‘When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it – always.’ M.K. Gandhi

As we remember Gandhi Jayanti on 2 October, the Mahatma’s 149th birthday and the International Day of Nonviolence, there is plenty of room for despair...

The world of Islam is in a state of upheaval because of a “surplus phenomenology of identity” or “hyper-Asabiya”, which makes it fight internecine wars. This crisis has grown out of an inability to reinterpret a creed predicated on violence. Gandhi’s non-violence appealed to many great leaders in the West after the two World Wars. India can never claim that he was a leader only of India....

Then Satan crept in and I would find myself in those environments, randomly. My spirit felt stronger when I removed myself from situations I felt were no longer appealing to the way I wished to conduct my life. The temptation was strong and the whispers of Satan, even stronger....

 

We cannot define God because God is infinite and definitions are finite. And so, proof of God for a believer or a non-believer becomes a function, not of evidence but of an emotional response. And when our emotional range shrinks, for reasons we cannot control, we often start to lose faith. No one is immune to this phenomenon. No one is immune to this phenomenon. If spiritual giants can lose faith in spite of all their efforts, so can we. In fact, loss of faith is often an inevitable part of any thinking individual’s spiritual journey.....

How is that so? Just as our body requires physical exercise to keep it healthy, so also does happiness depend upon one’s state of mind, which can be termed as ‘intellectual exercise’. Those who spend their time in some form of intellectual exercise will be happy. This is testified to by the rarity of unhappiness among members of the scientific community. This is because science involves constant intellectual pursuit. Every scientist, with a great sense of commitment, is continuously preoccupied with some form of intellectual endeavour....

 

So if you practise mindful breathing and maintain that kind of mindful awareness, you are protected by your compassion and what he says will not touch off anger or irritation in you anymore. That is why it is called the practice of compassionate listening. You are able to tell yourself: Later on, in three or four days, when the chance comes up, I will offer him some information so that he can correct his perceptions, but not now....

 

Man is both a material and a spiritual being. The solution does not lie in denying the material needs and desires but in denying their claim to primacy. They are part of being but not the reason or goal of being. As long as they are kept in place, they are an important part of our life. The problem is not money but the love of it. Wealth itself is not bad. In fact Quran refers to it as

 ‘ … your wealth, which Allah has made for you a means of support.’ [Al-Nisa, 4:5]. ....

 

Buddha’s Four Noble Truths, which are the basis of his teaching, display a rational analysis where there is a problem, (suffering in life); a cause for that suffering (passions, lust, cravings); and, based on the principle of cause and effect, a solution to the problem, the eightfold noble path. His method is sometimes compared with medical diagnosis and treatment. What, however, began as a philosophical-life discipline approach, common in ancient times, East or West, was transformed over time to a religion replete with myths, legends, a complex symbol system and monastic discipline....

 

If you think religion belongs to the past and we live in a new age of reason, you need to check out the facts: 84% of the world’s population identifies with a religious group. Members of this demographic are generally younger and produce more children than those who have no religious affiliation, so the world is getting more religious, not less...

 

Rigidness is a cultural defect endorsed by the erroneous views of many religious believers across the world. The clear danger is that it may cause people to accumulate false knowledge that better fits their rigid personalities — at the expense of truly understanding their religion. This proposition might unintentionally distance many people from their religion. In fact, rigidity is a trait that we should consider discarding completely. ...

 
A Mission of Divine Love
Swami Ramdas
A Mission of Divine Love
Swami Ramdas

May God’s will fulfil itself through the great souls who are trying in different parts of the world to stem the tide of a devastating war! May they, by their penance and sacrifice, release the Divine power for bringing a reign of peace and goodwill on earth! By the Supreme Master’s grace, may the attempts of all these illumined souls, from whose hearts ever rise waves of compassion for suffering humanity, be completely crowned with success!...

 

If one follows the principle of the K l ma Sutta, one will have independent knowledge and reason with which to understand the meaning and truth of ideas and propositions heard for the first time. For example, when one hears that greed, hatred, and delusion are dangerous and evil, one understands thoroughly and instantly, because one already knows through personal experience what these things are like. One believes in oneself rather than in the speaker....

 

It is demeaning for women to beg to be accommodated in a priest-controlled, man-centred, religious establishment. Christian women, likewise, must exercise their right to un-mediated access to God. God has nothing to do with these man-manufactured canards meant to swell the hypermarkets of religion. To wish to be accommodated somewhere on its margins is an insult to oneself....

Road to Happiness and Harmony
Swami Ramdas
Road to Happiness and Harmony
Swami Ramdas

Mere accumulation of wealth and worldly possessions does not lead to happiness. Those who give whatever they have to those who are in want and distress find real happiness by so doing. Others get attached to wealth and possessions. By forgetting God and clinging to their possessions they become unhappy themselves and make others also unhappy. But those who live in God are themselves happy and make others also happy.....

 

Nevertheless, in Mogadishu, the reality of war is never so far away that those attending the book fair can forget it altogether. At eye-level, far below the range of drone photography, the trees are hidden from the street by thick concrete blast walls. Cars weave through security barriers along pavements patrolled by men in uniform brandishing automatic rifles. ...

 

On the one hand is the temptation to compromise on the issue of right and wrong to avoid hurt feelings. On the other is the temptation to correct the wrong with total disregard to the fact that one might be insulting or injuring the other person. While we may see these extreme attitudes in people who seem to be poles apart in terms of their practice of religion, both stem from the same narrow vision of religion that holds our dealings with others as worldly affairs, outside the realm of Islam!...

 

Preachers should understand that those attending sermons come from all walks of life and from various professions. Friday congregations, when the majority of the people of this country have their ears tuned to the sermon from the pulpit should address such present-day issues. With such a captive audience, it would be a shame not to take full advantage of the situation. Let them be touched by the words reaching their ears....

 
Heaven upon Earth
Swami Ramdas
Heaven upon Earth
Swami Ramdas

Self-centredness, that is, too much concentration upon one’s own selfish aims and objects, is responsible for the chaotic condition that now prevails in the affairs of the world. When our hearts and minds, through constant prayer and remembrance of the Divine, are purged of these unnatural and suicidal tendencies, true happiness and peace, after which every man and woman on this earth is hankering and for which they are all striving day and night, will be realised by us....

 

Biological Sciences categorize man as a species of animal kingdom. It considers him a continuation of animal evolution. The structural similarities, working of senses and resemblance of brains are uncanny. In biological domain, the difference between man and the rest of species in animal kingdom is not big enough to classify man into a rank which is above than an animal. Animals are borne, so are we....

 

The ornate tomb of Sufi poet Jalal-ud-din Rumi in Konya, Turkey, has been done up more like a venue for weddings. It symbolises that his dying was a uniting with the Beloved. That is how Sufism looks at love’s earthly journey as well. The poetry of Bulleh Shah, for instance, says that it is when the beloved’s ego dies that her spirit is released for union with the lover, in this world itself....

 
Don’t Give Up, Just Try Something New and Look Ahead With Hope
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Don’t Give Up, Just Try Something New and Look Ahead With Hope
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

This is the story of all human beings. Every person should realise that the world in which he has to lead his life, is full of options. All one needs to do is refuse to succumb to despair and instantly embark on an alternative option even if that option was never your first choice. In this world, that is the secret of success....

 
Transmit the Message of Peace
Swami Ramdas
Transmit the Message of Peace
Swami Ramdas

Since the thought of peace and goodwill is born of the Universal Spirit – on whom the external life of humanity is based – when hundreds and millions unite together in this one thought, there will be released an invincible power which would not only neutralise the war-mentality that seeks to rule the world, but also create a widespread and all-embracing consciousness of peace....

 

Even at times when I felt that I could not go on in life, I always had hope that God would fix things, and that hope will continue until my death. My belief in nature will continue onward, even when I am no longer in this realm and my body no longer exists. I plan to live my life agelessly, doing what I can do every day without thinking about old age, despite how I look as my body slowly falls apart. It is an attitude. We are all marching back to God into the Light...

 

Thus, the relationship between mind and Prana is that of a rider and vehicle.  Such was the notion entertained by the infinite consciousness right in the beginning; and therefore this relationship prevails even today. One who is not enlightened is unable to transcend it.  The ignorant person continues to entertain unshakeable notions concerning time, space, matter, mind, Prana and body....

 

A Bedouin came to the prophet, grabbed the stirrup of his camel and said: O the messenger of God! Teach me something to go to heaven with it. Prophet said: “As you would have people do to you, do to them; and what you dislike to be done to you, don’t do to them. Now let the stirrup go...

 
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