Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:45 am

Hari Om Everyone,

i hope this email finds everyone well...

Everyone wanting to be happier is a seeker. And Happiness is our nature. Connecting the dots, everyone wants to know their nature. How though? How are we to know our Self? "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." (Mahatma Gandhi). After jnana (knowledge), vichara (reflection) and abhyasa (practice) our focus should be seva (service), our focus is seva through the E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (January 23, 2012) --- the Chinmaya Inspiration Yatra: Leg 4 - Seva

-The Chinmaya Organization for Rural Development (CORD - http://cord.org.in/) in Siruvani is a pure expression of service above self - in this rustic district, tens are helping hundreds and if millions followed suit, billions would be moved

-In our arrogance we proclaim the Divine is Infinite yet still believe we are finite - knowledge triggers service which triggers wisdom which triggers Freedom

-The Divine identifies with all and so is compassionate - only when we forget we are part of the Totality do we devolve from Infinite potential to individual potential

-Hanumanji's golden bracelets do not symbolize material wealth (i.e stuff), rather spiritual wealth (i.e. service) - with empathy as a catalyst, evolving from man to Hanuman is effortless

-Being able to serve is a privilege and each and every being is privileged to be able to support another being/s (i.e. through donating, through teaching, through smiling, etc., etc., etc.) - only through such remembrance can we escape and exorcise the secretive, versatile, justified 'spiritual ego'

-God helps those who help themselves and God helps those more who help others - why focus on ourselves when we can focus on others

Live Vedanta. How? Through Live Vedanta. Struggle unites us all. Struggle with our bodies, struggle with our families, struggle with our jobs, struggle with our service, struggle with our spirituality. We all struggle. And we all want direction to navigate through these struggles. Aspiring to share thoughts on the thoughts the many seekers i meet have, a Thursday every month from 9.45p-10.15p EST we will have a live webcast entitled Live Vedanta where answers to questions on how to live Vedanta will be shared. Please do not email me with questions as more than enough have already been asked in person. And most of us have universal questions (i.e. in our December Live Vedanta webcast we explored: 1. Devolving as Adults 2. Dealing with Conflicting Demands 3. Beware the Pseudo-Religious 4. Keeping Satsanga Alive 5. Engaging the Mind) so whether one has verbally asked a question or not, tune in. Our Live Vedanta webcast for this month will be this Thursday, January 26 at 9.45p EST at the following link - Live Vedanta (www.ustream.tv/channel/e-vichara)

"Extending one hand to help somebody has more value than joining two hands for prayer." --- Anonymous

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:40 pm

Hari Om from San Diego!

i hope this email finds everyone well...

Just as a person only dies when we no longer remember the personality so too a yatra only ends when we no longer remember the journey. Together we learned at Sandeepany, reflected at CIF, practiced at CIRS and served at CORD. The focus of the final leg of the Chinmaya Inspiration Yatra is the same focus as the final leg of every jiva’s yatra (human’s evolution), wisdom. We complete our report of aspiring to abide in ananda by signing off with the E-Vichara…

E-Vichara (January 30, 2012) --- the Chinmaya Inspiration Yatra: Leg 5 - Vijnana

-Chinmaya Vibhooti (http://chinmayamission.com/chinmaya-vibhoooti.php) is a Vision Centre envisioned by Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda for the older to keep the vision of Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda alight and to alight the vision of Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda for the younger - a vision alight is a vision alive

-Our Masters show us the light (Knowledge), but it is we who have to follow the light to Know the light (Wisdom) - the moment we assume responsibility for our happiness or lack thereof is the moment we evolve from slaves to seekers

-Swami Advaitananda shared I is the most selfish one letter word, avoid it - the rudimentary expression of the ego is separation and in separation before you is I

-We is the most satisfying two letter word, use it - the rudimentary expression of egoless-ness is unity and in unity all vices are vanquished and all virtues are validated

-Rumour is the most contagious six letter word, avoid it - if being truthful leads one to the Truth (Serenity) then being untruthful leads one to the untruth (strife) and when was a rumour ever associated with the truth, when was the giver/receiver of a rumour ever associated with serenity

-Knowledge is the most powerful nine letter word, acquire it - individuals make societies, societies make nations, nations make worlds and appreciating Knowledge as the most comprehensive catalyst for change, if we connect all the dots, to cure the world of disharmony demands we dedicate ourselves to harmony

i was asked to write a foreword to the reflections of the yatri-s on the 1st Chinmaya Inspiration Yatra that are being collected for their own sustained enlightenment and to share the same with other yatri-s. i share this foreword with all for all have joined us for this yatra...

A vacation is a break from the responsibilities of home. A yatra is a break from the redundancy of vacations. ENOUGH seeking fulfillment in abc-s. ENOUGH escaping the suffering of the mind. ENOUGH believing one is limited…

Every being has drifted from Home seeking, escaping, believing. In this endless drift into the ocean of mundane existence, every being is drowning, every being is dying. Repairing Home is the only hope any being has at being repaired, at being relieved, at being Rama…

By participating in a yatra one learns to adapt, endure, renounce, all qualities a seeker needs. By surrendering to a yatra one learns to learn. One’s whole understanding, whole vision, whole plan revolves around being purer in thought, word and deed. One learns invoking purity is invoking Peace. This is living…

Such an expression of Divinity is no longer a yatri, they are a yatra. A walking, talking, rocking yatra on which vacationers from all around cannot resist evolving to yatris…

A person dies only when no longer remembered. A yatra ends only when no longer remembered. Remember every moment. Realize every moment. Radiate every moment…

Inspire-Love-Be,

a yatri to the dear yatris of the 1st Chinmaya Inspiration Yatra


Thank you for believing me, thank you for supporting me, thank you for being with me on this yatra...

"For, under these countless separate skins, there beats a single Eternal heart." --- Ashok K. Banker

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:31 pm

Hari Om Everyone,

i hope this email finds everyone well...

Vitamin A for the eyes. Vitamin D for the bones. Vitamin E for the skin. Vitamin W for the...? Our well being is the prescription of our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (February 6, 2012) --- Make Sure you Take Vitamin W(alking)!

-Each and every day for each and every person the outer world spins 'faster' causing our inner world to spin faster - just as a body untrained to change quickly falls, so too a mind untrained to change quickly falters

-The gross is easier to control than the subtle (i.e. ice vs. water) and controlling the grosser is a means to controlling the subtler (i.e. a calm body encourages a calm mind) - knowing the nature of an entity (i.e. the acceleration and braking of a vehicle) raises the chances of us using that entity rather than being used by that entity

-Going for a walk is a catalyst to 'slow' the world down and catch our breath - taking a step back from the outer world is taking a step forward into the inner world

-Going for a walk is an ideal opportunity to ask all the questions we are too busy to ask ourselves (i.e. What is life? Who are we? Am I happy?) - sincere questioning is the map to reaching true understanding

-Going for a walk is a way to rediscover the simplicity, beauty and grandeur of nature - by tuning into nature we tune into the possibility, into the philosophy, into the palpability of Infinity (Oneness)

-Going for a walk is a universal exercise for the body, mind and intellect - now stop reading these words, get up and go for a walk

"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty." --- Albert Einstein

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:00 am

Hari Om from Columbus!

i hope this email finds everyone well...

suhrnmitraryudasina madhyasthadveshyabandhushu
sadhushvapi ca papeshu samabuddhirvishishyate

Srimad Bhagavad Gita - Adhyayah 6 - Shloka 9

To the benevolent, friend, enemy, indifferent, mediator, vindictive, relative,
righteous, unrighteous and all others, He who is of the same mind, excels.

The Celestial Song - Chapter 6 - Verse 9

Fascinating that the greatest source of happiness and the greatest source of sadness for all of us reading this E-Vichara is people. We cannot live with each other, we cannot live without each other. Yet there ARE humans, check, Divinities, for whom there is only JOY when relating to beings. Not only beings, but articles and circumstances too. How they have learned to be even minded amidst the evil, the eccentric, the Enlightened, etc. is examined in our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (February 13, 2012) --- Origin of Psychology

-Only when we believe differences are real do higher and lower manifest, likes and dislikes manifest, happiness and sadness manifest and so the 'game' goes on and on and on - fundamentally all are One (advaita), functionally all are different (dvaita) and knowing the difference releases one from all vices

-Suhrt is one who is altruistic without any expectation of reciprocation - being even minded with the generous is effortless and should inspire us to be the same

-Mitra is one who is kind out of affection - being even minded with friends is natural though we should be vigilant that they have chosen to be affectionate, they can choose to be unaffectionate and we should not be overwhelmed by either choice

-Ari is one who is mean without reason - being even minded with enemies is testing and we should treat interactions with such personalities as a test being aware that hidden behind such meanness is confusion waiting to be cleared

-Udasina is one who is indifferent to one's gain or loss - being even minded with the neutral is complex for we are constantly demanding closure (i.e. you are my friend, you are my enemy) and we should learn to let go of this 'control complex' allowing us to live and let live with such personalities

-Madhyastha is one wanting gain for one and the other - being even minded with welfarists is revealing of our base nature, constantly demanding defeat of another (i.e. you are my friend not hers) and we should substitute this possessiveness with the understanding that his welfare is my welfare

THE 19TH CHINMAYA MAHASAMADHI ARADHANA FAMILY CAMP IS ON! In my recent travels i have met many who expressed they were unaware there was a Mahasamadhi Camp this year...THERE IS!! Our Swami Shantananda, Swami Swaroopananda and many other Acharyas will be present to speak, to share, to smile. And intrinsic to the Mahasamadhi Camp is our NATIONAL CHYK CAMP guided by Swami Sarveshananda and many other Acharyas. Please check out the following website and register for this precious opportunity to invoke Divinity, to evoke Divinity - FLIGHT TO FREEDOM!!! (https://www.chinmayamahasamadhi.org/)

And...UPANISHAD GANGA IS ON! As the world prepares to embrace a contemporary means (television) to learn a timeless knowledge (Vedanta), we are all working hard to create awareness of this much needed and much awaited idea. How can you join in?

-Please go to Facebook and 'like' Upanishad Ganga - Upanishad Ganga on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/UpanishadGanga)
-Please go to Twitter and 'follow' Upanishad Ganga - Upanishad Ganga on Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/UpanishadGanga)

Thank you for your support with the Mahasamadhi Camp and Upanishad Ganga. We will meet next week to continue to explore other personalities, to explore our own personality...

"A brahmana has no wealth equal to unity, equality and truthfulness; character, firmness, amiability, gentleness and withdrawal from works (desires) of all kinds." --- Bhagavan Veda Vyasa

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:58 pm

Hari Om Everyone,

i hope this email finds everyone well...

suhrnmitraryudasina madhyasthadveshyabandhushu
sadhushvapi ca papeshu samabuddhirvishishyate

Srimad Bhagavad Gita - Adhyayah 6 - Shloka 9

To the benevolent, friend, enemy, indifferent, mediator, vindictive, relative,
righteous, unrighteous and all others, He who is of the same mind, excels.

The Celestial Song - Chapter 6 - Verse 9

"People are people so why should it be, you and I should get along so awfully. So we're different colours and we're different creeds and different people have different needs." (Depeche Mode) Are we a colour (rupa)? Are we a creed (nama)? No. We are Consciousness (Chit) expressing through colours and creeds. When we know this we will adapt to the needs of others creating Peace within and without. Continuing our aspiration to understand combinations and permutations of colours and creeds is the continuation of our aspiration to be even minded, mediated by our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (February 20, 2012) --- the Source of Human Resources

-Dveshya is one who retaliates from hurt - being even minded with the calculating is humbling for a sincere 'sorry' can prevent any retaliation and should there be retaliation, sincere 'forgiveness' can cure this cancerous game

-Bandhu is one who is supportive on account of relation - being even minded with relatives is purifying for practicing awareness through imposed attachment leads to independence

-Sadhu is one who is righteous on account of living by the Scriptures - being even minded with the noble is enlightening for one's eyes are opened to the theory and application of one's potential

-Papi is one who is unrighteous on account of not living by the Scriptures - being even minded with the ignoble is challenging for the influence of dussanga (bad company) is seductive and the only way to not succumb is to remember Peace (long term) over pleasure (short term)

-Cha is all others on account of the unrivaled diversity the Creator is capable of - being even minded with everyone else is reality for each personality we interact with is a unique blend of sattva, rajas and tamas and we should learn to be Gunatita (beyond the affect of the guna-s)

-When we project joy on articles we get addicted, when we project joy on beings we get attached yet when we project joy on the Self we get Ananda (Joy) - the one and only way to insulate oneself from the anger and affection of the negative and positive is to know thy Self

Sorry. This E-Vichara was to be shared with everyone last week. Reason? This past weekend 35 CHYKs from all over North America and myself gathered at Chinmaya Dhara in Niagara and fasted for 40 hours to raise funds for CORD Siruvani. We expected $5,000. We raised $12,850.67!! Reasons?? This past Weekend 20 CHYKs from 10 Cities and myself gathered at Chinmaya Dhara in Niagara for the CHYK West Northeastern Regional Conference. We discussed, we learned, we grew. And so this week everyone will receive 2 E-Vichara-s!!!

As an aid to learning how to be with people, please check out the following link on how to attract positive energy and dispel negative energy - Growing Within (http://www.outofstress.com/attract-positive-energy/)

Finally, in our Live Vedanta webcast last week we explored: 1. Raising Children in Dual Cultures 2. Belief or Blindness in the Guru 3. Understanding Anger 4. Learning to Live in the Present 5. Being Eligible to be Happy. Check out the following link to listen/watch the thoughts shared - Live Vedanta (http://www.ustream.tv/channel/e-vichara)

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:11 am

Hari Om Everyone,

i hope this email finds everyone well...

You are quietly sitting at a religious discourse. The Acharya is passionately sharing how we are more than just the body, we are Brahman! All of a sudden, a few rows in front of you, someone clenches their chest and collapses to the floor. WHAT DO YOU DO...?

Being blessed to be in the company of gatherings of seekers on a regular basis, i recently completed Emergency First Aid - Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation - Automated External Defibrillator training, should i ever be faced with the same emergency (the body needs to be saved until we realize Brahman hahaha!). During this course i could not resist connecting the instructions to the insights from that Course (Vedanta). And naturally i could not resist sharing the same through our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (February 27, 2012) --- First Aid for Oneself

-Our safety is most important - only when we have strengthened and fortified our bodies and minds can we ever think of serving others to follow suit

-Life over limb - when we inculcate a macro-vision we inculcate even mindedness at the body level (i.e. smiling with/without the sun) and at the mind level (i.e. smiling with/without recognition) for we know smiling is most precious

-A first aider is simply one who takes charge of an emergency scene and gives first aid - Lord Krishna has taught that an aryan is a master of circumstances and a anaryan is a slave of circumstances, the former is able to help others and so help himself/herself and the latter is unable to help others and so unable to help himself/herself

-The objectives of first aid are to Preserve (life) / Prevent (the illness or injury from becoming worse) / Promote (recovery) - on the path to Peace too are 3 Ps important: Patience (to endure challenges) / Perseverance (to excel challenges) / Prostration (to enjoy challenges)

-The qualities of a first aider are Competence, Confidence and Compassion - for a seeker too are the same 3 Cs important: Competence (through karma yoga one purifies the body and mind) / Confidence (through bhakti yoga one invokes the grace of the Divine and guidance of the Guru) / Compassion (through jnana yoga one understands we are all One)

-To gauge the well being of someone who is disoriented check the dilation of the eyes, flow of speech and motor skills - to gauge our inner growth we have to check the purity of our thoughts, the warmness of our words and the selflessness of our deeds

Discipline with a Purpose? Making Sense of Stress? Time Management through Mind Management? Familiar??? All talks i have been offering over the past years. Now the same insights are published in the Wall Street Journal presented as independent thought - Are You As Busy As You Think? (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203358704577237603853394654.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_careerjournal#articleTabs=article)

UPANISHAD GANGA IS ABOUT TO BEGIN! As the world prepares to embrace a contemporary means (television) to learn a timeless knowledge (Vedanta), we are all working hard to create awareness of this much needed and much awaited idea. How can you join in?

Please go to Facebook and 'like' Upanishad Ganga - Upanishad Ganga on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/UpanishadGanga)
Please go to Twitter and 'follow' Upanishad Ganga - Upanishad Ganga on Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/UpanishadGanga)

“This life is short, the vanities of the world are transient, but they alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive” --- Swami Vivekananda

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:04 pm

Hari Om from Portland!

i hope this email finds everyone well...

A couple of weeks ago, 40 CHYKs from all over North America came together in Niagara and fasted for 40 hours. Why? To evoke charity: $14,050.98 was raised for the villagers of Siruvani! To invoke discipline: not eating for almost 2 days!!! How did all this happen? Read on to find out courtesy of our E-Vichara…

E-Vichara (March 5, 2012) --- Purpose for Discipline

-A purpose does not create potency rather unleashes potency – all of the potency we need and want is already with us and we simply have to invoke this

-The difference between a Master of Joy (the Guru) and a miser of Joy (us) is the Master has learned from his/her experiences, observations, studies and lives accordingly whereas we keep looking around for sources to learn from and reasons to live accordingly

-A Guru and a Gurukula become pivotal to one's growth when we are 'blind' to our own revelations and want/need to 'see' a personality live Joyfully - a disciple is one ready for discipline

-Why do we justify indiscipline when every achiever, secular or spiritual, has lived by discipline, consciously or unconsciously - there is no substitute for hard work

-Intrinsically every being wants to grow to Infinity for this is our Nature - we fear death for we are Sat (Existence), we despise ignorance for we are Chit (Awareness), we escape sorrow for we are Ananda (Joy)

-Finding purpose is an active pursuit not a passive experience - if any higher purpose raises us than the highest purpose, to raise others, would raise us the highest

Some solid pictures from Starving for Service - 40 CHYKs Fasting for 40 Hours (http://8154768.phanfare.com/slideshow.aspx?s=0&username=8154768&a_id=5493372&s_id=6231288&q=http%3A//8154768.phanfare.com/5493372)

And Upanishad Ganga begins oh so very soon - Upanishad Ganga Preview (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdIooC8Lk54&context=C373933bADOEgsToPDskIm_dZxcUdPBYT17iGk2eSG)

“All life is a truth that can be fully realized only when false notions of a separate self, whose destiny can be considered apart from the whole, are once forever annihilated.” --- Bruce Lee

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:21 pm

Hari Om from Frederick!

i hope this email finds everyone well...

Previously on the E-Vichara: Finding purpose is an active pursuit not a passive experience - if any higher purpose raises us than the highest purpose, to raise others, would raise us the highest...

Once we have found purpose, what are supposed to do? Invoke discipline, revoke lethargy, evoked by our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (March 12, 2012) --- Discipline for Purpose

-Consume less - articles are incessantly demanding our energy (i.e. digesting excessive food), our attention (i.e. shopping without a list), our identification (i.e. this is MY home!)

-By focusing on a purpose we slowly rise from drowning in a life of procurement (yoga) and protection (kshema) - being able to retain one's peace with lesser articles is a sign of authority and being unable to retain one's peace with lesser articles is a sign of addiction, so let us test our retention of peace

-Talk less - beings are incessantly demanding our time (i.e. with complaining), our patience (i.e. with small talk), our quietude (i.e. with fearing silence)

-By focusing on a purpose we slowly create a 'shield' whereby we prevent beings from intruding on our peace - a catalyst to creating this shield is practicing hibernation (only speaking when needed) supported by silence (not speaking at all)

-Sleep less - circumstances are incessantly demanding our efficiency (i.e. sleeping too much), our effectiveness (i.e. sleeping poorly), our sadhana (i.e. sleeping irregularly)

-By focusing on a purpose we slowly regulate our sleep instead of sleep regulating us - with training we can raise the quality of our sleep triggering a reduction in the quantity of our sleep triggering an overall awesomeness the untrained can never understand

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on freedom? Watch on, rock on, discipline ON - Will Smith on Will Power (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufiSXfhPXQc)

The early registration rates for the 19TH CHINMAYA MAHASAMADHI ARADHANA FAMILY CAMP in Boston is fast approaching (March 31)! Please register soon to be enlightened by our Swami Swaroopananda and many other Acharyas. And intrinsic to the Mahasamadhi Camp is our NATIONAL CHYK CAMP guided by Swami Sarveshananda and many other Acharyas. Remember, a family that prays together, stays together. And a family that learns together, grows together - Flight to Freedom (https://www.chinmayamahasamadhi.org/mahasamadhi/mahasamadhi_registration/fees)

"The heights by great men reached and kept, were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were tolling upward in the night." --- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:37 am

Hari Om Everyone,

i hope this email finds everyone well...

Too many rooms to clean? Too many meetings to attend? Too many emails to read? Too many of us relate to these facts of life. What to do when there is just too much to do? Relax. Regroup. Review the same facts of life armed with revelations from the storehouse we call the E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (March 19, 2012) --- Too Much To Do!

-If being overwhelmed by the amount of work one has to do leads to greater inefficiency, this emotion is utterly suffocating - cease from brooding over how much has to be done and just do

-If being overwhelmed by the amount of work one has to do leads to greater efficiency, this emotion is utterly salvaging - continue to think over how much has to be done and plans to raise oneself to take on the same

-When we are intensely aware of how much we have to do, we cultivate empathy towards others facing the same challenge - in empathy, we grow up from imposing our demands (i.e. instead of asking someone why they have not replied to an email, allowing them to reply when they can) and then even ourselves (i.e. instead of sharing thoughts verbally, sharing thoughts mentally)

-Everyone reading this sentence has a different capacity of how much they can do - expecting others to be as efficient or inefficient as we are, is living in 'make believe'

-We can only do our best and doing so we enable ourselves to be be insulated from all criticisms and compliments - think, what else could we have done

-Work never ends which means purification never ends - keep working and keep on creating chances for others to work (i.e. Bhagavan Rama delegating opportunities to the endless personalities in Ramayana)

Live Vedanta. How? Through Live Vedanta. Struggle unites us all. Struggle with our bodies, struggle with our families, struggle with our jobs, struggle with our service, struggle with our religion. We all struggle. And we all want direction to navigate through these struggles. Aspiring to share thoughts on the thoughts the many seekers i meet have, a Thursday a month from 9.45p-10.15p EST we will have a live webcast entitled Live Vedanta where answers to questions on how to live Vedanta will be shared. Please do not email me with questions as more than enough have already been asked in person. And most of us have universal questions (i.e. in our February Live Vedanta webcast we explored: 1. Raising Children in Dual Cultures 2. Belief or Blindness in the Guru 3. Understanding Anger 4. Learning to Live in the Present 5. Being Eligible to be Happy) so whether one has verbally asked a question or not, tune in. Our Live Vedanta webcast for this month will be on Thursday, March 29 at 9.45p EST at the following link - Live Vedanta (http://www.ustream.tv/channel/e-vichara)

"He who believes that fall is an antecedent to rise will never give way to despair." --- Swami Chinmayananda

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:29 am

Hari Om Everyone,

i hope this email finds everyone well...

Puja (ritualistic worship), is an effective sadhana (spiritual discipline) to purify our mind. Employing our body, speech and mind, we perform puja for inner development. Physical action like offering flowers and ringing the bell, vocal actions like chanting mantras and singing hymns and mental actions like feeling the presence of God, constitute the procedure of ritual. As we sincerely do it day after day, our devotion to the Lord further increases and flows as an undercurrent all through the day’s activities. We shall in fact find that God is within us at all times. --- Pujya Swami Tejomayananda

Whenever i ask adults and young adults if they have 'formally' learned how to engage in puja, the almost unanimous response is, "No". This is followed up by, "All we know is what we have observed from sitting in puja-s with our elders." Naturally my follow up question is, "How will this tradition continue if you have not learned how to engage in puja and so are unable to teach the same to the next generation?" After a sombre period of silence, the almost unanimous response is, "We do not know".

Aspiring to keep the Puja Parampara (tradition) alive, a universal Puja Vidhi (guideline) has been simplified and systemized for our understanding. Why? This is how we learn, this is how we remember, this is how we practice, through simplicity and systemization. The Puja Vidhi has been systemized into 9 sections and simplified with 3 steps each. And so we begin exploring all the sections and steps in the Philosophy of Puja through our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (March 26, 2012) --- Atha Puja Vidhi: Proclaim

-Atha Mangala Acharanam (auspicious action): By remembering the name of the Divine, we remember the form of the Divine and in turn remember the qualities of the Divine - as we think so we become

-When we commence any endeavour positively, the chances of the continuation and completion of the endeavour to be positive is raised - pep rallies, corporate cheers, birthday greetings and endless other examples employ the same logic of puja

-Atha Shankah (conch): A conch is blown as a call to oneself and the community to turn one's attention towards the Divine - our relationship and responsibility to the Divine takes precedence over ALL relationships and ALL responsibilities

-Engaging in puja, like giving to charity, is for the benefit of oneself - still, by inviting others to join in, we share our privilege

-Atha Dipah (lamp): Just as the light from a lamp dispels darkness so too the 'light' from Knowledge dispels ignorance - just as ships depend on the guidance of a lighthouse to be safe, so too let jiva-s depend on the guidance of the Lighthouse (Brahman) to be saved

-Symbolically, the container of a lamp is the body, the wick of the lamp is the mind and the oil of the lamp is the ego - only when a mind is alight with Knowledge is the purpose of the body being realized and can the ego be exhausted

Our next step is Purify...

Please note, our Live Vedanta webcast for this month has to be shifted to Saturday, March 31 at 9.45p EST at the following link - Live Vedanta (http://www.ustream.tv/channel/e-vichara)

"Criticism is like a boundless sea. Once you get into it, you can hardly get out of it." --- Swami Chinmayananda

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:38 am

Hari Om from Merrillville!

i hope this email finds everyone well...

Puja (ritualistic worship), is an effective sadhana (spiritual discipline) to purify our mind. Employing our body, speech and mind, we perform puja for inner development. Physical action like offering flowers and ringing the bell, vocal actions like chanting mantras and singing hymns and mental actions like feeling the presence of God, constitute the procedure of ritual. As we sincerely do it day after day, our devotion to the Lord further increases and flows as an undercurrent all through the day’s activities. We shall in fact find that God is within us at all times. --- Pujya Swami Tejomayananda

Symbols: a form of creation, a form of communication, a form of concentration. The Infinite is beyond the scope of all forms, all names. The mind’s only scope is forms, is names. Being practical, being analytical, being honest, without a symbol one can never appreciate the Infinite. If one can never appreciate the Infinite, once can never know the Infinite. If one can never know the Infinite, one can never BE Infinite (Joy). Are we pathless then? No, the path is Puja. We continue our exploration of a simplified universal guideline on worship to grow from the finite to the Infinite, a purpose no different than our E-Vichara…

E--Vichara (April 2, 2012) --- Atha Puja Vidhih: Purify

-Atha Bahya Shuddih (outer purification): A natural string is tied around one’s wrist to remind oneself of the beginning-less and end-less connection with the Divine - a wedding ring attempts to symbolize the same with another being yet the difference is every worldly relationship was created in time (a beginning) and will be uncreated in time (an end)

-Sandalwood paste is applied to one’s forehead as a cooling agent for the skin and more intimately as a catalyst to invoke a cool mind – the one with a cool mind is the coolest

-Atha Achamanam (drinking water): Pure water is drunk thrice while chanting the name of the Divine for purity applies outside and even more so, inside - our thoughts affect the universe (quantum physics) and if we can remember the Divine before every input (thinking, hearing, feeling, seeing, tasting, smelling), every output (thoughts, words, deeds) will glow with Divinity

-A temple is the body (designed in the shape of the Divine), the body is a temple (literally the home of the Divine) – cleanliness is next to Godliness not for the sake of cleanliness rather to create a conducive circumstance to tune into God

-Atha Pranayamah (conscious breathing): We breathe in, retain and breathe out while mentally chanting Aum to invoke purity at a subtle level (gaseous-air) in addition to a gross level (liquid-water) – being disciplined with breathing is a temporary impetus to be disciplined with thinking

-With each inhalation and exhalation our breathing is reminding us of who we are (if we listen to our intake of air we create a so sound and upon the release of this we create a ham sound) - So-ham means He am I

Our next step is Protect...

Just as we are learning how fun Puja can be, our Chinmaya Yuva Kendra (CHYKs) are learning how fun satsanga, seva and sadhana can be. Please check out the following short videos our CHYKs from all over North America have created purely for the sake of fun!

CHYK Chicago - Things CHYKs Say (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJqYjUymEXY&feature=related)

CHYK Columbus - Starving for Service (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4y_kBOnQjaY)

CHYK Toronto - The Yatri Files (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0VoxxHwbqw)[/b]

Want to join in the fun? [b]If you are a Young Adult, participate! If you know a Young Adult, promote!
For more information check out our website - CHYK West Retreats (http://chykwest.com/upcoming-camps/)

"The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge" --- Daniel J. Boorstin

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:50 pm

Hari Om from Seattle!

i hope this email finds everyone well...

Puja (ritualistic worship), is an effective sadhana (spiritual discipline) to purify our mind. Employing our body, speech and mind, we perform puja for inner development. Physical action like offering flowers and ringing the bell, vocal actions like chanting mantras and singing hymns and mental actions like feeling the presence of God, constitute the procedure of ritual. As we sincerely do it day after day, our devotion to the Lord further increases and flows as an undercurrent all through the day’s activities. We shall in fact find that God is within us at all times. --- Pujya Swami Tejomayananda

The smiley face, the American flag, the cross. In whatever direction one turns, we see idols. The smiley face is just designed code. The American flag is just stitched polyester. The cross is just carved wood. In whatever direction one turns, we see ideals…

Just as we studied how a Yatra is an outward expression of an inward journey, so too an idol is an outer expression of an inner ideal. Our dissection of a simplified universal guideline for worship deepens with the aspiration that our understanding of the relationship between rituals and philosophy deepens, encouraged by our E-Vichara…

E-Vichara (April 9, 2012) --- Atha Puja Vidhih: Protect

-Atha Shri Vighneshvara Dhyanam (invoking the Lord of challenges): We remember the expression of the Divine in the form of Vighneshvara for as we think so we become – Vighneshvara is not the Remover of obstacles rather is the Lord of challenges for He takes challenges when we are being righteous, He gives challenges when we are being unrighteous

-Our greatest challenges do not come from articles (i.e. computers, etc.) nor circumstances (i.e. weather, etc.) rather come from beings (i.e. our family, our friends, our peers, etc.) - Vighneshvara has ears as large and as fine as a sieve with the ideal being we do not control what we hear (i.e. sometimes satsanga, sometimes dussanga), yet we do control what we listen to (i.e. only satsanga) and so if we think of Vighneshvara, we will think like Vighneshvara and not create challenges for ourselves

-Atha Shri Maruti Dhyanam (invoking the Lord of fearlessness): We remember the expression of the Divine in the form of Maruti for as we think so we become – Maruti has the power of the wind and just as wind purifies wherever present so too Maruti purifies wherever present

-A mind filled with purity is a mind released of pollutants (i.e. fear) - if we think of Maruti, we will think like Maruti and should challenges arise we will excel these

-Atha Shri Sadguru Dhyanam (invoking the Lord of wisdom): We remember the expression of the Divine in the form of Sadguru for as we think so we become - guru is any article, being, circumstance which removes some sort of 'darkness' (i.e. a management guru teaches one how to know others), whereas a Sadguru is a Being who removes the 'darkness' of who we are (i.e. a Sadguru teaches one how to know Oneself)

-The Sadguru is a conductor between i (jiva) and Infinity (Brahman) - if we think of Sadguru, we will think like Sadguru and appreciate all challenges are a means to growing

Our next step is Invoke

i have had to deeply resist the urge to interrupt our reflection on Puja Vidhih to write on Pearl Jam (invoking the lords of rock & roll), considering i am in Seattle, their hometown!

And for those who have not been watching the live telecast or webcast of Upanishad Ganga, these are being archived on YouTube - Upanishad Ganga Channel (http://www.youtube.com/upanishadganga)

“You who wish to celebrate the birthday, seek first whence was your birth. One’s true birthday is when one enters that which transcends birth and death - the Eternal Being. At least on one’s birthday one should mourn one’s entry into this world (samsara). To glory in it and celebrate it is like delighting in and decorating a corpse. To seek one’s self and merge in the Self – that is wisdom.” --- Ramana Maharshi

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:52 am

Hari Om Everyone,

i hope this email finds everyone well...

Puja (ritualistic worship), is an effective sadhana (spiritual discipline) to purify our mind. Employing our body, speech and mind, we perform puja for inner development. Physical action like offering flowers and ringing the bell, vocal actions like chanting mantras and singing hymns and mental actions like feeling the presence of God, constitute the procedure of ritual. As we sincerely do it day after day, our devotion to the Lord further increases and flows as an undercurrent all through the day’s activities. We shall in fact find that God is within us at all times. --- Pujya Swami Tejomayananda

Why engage in sadhana? How to think Divinely? Where does Bhagavan live? So many questions about Puja! We are trying to answer some of these through our study of the philosophy of a simplified universal guideline for worship shared through our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (April 16, 2012) --- Atha Puja Vidhi: Invoke

-Atha Sankalpah (intention): The hands are clasped and the purpose of worship is shared with oneself, with others, with the Omniscient - with a purpose, a potency until then unavailable, becomes available (i.e. sincere parents sacrificing for an infant, etc.)

-The highest purpose of puja is to just Be - as a catalyst to tune into our Nature, we engage in worship for knowledge, independence, devotion, wisdom, humility, etc., all Divine qualities naturally guiding us to the Divine

-Atha Dhyanam (focusing): With the eyes closed the mind is directed to focus on the name of the Divine which directs the mind to focus on the form of the Divine which directs the mind to focus on the qualities of the Divine - the more the mind is able to focus the more the mind is able to 'manifest' the object of focus (i.e. studying for an exam, watching the sun set, remembering a loved one, etc.)

-When we sincerely reflect on the Divine we inductively question where the 'source' of the Divine is and astonishingly discover the Source is us - this focus is a well thought out step/preparation for creating a 'conduit' for Bhagavan (Brahman expressed) to 'emanate'

-Atha Avahanam (invoking): We touch our heart with one hand, we touch an icon of Bhagavan with the other, symbolizing the invocation of the Infinite from us to our altar - if we sincerely believe God is Infinite how can we or any be excluded

-The mind is limited and so the field of the mind naturally is limited too (i.e. names and forms) - through an idol (limited), an ideal (the Lord) is to be worshiped with the body, speech and mind for this is the ONLY way to gain 'access' to the Infinite

Our next step is Welcome

We are exactly 4 months away from celebrating the 5 year Anniversary of Chinmaya Dhara. We have grown from renting 1,600 square feet to owning 16,000. We have grown from 10 Bala Vihar students to 50. We have grown from 10 Study Group members to 50. We have grown from moving Bhagavan's pictures to established murti-s. We have grown from praying Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda would visit our Centre one year to him doing so three years consecutively! With Chinmaya Mission Buffalo to the southeast and Chinmaya Mission Halton to the northwest, Chinmaya Mission Niagara has grown within one of the smallest geographical parameters of all 46 Chinmaya Mission Centres in the West, being able to reach out to a maximum population of 250,000. And all of this grace and guidance has manifested in less than 5 years...

To help us celebrate, please participate by joining us on Wednesday, August 22. To help us celebrate, please support us by sponsoring Bhagavan Radha-Krishna's utsava murti for $1,008. What is an utsava murti? A moveable representation of the immoveable idol. This sacred icon is used for worship, festivals and simply to be closer to the Lord. As we are all learning how to practice puja, we tend to think this only takes place in the Temple or with an Acharya. Conversely, this should happen at home with oneself. During our Anniversary Celebration, Pujya Swami Iswarananda will be inaugurating and worshiping our Ashram's utsava murti-s. All our sponsors will have the opportunity to a) sustain Dhara's dynamic presence b) participate in the puja with Swamiji c) be gifted with utsava murti-s for one's home to continue one's sadhana...what a rare opportunity! Come together as an individual, as a family, as a group, as a community, as a Centre to participate and support our selfless service...

Please contact me on how you can give (http://chinmayaniagara.org/contact.htm). Thank you!

"If we can change ourselves, we can change the world. We're not the victims of the world we see; we're the victims of the way we see the world. This is the essence of compassionate listening: seeing the person next to you as a part of yourself." --- Dennis Kucinich

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:28 pm

Hari Om Everyone,

i hope this email finds everyone well...

Puja (ritualistic worship), is an effective sadhana (spiritual discipline) to purify our mind. Employing our body, speech and mind, we perform puja for inner development. Physical action like offering flowers and ringing the bell, vocal actions like chanting mantras and singing hymns and mental actions like feeling the presence of God, constitute the procedure of ritual. As we sincerely do it day after day, our devotion to the Lord further increases and flows as an undercurrent all through the day’s activities. We shall in fact find that God is within us at all times. --- Pujya Swami Tejomayananda

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was once asked by Narendranath (later, Swami Vivekananda), "Do you see God?" Ramakrishna Paramahamsa's response, "I see God more clearly than I see you." How can this Master make such a claim? This Master knows God lives in each one of us, God IS each one of us...

Having proclaimed we are engaging in puja, purified the objects and subjects involved with puja, protected the outer and inner environments for puja and invoked the Divine to our altar of puja we have reached the middle section of our puja. And so we continue to reflect and relate to the philosophy of a simplified universal guideline for worship guided by our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (April 23, 2012) --- Atha Puja Vidhih: Welcome

-Atha Asanam (seat): A new, fresh, soft piece of cloth is offered for the Divine to rest on for a comfortable entity is slower to leave than an uncomfortable entity and we want Bhagavan to be at our altar as long as possible - the greater our altars in life the greater our efforts in life (i.e. a sports team in the season vs. in the playoffs vs. in the Olympics)

-After journeying we just want to sit down freely (imagine what one wanted to do after one went for a run, a hike, a drive, etc.) and so does Bhagavan - we have all been taught to treat others as we want to be treated, naturally the same applies to God and more, infinitely more for the Infinite

-Atha Arghyam (washing hands): A spoon of water is offered to wash the hands of the Divine for the condition of our hands often conditions how we feel (think about how agitated we were the last time our hands were sticky) - though the body is different than the mind, a clean, healthy, strong body becomes a catalyst for a clean, healthy, strong mind

-The water to wash Bhagavan's hands is offered onto a plate different than where Bhagavan is residing for who wants to remain in the water used to clean oneself - each and every offering (i.e. asanam, gandhah, dakshinah, etc.) is placed near the heart and then offered for all God really wants is devotion not dravya (materials)

-Atha Achamanam (drinking water): A spoon of water is offered for the Divine to drink not to purify as is the logic for why we perform achamanam - does the Ever-Pure need to be purified

-The water for Bhagavan to drink is offered onto the plate where Bhagavan is residing for this water is to be digested not disposed (like the water for arghyam) - the awareness encouraged to engage in Puja is moving at the physical, mental and intellectual levels

Our next step is Beautify

Hear ye, Hear ye! The Chinmaya Yuva Kendra West Steering Committee (CHYK West SC) are organizing the National Junior CHYK Camp (NJCC)!!! Everyone who is going into Highschool, is in Highschool or has just completed Highschool is invited. For what? Swami Mitrananda, Swami Sarveshananda, Girishji and myself! For what??? Satsanga, workshops, friends and adventure!!! For all those who are eligible to attend, register soon! For all those who know those who are eligible to attend, spread the word!!! For more information please check out the following link - Life is a Jungle...are you game to survive? (http://nationaljcc.chykaustin.com/)

"To do the job, even if circumstances are not conducive, is our gift to Him who is the sole Lord of all circumstances." ~ Swami Chinmayananda


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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Mon May 07, 2012 5:41 pm

Hari Om Everyone,

i hope this email finds everyone well...

Puja (ritualistic worship), is an effective sadhana (spiritual discipline) to purify our mind. Employing our body, speech and mind, we perform puja for inner development. Physical action like offering flowers and ringing the bell, vocal actions like chanting mantras and singing hymns and mental actions like feeling the presence of God, constitute the procedure of ritual. As we sincerely do it day after day, our devotion to the Lord further increases and flows as an undercurrent all through the day’s activities. We shall in fact find that God is within us at all times. --- Pujya Swami Tejomayananda

Practice and game, theory and application, philosophy and rituals. Without the former the latter is meaningless. Without the latter the former is meaningless. With the integration of the former and latter there is meaning in all directions. We are aspiring to understand and so appreciate the background of a simplified universal guideline for worship (vidhih) through a simplified universal guideline for reflection (vichara), OUR E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (April 30, 2012) --- Atha Puja Vidhih: Beautify

-Atha Snanam (bath): Water and remembrance is offered to the manifestation of the Divine to bathe for this is a intimate opportunity for us to be closer to the Divine - just as important as using clean, warm water to bathe the Lord, is using clean, warm words to bathe the Lord

-After an initial rest period (Welcome - sitting, washing hands, drinking water, etc.) naturally one wants to increase the intensity of rest by bathing - we all know how fresh the mind becomes when the body is freshened

-Atha Vastram (cloth): A new, fresh, soft piece of cloth is offered for the Creator to wear and be comfortable for a comfortable entity is a gracious entity - all that has been/is being/will be offered is a creation of the Creator, understanding which, appreciating which, we will be offering a cloth made of the most precious fabric, humility

-Though Bhagavan is the most beautiful in the most ways, we aspire to make Bhagavan more beautiful - in our aspiration we ever fail in making The Madhura (Beautiful One) madhura and ever succeed in making the mind madhura

-Atha Gandhah (sandalwood paste): The Lord's head, hands and feet are anointed with the naturally fragrant sandalwood paste reminding us that all the Lord's thoughts, words and deeds are for our welfare - if we can keep this 'fragrance' (understanding) with us, even during times of great difficulty we will 'enjoy' (appreciate) the grace of the Divine

-When the equipments are made cool (as shared earlier sandalwood paste is a cooling agent for the skin) these equipments become eligible, empowered, enlightened to bring calmness to the collective - equipments used to serve are the most fresh, are the most beautiful, are the most fragrant

Our next step is Offer

For those unable to watch the Live Vedanta webcasts for March and April, please check out what we thought about at - Ustream - Acharya Vivek (http://www.ustream.tv/channel/e-vichara)

March - 1. Practical Detachment 2. Explaining Death 3. Dealing with Confusing Intentions 4. Are Scriptures a Must 5. Parental Influence

April - 1. Integrating Actions and Results 2. Forgiving Family 3. Judging Homosexuality 4. Gita as a Ritual and Manual

"Facing the situation is courage, and the blessings of courage are sublimity, splendour and success." ~ Swami Chinmayananda

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Mon May 14, 2012 6:26 pm

Hari Om Everyone,

i hope this email finds everyone well...

Puja (ritualistic worship), is an effective sadhana (spiritual discipline) to purify our mind. Employing our body, speech and mind, we perform puja for inner development. Physical action like offering flowers and ringing the bell, vocal actions like chanting mantras and singing hymns and mental actions like feeling the presence of God, constitute the procedure of ritual. As we sincerely do it day after day, our devotion to the Lord further increases and flows as an undercurrent all through the day’s activities. We shall in fact find that God is within us at all times. --- Pujya Swami Tejomayananda

Q: How many paths are there to self development? A: As many as personalities exist. Our Veda-s have 100,000 mantra-s! And the composition of these divine teachings evolve from pure ritual (karma kanda) to pure philosophy (jnana kanda) embracing all personality compositions. Similarly, we have evolved in our study of a simplified universal guideline for worship. What began as a 'distant' Proclaiming we are beginning our Puja is now an 'intimate' Offering of our best. Let us continue our e-volution as e-voked through our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (May 7, 2012) --- Atha Puja Vidhih: Offer

-Atha Archanam (venerate): The Lord is 'actively' remembered (Why? Please read past E-Vichara-s where the reason has been given over and over and over again) by chanting the Lord's name and making an offering (i.e. a flower, a leaf, a grain, etc.) with each name - for each offering the dravya (material) is brought near one's heart to be filled with Love for more important than dravya is devotion

-When the sun's rays typically fall on a piece of paper litter the litter is illumined, whereas when the sun's rays converge (through a magnifying glass, etc.) on a piece of paper litter the litter is burned - though every word (i.e. Shiva, space, stealer, etc.) can illumine Bhagavan, we chant 1 magnified word (quality of Bhagavan) or 108 magnified words (qualities of Bhagavan) or 1,000 magnified words (qualities of Bhagavan) so the litter that is our mind is burned of impurities

-Atha Naivedyam (food): Pure food prepared in a pure environment prepared by a pure mind is offered to the Divine - always remember the rigours of such preparation (service) is an opportunity to engage in self discipline, an opportunity to enjoy in self development and NOT an obligation to the easily pleased One (Ashutosh)

-The nature of the outer and inner universe is the more we give, the more we get (i.e. pollution, Love, etc.) - when we give naivedyam to the Divine, this is transformed to prasad (that which delights!) and given to us

-Atha Dakshinah (gift): All we have ever received and not received is by the Grace of God and though no price can be attached this Grace, out of gratitude and fulfillment we strive to give back by making a monetary offering - the most transforming gift from God is a Guru who Guides one to rediscover inner Peace, discover outer prosperity and so dakshinah is always associated with a Guru, enabling him/her to continue to serve humanity in ways none other can

-A attitude of gratitude is a catalyst for knowledge to evolve to wisdom and a attitude of ingratitude is a catalyst to remaining an intellectual indefinitely - dakshinah should always be given according to one's dharma (i.e. service is the responsibility of a student and charity is the responsibility of a householder) and should always be given according to one's capability (i.e. if one has more resources, time and effort than they need, give accordingly to those who do need)

Please do remember these insights into Dakshinah as this is our 151st E-Vichara and we only have 5 more to explore until the completion of our 3rd Year of study together!!!

Our next step is Glorify

"Live with the minimum; create the maximum; give everything to the world outside." ~ Swami Chinmayananda

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Sun May 20, 2012 8:48 am

Hari Om from Flint!

i hope this email finds everyone well...

Puja (ritualistic worship), is an effective sadhana (spiritual discipline) to purify our mind. Employing our body, speech and mind, we perform puja for inner development. Physical action like offering flowers and ringing the bell, vocal actions like chanting mantras and singing hymns and mental actions like feeling the presence of God, constitute the procedure of ritual. As we sincerely do it day after day, our devotion to the Lord further increases and flows as an undercurrent all through the day’s activities. We shall in fact find that God is within us at all times. ~ Pujya Swami Tejomayananda


Who is our role model? A celebrity? An athlete? An artist? A leader? A Guru? Naturally whoever our role model is, we give our resources, time and effort to tune into the same qualities we admire. In the penultimate stage of our simplified universal guideline for worship we focus on the Lord being a king. The King of the outer universe, the King of the inner universe, our King for our E-Vichara…

E-Vichara (May 16, 2012) --- Atha Puja Vidhih: Glorify

-Atha Mangala Nirajanam (auspicious homage): A lamp with camphor is lit and shown to Bhagavan, symbolizing the presence of the Divine Light (Awareness) enables the cognition of any other light (i.e. sun, lightning, fire, etc.) - we are encouraged to practice awareness not for the sake of awareness rather to reunite with our Nature

-When suffering from outer darkness, we bring a physical light to empower us to see more clearly, logically then, when suffering from inner darkness, we need a mental light (knowledge) to empower us to think more clearly - the Guru is one who removes darkness by guiding us to the grace of God

-Atha Pradakshina Namaskarah (circumambulatory prostration): One turns in a circle thrice and prostrates to the Lord reminding us of what our highest priority is – if dedication, devotion and development are truly our highest priority we need to ask ourselves if our resources, time and effort are being directed towards these

-Revolving around Bhagavan thrice teaches us that our thoughts, words and deeds should all revolve around Bhagavan – and prostration must be with all the equipments/ways we interact (body=feet, knees, hands; speech=chest; mind=forehead)

-Atha Rajopacharah (royal service): Treating the Divine as a King we treat the Divine with Kingly services (i.e. fanning, singing, carrying, etc.) – Bhagavan and Bhagavan’s workers do not need any comforts nor ceremonies, these are opportunities created for seekers and shishya-s to tune to the Higher

-With reverence for the Higher we receive the Highest (Freedom) - without reverence for God, Gita and Guru we are like robots (bound)

Our completing step is Surrender

"He who has experienced the higher refuses to remember and relive the past." ~ Swami Chinmayananda

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Tue May 29, 2012 4:36 pm

Hari Om from the Poconos!

i hope this email finds everyone well...

Puja (ritualistic worship), is an effective sadhana (spiritual discipline) to purify our mind. Employing our body, speech and mind, we perform puja for inner development. Physical action like offering flowers and ringing the bell, vocal actions like chanting mantras and singing hymns and mental actions like feeling the presence of God, constitute the procedure of ritual. As we sincerely do it day after day, our devotion to the Lord further increases and flows as an undercurrent all through the day’s activities. We shall in fact find that God is within us at all times. ~ Pujya Swami Tejomayananda

The purpose of living is to rediscover Life. How? We are to use the equipments and experiences to go beyond the equipments and experiences (Brahman).

The purpose of puja is to rediscover Life. How? We are to use murti-s and materials to go beyond murti-s and materials (Brahman).

We have been studying a simplified universal guideline for worship for over 2 months now! And now we have reached the zenith of our sadhana: surrender. We are grateful to the Creator for the opportunity to surrender as taught by the E-Vichara, as applied by the family and friends of the E-Vichara…

E-Vichara (May 21, 2012) --- Atha Puja Vidhih: Surrender

-Atha Samarpana (surrender): With hands folded and heart filled one remembers one’s Lord offering all thoughts, all words and all deeds to the All Knowing – prayer is fascinating in that before any deed, word or thought is directed to the Lord, the Lord already knows/illumines the prayer

-Each and every facet of the inner and outer universe has been created and so needs to be attributed to a creator and logically to THE Creator - what apparently separates us from the Creator, what apparently has not been created by the Creator, is the ego and offering this is the highest offering

-Atha Udvasanam (farewell): Remembering the Divine resides in our hearts, remembering we have invoked (avahanam) the Divine into the icon at our altar, we gently, slightly, thoughtfully push the icon back returning the Divine to our hearts - if we truly understood and appreciated the ever present Lord in our hearts we would not eat the way we do, we would not think the way we do, we would not prioritize the way we do

-The first step in seeing the Infinite within all is to practice seeing the Infinite within an idol by worshiping the associated ideal of Oneness - to believe we can see the Infinite without a form and name (Brahman) without practicing with a form and name (Bhagavan) we first have to disbelieve our own form and name

-Atha Shantih Mantrah (prayer for peace): With hands folded, heart filled and intellect fastened one prays for the Happiness and health of all - the secret to being happy and healthy is to be a catalyst for everyone's happiness and health

-At the end of the day each and every one of us is responsible for creating the universe we live in (i.e. the media system, the political system, the education system, etc.) - if we all raise the quality of our inner universes we shall all raise the quality of the outer universe so let begin to take responsibility for this reformation by reflection, reflection and more reflection

With surrender we complete our Puja Vidhih. My gratitude to all family and friends of the E-Vichara for your participation and support of the E-Vichara. i have learned much about that which has always been around...funny how we take for granted that which is close to us unless we get knowledge...

"When the time of judgement comes, we shall not be asked what we have read, but what we have done." ~ Swami Chinmayananda

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:32 am

Hari Om Everyone,

i hope this email finds everyone well...

If we live to 100 years we will do this over 50,000 times. What is this? Brush our teeth. And while we are brushing our teeth where is our mind? Everywhere but our teeth! Since we are not going to pay attention anyways, why not explore what else we can do while brushing our teeth? Cue the E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (May 28, 2012) --- Things to do While Brushing

-Use your weak hand - through voluntary discipline (tapas) one invokes equanimity

-Close your eyes - when we are not extrovert, living slows down

-Feel the friction - concentration is a catalyst to identifying with Consciousness

-Reflect on reality - prove to yourself you are not dreaming

-Observe the experience - 'watch' yourself

-Brush... - just Be...

For those unable to watch the Live Vedanta webcast this week, please check out what we thought about at - Live Vedanta - May Webcast (http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/22991798)


Thoughts on 1. The Difference Between Aspiration and Ambition 2. Reincarnating in Different Forms 3. Finding a True Calling 4. Expressions of Love 5. Insights into Meditation

"Behind every thought curtain is the pure state of Consciousness." ~ Swami Chinmayananda

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:07 pm

Hari Om from Dallas!

i hope this email finds everyone well...

"You know, the food at the reception was too oily!" "You know, the day is too long for practice!!" "You know, nobody respects me!!!" You know, you should know not to complain!!!! You know, you should know not to listen to complainers!!!!! A call out of all the complainers and a shout out to all the 'ignorers' is a request made of the E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (June 4, 2012) --- Advice: Ignore Complainers

-Blaming is always sourced from a tamasic (dull) mind - before we ever blame someone we should reflect on their intention and their contribution and our intention and our contribution

-Comparisons devolve into competitions and degenerate into confusions - the only legitimate comparison that can and should be made is between how happy we were yesterday and how happy we are today

-The culture of Sanatana Dharma is to not praise one's own child for if they deserve praise, the world will do so - when we praise our own children we weaken them internally (making them dependent on words) and externally (making them compete with all around)

-Complaining is a projection of our own inefficiencies, insecurities, impurities hence an agenda of the weak - the strong minded focus on adaptation, appreciation, Ananda regardless of how challenging the circumstance may be

-Should we have a genuine complaint, we should express this to the party/parties who can resolve the complaint (extinguish the fire) - even for a genuine complaint, when we express this to a party/parties who cannot resolve the complaint this only intensifies the restlessness within and without (fuels the fire)

-Criticism should always be supported by support (i.e., ideas, effort, resources, etc.) - we all delight in being in the company of the supportive (satsanga) and we all detest being in the company of the judging (dussanga) so let us be vigilant to invite the former and ignore the latter

Our next E-Vichara will celebrate the completion of 3 years of E-Vicharas! 3 years of reflecting together!! 3 years of realizing together!!! In Vedantic tradition, teachings are given freely. No price can be attached to the guidance a Teacher offers to live more peacefully. Still, out of gratitude and fulfillment the student seeks to give back. This offering – Guru Dakshina – is to express appreciation for the Teacher’s sacrifice and dedication and is used to further the sharing of Spiritual Knowledge.

Each E-Vichara we write requires approximately 2 hours. Time is invested in thinking of content, writing emails, maintaining contact lists, etc. In the past 3 years this has translated to over 300 hours just on the E-Vichara. The greatest wealth we have is our peace of mind. And if you feel the E-Vichara has strengthened you in gaining and retaining this wealth then give whole heartedly...how?

Cheque/Check (please make out and mail to the following address)

Chinmaya Niagara
5743 Valley Way
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Canada, L2E 1X7

Credit Card

CanadaHelps --- Chinmaya Niagara (http://www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?CharityID=s100847)

Chinmaya Niagara's outreach is far beyond the geography of a city:
-Facilitating family oriented activities in Buffalo, Hamilton, London, Niagara and Toronto every week (Regional Involvement - http://chinmayaniagara.org/vivekjischedule.htm)
-Inspiring self development in kids, youth, young adults and adults in over 25 cities across North America (National Involvement - http://www.chinmayamission.com/itinerary-view.php?acharya_id=667)
-Supporting sustainable development in Sidhabari, Siruvani and Sri Lanka (International Involvement - http://www.cordusa.org/index.php/resources/news-blog)

Please know you are not giving to an individual, you are not giving to a Centre. You are giving to hands and legs working for a movement, a movement working for individual peace and so world peace...
(Chinmaya Mission Niagara is a registered non-profit charity. Your donations are humbly accepted and in turn a tax-deductible receipt will be issued. These receipts are valid for income tax purposes for our American Donors as well)

"One may change one's dress easily, but who can change his heart with the same ease?" ~ Swami Chinmayananda

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