Showing posts from April, 2011

Redemption: Gandhi shows a way out of Hell

Excerpt from Redemption Stories: Unwasted Pain by Mary Ciofalo:

The movie Gandhi inspired me - particularly one scene. In it Gandhi is fasting again to try and end the horrific riots between the Hindus and Moslems. A trio of Hindu men comes to tell Gandhi that they have stopped inciting their people, and that he must now end his fast.

One of them flings a piece of bread onto Gandhi's cot and tells him, "I am going to Hell, but you must eat and live."

Gandhi says, "Only God determines who goes to Hell. Why do you think you are?"

The man replies, "I killed a Moslem child."

Gandhi winces, then says quietly,"Why?"

The man replies, "They killed my wife and my son."

After a moment of silence, Gandhi says quietly, "I know a way out of Hell."

The Hindu man looks shocked. It is clear that he never considered redemption for himself.

Gandhi says, "Go find a child without parents and raise him as your own. But, first make…

The limitation of Knowledge

Knowledge implies ignorance of what lies beyond what is known. Knowledge is always limited.

- Ramana Maharshi

Mahatma Gandhi's guidelines for economic, ecological and social fairness

* Nature produces enough to support our needs, but not more. If we take more than we need we may be borrowing from future generations or hurting nature.

* People have a right to an honourable livelihood and to have their basic needs met. Basic needs include a balanced diet, decent housing and healthcare, the education of children, and the search for spiritual self-realization.

* All other wealth beyond that belongs to the community. The community may grant more to individuals if it believes doing so benefits the general welfare, but such wealth is a privilege, not a right, and may not be allowed to injure the community.

- from the book Trusteeship by Mahatma Gandhi published by Navjivan Publishing House, Ahmedabad, India

Why the tortoise won

May be we have got the Hare and Tortoise fable all wrong. May be the tortoise won because he wasn't at all thinking of winning or losing!

Turning Hippies into Happies

...On the riverbank, sitting cross-legged, Shyamsunder rocked slowly back and forth."It was in Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco, January 1967. My friends and I had put together this big rock and roll dance at the Avalon Ballroom. We called it Mantra Rock Dance. Everyone was there to welcome 'The Swami' to the West Coast - the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Canned Heat, Quicksilver and Moby Grape, they all played. Even Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary and Ken Kesey were there. All the hippie heroes came."

Shyamsunder became excited and his body rocked faster. "Picture this scene. The whole place is pulsating with strobe lights and rock and roll, packed with wild, long-haired kids, most of them on acid. Then, about midnight, Srila Prabhupada walks quietly onto the dark stage and sits down cross-legged on an elevated seat. The place falls silent. Srila Prabhupada begins humbly chanting the Hare Krishna mantra. A spotlight finally locates him, and gradu…

The Reality behind Waking, Dreaming and the Deep Sleep

From the Prasnopanishad of the Atharva Veda

The setting: A group of six earnest seekers after truth, all of them earnest students of philosophy, gathered together, only to find that each one of them had a special problem to solve, and that none of the others could solve it for them. They decided by common consent to approach the sage Pippalada and have their problems solved. After a year of living with the sage at his ashram, meditating and practicing brahmacharya, it was finally time to for them pose their unresolved question to the learned sage.

…It was now the turn of Gargi Souryayani to avail himself of the opportunity to have his problems solved, and to proceed in a spiritual sense from darkness to light. He raised a metaphysical problem, which is peculiar to Indian philosophy. Ordinarily speaking we see the various levels of consciousness. He wished to know who it is that experiences these levels of consciousness.

This is a problem that every seeker after truth encounters. Perha…