Welcome, 2016!

Welcome, 2016!

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Just a minute ago, 2015 was given a go-bye, sorry ‘Durga, Durga‘ in our parlance! And in comes a beaming 2016. A very happy, hearty New Year Day aka Kalpataru Day to every one of you!
The past year 2015 was indeed a memorable year. Singapore celebrated its Golden Jubilee. During the year-long functions here I was posted as President of our Mission centre and reached in June.
“How was your life in the bygone year?” a question I usually put to our devotees.
Some would hesitantly reply, “Don’t ask, Maharaj! It was not at all encouraging!”
So, adverse circumstances were aplenty?
Never mind.
Think what Swamiji says about Life. He defines Life as  “the unfoldment and development of a being under circumstances tending to press it down.” If you had had problems galore that were ‘pressing’ you ‘down’, thank God, because those were the best opportunities for unfoldment and development.
Life is nothing but a process of Learning.  Situations are indeed windowless, doorless and even wallless schools. A wealth of knowledge has already been accumulated through our experiences.
Tirukkural asks,
kattRadanAl Aya payan en kol vAlaRivan
nattRAl thozhAr enin” (I.1.2)

Of what avail is the Learning if divine feet of Him who possesses perfect wisdom are not worshipped?
So, God-centred Life is what we require in this New Year. Once a goal is set up, it becomes easy to navigate the course of life. Did not Master say on the 1st January of 1886, “May your spiritual consciousness be awakened!”?
May the New Year ‘gift’ us in abundance further opportunities in the ‘manifestation of Divinity already within’ us!
Swami Vimokshananda
12:01 am January 1, 2016

This digital greetings is from Dr S Adhinarayanan. As usual, it’s charming!

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Relevant Resolution?

New Year Resolution

Any more relevant?

Sri Ramakrishna Temple in Durban, SA
Sri Ramakrishna Temple in Durban, SA

Silly season

December known as ‘silly season’ aptly or not, is a month of merry-making with holidayers dotting different places around the globe. Children and equally elders too, joyfully look forward to the prospect of school-closing followed by festival-booms and the most eagerly expected New Year. They tire themselves out with routine partying extending to midnight  on the 31st December. They are overwhelmed too receiving gifts galore.

And finally the New Year peeps in. At the stroke of midnight bells, unperceived by many in the din and bustle of all the hullabaloo and unmindful of the karmic effects that this same New Year is going to thrust upon. Year by year may pass; none can escape from the karmaphala – the fruits of action. So the old saying ‘as you sow, so you reap’ stares at the face as time rolls on. The moments of despair gnaw each one of us. Fortunate are those who are brought under the gracious umbrella of divine personalities. They are made to realise what is the ultimate purpose of life that meanders sans any meaning.

Saving Message

In Ramakrishna tradition, the beginning of the New Year brings in a new awareness of our goal. The moving incident that happened on the 1st of January in the life of Sri Ramakrishna is still a beacon light to all his followers over the globe. That day, every year is called Kalpataru Day. The message of Master on that day was “may you all be illumined”.

He was undergoing treatment for throat cancer. He came down the stairs on the 1st January, 1886 and started moving in the lawns. Many devotees had assembled there. They bowed down to Master.

To Girish, the Master said, “Girish, what have you seen that makes you glorify me publicly before one and all?” Girish at once fell at the Master’s feet and said with folded hands and choked voice, “What more can I say of Him, even a fraction of whose glory Vyasa and Valmiki miserably failed to express in their immortal epics and Puranas?”

IMG_8112Master heard these words of Girish, Seeing the divinely illumined face of the Master, Girish cried out joyously, “Glory unto Ramakrishna! Glory unto Ramakrishna!”. The Master looked at all present and said smilingly, “What more shall I say to you? May you all be spiritually awakened!”

Kalpataru Tree of Grace

How and when can this Kalpataru grace turn our own life towards progress in spiritual life? Undoubtedly, unconditional is the divine grace. Yet, in our heart of hearts, we do feel that without some sort of readiness to receive the grace, we make ourselves unfit for it. Why not we take a Resolution – a strong one at that – to attend satsang once in a week faithfully and uninterruptedly ? Let us begin with this one.

Kasipur event reminds us to go beyond the physical episode and makes us deeply think  about its spiritual implication. If this was valid on that day, it is still valid today.

|| AUM Sri Ramakrishnaarpanamastu ||

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Tale of two Trees

Screen Shot 2012-12-29 at 10.38.58 AMSwami Sunirmalananda is presently an Assistant Minister at our Geneva Centre in Europe. Recently I had an opportunity to read through his blog and found a Post indeed very interesting. With his permission, I re-post that article here in this blog for our reader-devotees. It actually explores a concept of ‘Gift receiving’ from Santa Claus and down the line to Sri Ramakrishna. The tree in both cases viz., be it Christmas Tree or Kalpa Tree, according to the author, refers to ‘the physical representation of our desire’. The Gift from Incarnations is nothing but a method helping the devotees to go  ‘inward’ and ‘find the kingdom within’.

This article was originally published by “Vedanta” – a bi-monthly magazine brought out by our London centre.

I hope you will also find it enlightening.

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