Namaskarams. You all know about the deadly tsunami that struck S.E. Asia recently. I am lucky to have escaped without any problem despite being scaringly close to where all the problems happened. (3 - 4 kms) from here.
When nature gets rough, man indeed has to be a meek spectator. But, we must get clues that things are not going right somewhere. Let us all use this as a warning to correct us and move closer to God.
This new year, use the opportunity to make resolutions and stick to them. This is called 'Sankalpam' in Tamil (Sankalpa in Sanskrit). To will a thing to happen is to half do the thing. Sankalpam means we say something like this - 'By the Grace of Lord, Sri Parameshwara (Lord Shiva), I propose to ..... (from `do my morning prayers' to `get married')'. It could be anything. But it all starts with the will to do stuff. With the Grace of the Lord, things will go on well. So, resolve to do something great this year, every year.
I was thinking about basic codes of conduct of the follower of Kriya Yoga. I have listed a few of them below.
I'll go over each of them in detail later.
1. Always stick to one's dharma.
2. Be honest, always
3. Be Fearless. Devotee of Sri Subrahmanya or Babaji knows no fear
4. Be kind & helpful
5. Never bode ill for others - In thought, speech or action
6. Trust in God.
Whenever I raise the first point people question me about the story of Markandeya, the eternal youth. For people who do not know his story I'll describe it in brief. When a pious couple prayed to Lord Shiva for a offspring, Lord came in their dreams and gave an option between 100 dumb children or one extremely bright and pious kid. The only problem being the pious and bright one will love only for 16 years. The couple chose the latter. A kid was born soon and was named Markandeyan. He was a gem in character and was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. When he was about to turn 16, his parents became worried. When he asked his parents for the reason of their sorrow, they told him that his end was near.
Markandeya then went to a riverbed, installed a Shiva Ling and started praying to it. When his time was over, Yama (Lord of Death) personally came to take away his life. This young boy hugged the Shiva Ling. Yama struggled to pull the boy but when the boy with his whole soul, heart and mind called out for Shiva, the Lord was immensely moved and came out of the Ling. He then ordered Yama to leave the boy alone. But Yama told Shiva that to take the boy's life was his duty and tried to pull the boy away from the Lord. Lord Shiva immediately burnt Lord Yama to death. After requests of all the Devas, Lord Yama was brought back to life by Shiva. Markandeya is still supposed to be praying to Shiva as a boy of 16 in Himalayas. (More on physics of immutability of time later - I have some very exciting ideas about string theory and Lord Nataraja too - Wait till I clear some ambiguities :-) )
The question people ask me is that why was Yama killed despite trying to do his duty - his Dharma?
(This is my answer. I request viewers to endorse or contest them and I love constructive arguments).
The answer is that Yama misunderstood his Dharma because he was blinded by the ego. Suppose you go to a hotel daily. You tell the bearer to get you some orange juice at the end of the meal. To make things easier for you, you tell him one day to bring him orange juice at the end of the meal even if you do not explicitly ask for it. So, the waiter does this regularly for you. One day you want to have grape juice. So you him to get grape juice instead of orange juice. But to your surprise he says you have told me to bring orange juice at the end of the meals he cannot bring grape juice. What will you do? You are the boss and it was you who asked him to bring orange juice daily. Since you pay him you have the right to choose whatever YOU want. His dharma is to get you what you want.
Similarly, Yama was created and set up by Lord Shiva to execute some His tasks. When Shiva asks him not to do something, Yama has to stop. But, he was blinded by ego and mistook his Dharma. His ego forced him to think that his duty was to claim lives. This was the reason why had to die. (Yama had to die :-) Funny. Isn't it? )
To do one's duty ALWAYS without being affected by its result is the path of Karma Yoga.
I wish you a very very Happy 2005.
Arunachala Shiva! Arunachala Shiva!
Shri Gurubhyo Namah! Harih Om!