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Desires & Desirelessness

One of the greatest plagues of human beings is our insatiable desires. We truly never feel satisfied. We never feel that we have had “enough.” We are always looking for more and more and more. This pertains to almost every area of our lives. Obesity, diabetes and heart disease are sky-rocketing because we always want “just one more” ladoo, gulabjamun or piece of chocolate cake. Our bank accounts are getting fuller but our lives are getting emptier because we are always striving to close “just one more deal” or to...

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How to Walk on the Path of Life

When I was very young, not long after I came to Parmarth Niketan, a very old, revered saint came to Rishikesh to give his divine satsang at Parmarth Niketan. However, rather than staying in the comforts of the ashram, he used to stay in a small hut on the banks of Ganga a little bit away from the center of the ashrams. I was given the special seva of going to pick him up each morning and bring him to the ashram. As we walked through the busy marketplace, I would try to...

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Guru Purnima Blessings from Pujya Swamiji

Dear Divine Souls, I hope that — by God’s grace — this finds you and all your loved ones in the best of health and happiness. It is the divine time of year when we celebrate Guru Purnima, the day in which we offer our thanks, love and devotion to the Guru. The Guru Gita says that the Guru is Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Verily, the Guru is the Supreme Brahman itself. But what is a guru in practical terms? While in the West, the term has taken on myriad, frequently derogatory connotations, the...

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Uproot the Seedling of Bad Habits Before it Becomes a Tree

Once a father had three sons whom he feared were going astray. They were beginning to partake of alcohol, drugs and other activities of which their father did not approve. Every time he approached them, they said, “No problem, Dad. We have total control. We can stop whenever we want to.” The father, however, was quite wise.  One day he gathered the three sons together and took them into the backyard. He pointed to a small sprout coming up out of the ground. He told one of his sons, “Uproot that sprout.”...

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How to be Fearless? Have Faith in God

On April 5 we celebrated the divine occasion of Hanuman Jayanti. One of the greatest lessons from the life of divine Hanumanji is fearlessness in the name of God. Hanumanji flew across the ocean, journeyed alone to Lanka in search of Sitaji, fought a raging battle against the demons of Lanka, carried a Himalayan mountain back for Lakshman and performed so many other feats of fortitude and courage.However, whenever he was praised for his feats and whenever he was questioned on the source of his strength, his answer was always the same:...

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Focusing on God

Once a woman was standing outside in the street searching and searching for something under the bright street lamp. A wise man walked by and asked her, “Mother, what are you searching for?” She replied, “I have lost my needle and I am looking for it.” The man helped her search for quite sometime, all to no avail.  Finally, he asked, “Mother, where exactly did you lose your needle?” She replied, “I was sewing inside on the chair and the needle was lost there.” The wise man queried, “But Mother, if...

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Navratri – Worship of the Mother Goddess

The festival of Navaratri is a glorious time of the year, filled with joy, celebration, and also with great lessons for our lives. Navaratri means “nine nights.” This festival occurs twice a year, at the change from winter to summer in the Spring, and again at the change from summer to winter in the Autumn. The Autumn festival is celebrated from the first day to the ninth day of the bright half of Ashvina/Aswayuja (September-October), while the Spring Festival is celebrated in Chaitra (April – May).  The two Navaratri celebrations are known...

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Buddha Jayanti – Enlightenment in Action

This month we celebrated the sacred day of Buddha Purnima. There are so many beautiful lessons to learn from the life of the Buddha. His life is the epitome of enlightenment in action. When he was born, an astrologer told Buddha’s father that his son would either be an emperor or a sanyasi (holy renunciant). The king understood that in order to prevent his son from renouncing the material world in favor of the spiritual world, he would have to keep him sheltered and protected. Thus, Siddharth (the young Buddha) was raised...

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What is Our Dharma?

Once there was a sadhu, a renunciant living on the banks of a river, performing his sadhana with great piety and determination. One day as the holy man went for his bath in the river, he noticed a scorpion struggling in the water. Scorpions, by nature, cannot swim and the sadhu knew that if he did not save the scorpion, it would drown. Therefore, carefully picking up the scorpion, the saint lifted it out of the waters and was just about to set it down gently on the land when the...

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The Pain of A Broken Connection

A man once went to see a doctor complaining of aches and pains all over his body. “Doctor my whole body hurts me,” he moaned. The doctor asked him to show exactly where the pain was. The man explained, “When I touch my shoulder, it hurts. When I touch my back it hurts. When I touch my legs, they hurt.” The doctor did a thorough examination and told the man, “Sir, there is nothing wrong with your body. Your finger is broken. That is why it hurts wherever you touch. Get your finger...

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