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Pariksha, Samiksha & Pratiksha: The 3 Components of a Spiritual Life

At the day of the final “test” from the Swami Narayana Gurukul – Rajkot Sadhana Camp, held at Parmarth Niketan, Pujya Swamiji was requested to give blessings and pravachan.  Following is an excerpt from that lecture: Today you are taking your “pariksha” (test); however, a spiritual path has three important components: Pariksha (tests), Samiksha (introspection) and Pratiksha (waiting). The true Pariksha is not simply passing a test given by someone else. The true pariksha is when you start taking your own test. The true pariksha is when you start taking your own photo with...

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Raise Yourself, Don’t Erase Others

Once, Swami Rama gave a demonstration in front of a large class. He drew a horizontal line on the chalkboard and asked the class the following question: “Is there anyone in the room who can make this line appear shorter without erasing it?” The students thought and thought. They concluded that the only possible way to reduce the size of the line would be to erase part of it from either side. Thus, they told Swamiji, “No, there is no way to reduce the size of the line without erasing...

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Rakhsha Bandhan – A Festival of Love, Affection & Protection

The holiday of Rakhsha Bandhan, or Rakhi, is a celebration of the bond of love and the bond of family. On this day, sisters tie sacred threads around their brothers’ wrists, symbolizing their love and affection. In return, the brother promises to protect his sister and to always be there for her. Rakhsha means protection or security and bandhan means a bond or relation. Thus, Rakhsha Bandhan symbolizes the bond of security and protection between brothers and sisters. Indian Culture – the world is one family However, on Rakhi, the brothers and sisters do...

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Fasting – Its Meaning, Its Purpose

Today, fasting has become a great trend across the world. In any bookstore you will find volumes of literature extolling one fast or another. There are juice fasts, water fasts, fruit fasts, etc. Fasting is frequently heralded as the “miracle weight loss” for those who have tried all else without success. Connection with the Divine However, while fasting is certainly of great health benefit, to define it merely as a type of “diet” is to undermine one of the oldest and most sacred spiritual practices. Fasting has been used for millennia by...

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Tolerance

In the major plenary session, at the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria, titled Bridging Religious Divides, Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thami, Emir of Qatar; Mr. Klaus Schwab; The Chief Rabbi of Israel, Meir Lau; H.E. Frances Cardinal Arinze; H.E. Mustafa Ceric, Grand Mufti of Bosnia; His Grace George L. Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury and H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji (Muniji) answered questions posed by Professor Klaus Schwab, the founder and president of the World Economic Forum. Pujya Swamiji’s question was as follows:  “Tolerance is the fundamental virtue to overcome discrimination, hatred and...

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Peace for the New Year

At this time of the New Year, most people are closing their balance sheets, closing their accounts and their books. However, the time of the New Year should actually be a time of opening our accounts and opening our balance sheets. I don’t mean our financial balance sheets, rather I mean the balance sheets of our lives, our inner accounts. It is a time in which we must ask ourselves, “Where do I stand?” Is the world a better place now because I have lived? Have I improved the life...

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Overcoming the Obstacles on the Path of Life

I heard a beautiful story of an ancient village where one day the villagers found a large boulder in the middle of their main pathway. The busy, rich businessmen and merchants had their servants carry them around it. Others simply turned back and returned in the direction from which they’d come, realizing that to try to pass was futile. Others gathered around the site of the boulder to criticize the King of the area for not taking better care of the roads. They stood by as the boulder obstructed passage...

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Message of Peace in A Time of Terror

September 11 was a tragic day of unprecedented proportion. Never before in the history of the world had so many thousands of innocent people been one group so blatantly, callously, and mercilessly struck down. We were in Munich, Germany on the Vishwa Dharma Prasaar Yatra, travelling first to the Caribbean, then to USA and Canada, then to UK and then to Europe, spreading the messages of peace, unity and Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam. (The whole world is one family). In the midst of this yatra, we heard the shattering news. Times like this and...

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The Power of Love

I heard a beautiful story of a college professor in New York who gave his business-economy students the assignment of going into the slums and finding 10 students each to interview. Then, the university students had to prepare reports on each of the 10 children they had interviewed. The final item of the assignment was for the students to rate each child’s chance of success in the world. So, the students all completed their assignments. With 20 students in the class, the professor ended up with 200 papers on 200 different...

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S-T-U-D-E-N-T

These days I hear all my young birdies talking about their exams. They are so frightened of failure, so nervous for success. These student years are ones which are meant to be full of learning, full of enrichment, full of new horizons. They come to me and they say, “Please Swamiji, say a prayer for me so I can pass my exams.” Of course, my young birdies are always in my prayers; however, being a student is not simply about passing your tests.  To me, your student years are a time...

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