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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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Service of Others is the Best Medicine

There is a beautiful story of a princess who was suffering from an undiagnosable illness. She lay in bed, listless, unable to walk or to exert herself at all. She had lost all appetite and her parents feared she would soon perish. Her father, the King, called in all the top doctors and medical specialists, but none could either diagnose or cure the young princess. They gave her allopathic, homeopathic, ayurvedic medicines. They gave her pills, compresses, powders, massages and mineral baths. Nothing made even a dent in the princess’s...

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Message of the Kumbha Mela

The message of the Kumbha Mela, the message of the 21st century, and the message of the 3rd Millennium is one of unity and brotherhood. Only by joining hands lovingly with one another – across borders of color, race, religion and language – can we make the future a bright and positive one. In the Kumbha Mela there are no borders, no boundaries. Everyone is gathered for one common cause: divine enlightenment, purity and liberation. There is no discrimination, no violence, no hatred. People of every color come from every corner...

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Just Do Your Duty

There was once a horrible drought. For year after year not a drop of rain fell on the arid ground. Crops died, and – as the land became parched – farmers gave up even planting their seeds.  As the time of planting and tilling the ground came for the fourth rainless year in a row, the farmers of the region had given up hope and they sat listless, passing their time with playing cards and other distractions. However, one lone farmer continued patiently to plant his seeds and sow and till...

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The Real Meaning of Diwali

Diwali is a glorious time of year. Families, friends and communities come together in a spirit of celebration, jubilance and joy. Message of Lord Rama’s Life: Sacrifice and DharmaThere are so many meanings to Diwali, so many stories associated with this auspicious holiday.Diwali is the time when Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after 14 years in exile. However, the holiday celebrates not only Lord Rama’s long-awaited homecoming, but it celebrates something larger, something deeper, something even more meaningful. It is also the celebration of the message of Lord Rama’s life: sacrifice...

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Overcoming Fear

Dear Divine Souls, A group of visitors just came to Parmarth Niketan from America. They were a beautiful, dedicated group. In our question-answer session, one woman said to me with tears in her eyes, “How do you overcome fear? I live my life so afraid all the time. The object of my fear changes as time passes, but the fear remains.” April 4-5 mark the Hindu New Year. Even in the non-Hindu, Western world, Spring is a time of new birth. It is a time of “Spring Cleaning.” It is a time...

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