HOME | ABOUT US | www.MikeGhouse.net Google Profile | C.V. | Interfaith Speaker | Muslim Speaker |Motivational Speaker | Americans Together | Videos | Please note that the blog posts include my own articles plus selected articles critical to India's cohesive functioning. I wish I could have them all, but will have to live with a few. My articles are exclusively published at www.TheGhouseDiary.com


Sunday, February 4, 2007

Spirituality & Arrogance

Spirituality and Arrogance
  1. Spirituality and Arrogance are mutually exclusive.
  2. Spirituality and Humility are directly proportional to each other, greater humility = greater spirituality.
  3. The greater the humility the lesser the conflict in society.
Some examples of arrogance:
  1. My religion is the only path to salvation
  2. My religion is the oldest
  3. My religion is the only one that teaches
  4. My religion is the only one that focuses on spirituality
  5. My religion has scientific knowledge
  6. My religion is the fastest growing
  7. My religion is the largest in the world
  8. My religion is practical...
  9. My religion is the only true religion

The moment the idea of better or superiority creeps in to us, we lose the connect with the spirituality. The idea of religion is to bring the balance to an individual and balance between the individual and others. The masters who have achieved perfection are the humblest of all, and the most ordinary and do not consider any one to be less than them.

The one's who achieve full spirituality, do not claim it so for it would be arrogance.
All religions are beautiful, each religion paves the way for that "personal balance" and "balance with others around".

I am pleased to present the follow 4 articles:

  1. A True Vision for India - Rabindra Nath Tagore
  2. Kumbh Harmony lessons for the west -Amit Roy
  3. Know thyself - Sri Chinmoy
  4. It is all about intention - Yusuf Khan

Mike Ghouse

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A True Vision for India (Vision 2020 – Planning commission)

In formulating our vision of the future India , it is important to see beyond the limits of the immediate past to rediscover the greatness that is India . Although the present Republic of India is a young developing nation, our people have a rich and illustrious history as one of the longest living civilizations in the world.

In 1835, even the British historian and politician, Lord Macaulay,Admitted before the British Parliament: "I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, and people of such caliber… the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage….." Thus, it would be wrong to state that in 1947 India started to construct a modern nation from scratch. Rather, it began the process of rediscovering its rich cultural and spiritual values that had formed the foundation of India in the past. It is on this foundation that We seek to formulate our vision of India 2020.

It is indeed a challenge to formulate a cohesive vision for India in 2020. Therefore, we thought it appropriate to seek inspiration from one who had a clear vision and possessed the gift to articulate it in a manner that has inspired the hearts and minds of countless Indians. The vision articulated by Rabindranath Tagore is all encompassing in every sense. In Annexure I, we identify eight components of the vision reflected in the following poem and attempt to translate them in operational terms for India Vision 2020.

Rabindranath Tagore’s Vision

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high.
Where knowledge is free.
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls.
Where words come out from the depth of truth.
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection.
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit.
Where the mind is led forward by Thee into ever-widening thought and action.
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Kindly read & Download this beautiful article at : http://tinyurl.com/2h4zfo
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http://www.telegraphindia.com//1070204/asp/nation/story_7348174.asp
Kumbh harmony lessons for West- Uniting 'us' and 'them' AMIT ROY A foreigner at the Kumbh mela in Allahabad
London, Feb. 3: Sophisticated Indians living in, say, Ballygunge, Bandra or Bangalore may believe that the Kumbh mela, described by the British as "the largest single gathering of people on earth", is something best attended by others but not so UK social psychologists who have studied crowd behaviour.

They say the West has much to learn from India in how to avoid the divisive "us" and "them" forces in society and, thereby, create greater harmony.

As it is, the Kumbh mela, where 35 lakh may gather at one moment as happened at the Ganges last week on the occasion of Maghi Poornima, is beloved of British photographers who love to focus on naked sadhus chilling out on chillum.

Channel 4 — the same network that has given the world Shilpa Shetty and Celebrity Big Brother — has carried live broadcasts from the Kumbh mela.

But the latest development is a just-published three-year study into the month-long Hindu festival by psychologists from the universities of St Andrews (where Prince William met his girlfriend, Kate Middleton), Dundee and Lancaster.

That Indians largely get on with each other, even when packed up close and personal, has been observed and commented on favourably in a report — though in suitably academic language.

The team said its work overturned many old beliefs about crowd behaviour.
Professor Steve Reicher, a social psychologist at St Andrews University, observed: "Despite the fact that the mela seems designed to increase stress in every way — it is very noisy day and night, very unhealthy, and very packed — what we found was that actually people feel serene, peaceful and unstressed."

No doubt if he travelled on a packed 2B bus in Calcutta, he would arrive at the same conclusion and have possibly even more fun.

UK academics find ever more ingenious ways of keeping themselves in gainful employment — not that Reicher and his team are not composed of perceptive Brits.

Reicher is said to be "broadly interested in the issues of group behaviour and the individual-social relationship. More specifically, his recent research can be grouped into three areas.

The first is an attempt to develop a model of crowd action that accounts for both social determination and social change. The second concerns the construction of social categories through language and action. The third concerns political rhetoric and mass mobilisation — especially around the issue of national identity."

Although the mela brings together a seething mass of humanity, there is virtually no disorder, crushes or rioting, the researchers noted.

They found that even though people at the festival came from different castes and social backgrounds, there was a strong sense of common identity. They said this positive outlook stemmed from a lack of an "us" and "them" psychology, which was often the root of social conflict.

In contrast, a distinct division existed in western society between, for example, immigrants and non-immigrants. According to Reicher, it was the responsibility of everyone to avoid doing anything to entrench the "us" and "them" mentality between communities, disrupting social cohesion.

He added: "These various findings raise very important questions about the nature of collective participation and how it can affect both individual well-being and social cohesion."
Reicher's colleague at St Andrew's, Clare Cassidy, said: "Many people argue crowds are bad for you. But in the mela we found that people become more generous, more supportive and more orderly rather than less."

She explained: "This is the opposite of a 'walk on by' society, it is a community where people are attentive to the needs of strangers."

On Celebrity Big Brother, the American actor, Dirk Benedict, offered his own wisdom: "Sometimes the loneliest place is in the middle of a crowd."
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Know thyself - Understand yourself –True Being, Pure Consciousness and Bliss

Know Thyself

A Talk by Sri Chinmoy "Know Thyself"

Atmanam viddhi-Know thyself. Each individual has to know himself. He has to know himself as the infinite, eternal and immortal Consciousness. The concept of Infinity, Eternity and Immortality is absolutely foreign to us . Why? The reason is quite simple. We live in the body, rather than in the soul. To us the body is everything. There is nothing and can be nothing beyond the body. The existence of the soul we consider sheer imagination.

But I assure you that the soul is not imaginary. It is at once the life and the revelation of the Cosmic Reality. Most of us live in the body, in the earthbound physical consciousness. Our teacher is Darkness; our professor is Ignorance. But if ever we live in the soul, we shall see that our teacher is Vision and our professor is Illumination.

"Life is effort." So says the body. "Life is blessing." So says the soul. The human in man does not want to go beyond morality, society and humanity. The divine in man comes down from divinity into humanity, from unity into multiplicity.

Atmanam viddhi. Know thyself. The seers of the Upanishads not only discovered this Truth Transcendental but offered it to the suffering, crying and striving mankind. In order to know oneself, one has to discover oneself first. What is self discovery? Self discovery is God-Realisation.

Without Yoga there is no self discovery. Yoga is not a religion. Yoga is the Universal Truth. It is the traditional truth of India . It is the most important experience of life. True Yoga and life go together. They cannot be separated. If you try to separate them, you will fail. Yoga and life are as inseparable as the Creator and the Creation.

Is Yoga another name for severe asceticism? Positively not. Is Yoga another name for self-discipline? Decisively yes. Does Yoga demand the rejection of the world and the starvation of the senses? No, never. Does Yoga demand the acceptance of the world and mastery over the senses? Yes, a mighty Yes. Is Yoga for everybody? Yes and no. Yes, because each human soul has come from God and inwardly aspires to return to Him. No, because some people, at their present stage of development, feel they can live without God.

Can learning and reasoning offer man self realisation? No. Mere book knowledge ends in self deception. Why? Because a man of knowledge feels that he has achieved the infinite wisdom. Unfortunately, he does not know that the real Infinite Wisdom can come only from God, from God Realisation. Mere mental reasoning ends in self-frustration.

Can dedication and aspiration offer man self realisation? Yes. Man's dedication is his heart flower offered at the Feet of God. Man's aspiration is his soul fruit placed in the Lap of God.

For self realisation, man needs freedom. God gives him freedom. What is freedom? Freedom is God's sacrifice-power and man's miracle-power. Sri Ramakrishna, the great spiritual Master of India, once remarked, "The wretch who constantly says, 'I am bound, I am bound,' only succeeds in being bound. He who says day and night, 'I am a sinner, I am a sinner,' verily becomes a sinner. One must have such burning faith in God that one can say, 'What? I have repeated God's name, so how can sin still cling to me? How can I be a sinner anymore?'"

We must cherish positive thoughts, positive ideas, positive ideals. Only then will our Goal no longer remain a far cry. Each man has to feel, "I am at the Feet of God, my own Master. I am in the Hands of God, my own Creator. I am in the Heart of God, my only Beloved."

"Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you." I asked. My Lord bestowed His boundless Compassion on me. I sought. My Lord gave me His infinite Love. I knocked. To my utter surprise, the door was not bolted from inside. My sweet Lord was eagerly expecting my arrival. Lo, I am come!

Source: www.srichinmoy.org
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It is all about intention INNER VOICE M Yusuf Khan February 1, 2007

Intention (niyat) is most important in any thing one does but it acquires a greater significance in the life of a Sufi. A Sufi I know always tells people to nurture an intention before setting out to do the deed. The belief goes that it is the intention behind the deed that matters to God and not the deed itself. For example if someone gives charity to acquire fame it is not an act of piety in the eyes of God. He will earn God’s favour only if he does so truly intending to help the poor and please his Lord.

There is a story in Sufi literature about an ant. This insignificant creature developed a great desire to visit the Kaaba, the house of God. He did not even know where the Kaaba was. What he did know was that neither did he have the means nor the physical strength for the arduous journey. Despite these heavy odds, his resolve was steadfast. His fellow ants thought that he was crazy to aspire to such an expedition.

One day as the ant was going about his chores a flock of pigeons descended near him. Ravenously, they got busy picking grain to gratify their hunger. Suddenly one of the pigeons said, “Let us hurry. The sun will set in a short time and the Kaaba is a long way from here.” The little ant realised that the flock was headed to the same place that he was longing to visit. Here was opportunity suddenly knocking at his door. He quickly crawled to the nearest pigeon and caught hold of its feet. He remained stuck to it as the pigeon flew all the way back to the house of God. His dream was realised after all.
The Sufis draw two inferences from this tale. One is that if you have good intention (nek niyat) and persist with it, it will be fulfilled. The second is that a true Master makes the divine journey easy, like the pigeon in this story.

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