Archive for June, 2018

Srila Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja

We may think that one who has a big house on Juhu beach or one who is driving a fancy car or one who has a beautiful wife, is fortunate. But the real fortunate person is the one who takes to the process of devotional service; one who understands that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead; one who does not misuse his human life.


His Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja appeared on this planet on the most auspicious day of Annada Ekadashi, on August 14, 1944, in New Delhi, India.
H. H. Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja after graduating from the University of Delhi, studied Business Management at the Sorbonne University of Paris on a scholarship from the French Government and later, obtained a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the McGill University at Montreal.
H. H. Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja first met Srila Prabhupada the Founder Acharya of ISKCON, in the evening of June 1st, 1968. Within the first two weeks of meeting Srila Prabhupada, he decided that he would accept him as his spiritual master. Around that time, he was working for Pepsi-Cola, doing Marketing Research.
In 1975, Srila Prabhupada sent H.H. Gopal Krishna Goswami to India. Srila Prabhupada made him the General Body Commissioner (GBC) of entire India. Srila Prabhupada specifically instructed him to print and expand book-distribution in India. Also, Srila Prabhupada entrusted H.H. Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja to oversee various important projects, such as Vrindavana, Hyderabad, Mayapur and Mumbai, recognizing his dedicated service and mood of sincere surrender.
In 1976, Srila Prabhupada appointed H. H. Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja as G.B.C. for Russia. He made several trips to Soviet Union, a communist state (now called the Commonwealth of Independent States) and risking grave dangers, he preached and distributed books over there. On the instruction of Srila Prabhupada, he took part in the International Book Fair. He helped to establish many centers in the erstwhile Soviet Union.

Acceptance of Sannyasa Order
In 1981, H. H. Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja took the sannyasa order. A year later, in March 1982, on the auspicious day of Gaura-Purnima, H. H. Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja became a ‘diksha’ guru (an initiating spiritual master).

At present, H. H. Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja is the G.B.C. for Mumbai, Northern India (that includes New Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Vrindavana, and Chandigarh), Mayapur, Kenya, Canada, some states of America, and many parts of the former Commonwealth of Independent States. Also, he is the Chairman and Trustee of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of Vedic literatures.
He is also the Chairman of the ISKCON Bureau which is the Legal entity or the Formal name for ISKCON.
H. H. Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja is engaged in inspiring and completing many of the largest ISKCON temples after the departure of Srila Prabhupada in 1977. One of the important temple projects completed under his untiring and dedicated efforts and directions was the Sri Sri Radha-Parthasarathi temple in New Delhi. This is also known as “Glory of India” project), and was inaugurated by Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the then Prime Minister of India. It provides a multi-media visual display, a Vedic cultural museum and an open air theater. Also, the ‘Heaven on Earth’ project, inaugurated in December 2003 in Mumbai, is housed with modern facilities for imparting the essence of vedic scriptures to spiritual seekers, a mass feeding hall, a library with a reading room, a vedic samskara hall, besides a spiritually nourishing Govinda’s restaurant.
Besides, the bhumi pujana for Sri Sri Radha-Madana-Mohana temple in Khargar (Navi Mumbai), the proposed ISKCON center at the Sri Sri Radha-Gopinath and Ashta Sakhis temple in Ludhiana, called the ‘Glory of Punjab’, ISKCON temple at Rohini, New Delhi and Sri Sri Radha-Vrindavanchandra temple in Pune have also been accomplished. Additional land has also been procured in Kurukshetra and Vrindavana for expanding preaching programs.
Apart from all these, His Holiness is the Initiating Guru for more than 20,000 disciples worldwide- taking care of their spiritual growth, moral emancipation and above all Life style Management keeping Krishna at the center. Many of Maharaja’s leading disciples are social luminaries, intellectuals and leading lights in their sphere of activity. Maharaja travels across the world for more than 6 months in a year covering important projects and ISKCON temples besides handholding spiritual aspirants in scores of countries including Russia, the erstwhile Soviet Union, USA, Canada, Kenya and many other parts of the world.

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Master Paula Horan

Kali Yuga, this time of degeneration with all its difficulties and challenges, also provides us with a unique opportunity to wake up. May each one of us foster this intention for the benefit of all beings.


Dr. Paula (Laxmi) Horan is known worldwide for her numerous books, seminars and retreats on alternative and complimentary therapies, authentic forms of vibrational medicine, integrative body/mind therapeutics and ground-breaking approaches to spirituality and non – dual awareness.

An American Psychologist born in Boston, she lived her childhood years in Italy and Germany. Completing her undergraduate studies in sociology and English literature in Britain, she completed both her MA (focusing on dance therapy) and her Ph.D. in psychology at San Diego, California.
From 1992 through 1997, she spent much of her time with her spiritual master Shri H.W.L Poonjaji in India, who gave her the name Laxmi. Shri Poonjaji or ‘Papaji’, as he was affectionately called, was a self realized being who left his body in September 1997. Quickened by his presence, Paula shifted her focus from self-improvement to the self-inquiry that awakens the quiet stillness of awakened presence.

Wanting to share the same joy and freedom with others, this inspired her to create The Core Empowerment Training (CET), a five-day retreat that incorporates Jnana Yoga, the science of cutting through the mind which has had a worldwide impact. The purpose of Jnana Yoga, is to help people Realize The Freedom That They Are, by assisting them to experience their own true nature. This is accomplished by overcoming the illusion of ignorance (a mistaken belief in a separate self) by transcending the masks of ego that are sense-dependent and bound by karma. She considers CET her life’s heart work.

During her time with Shri Poonjaji, she developed a great love for India and decided to stay after his transition. Although primarily known as the person who introduced Reiki to India in 1989, she has a comprehensive experience and keen acumen in many cross-disciplined forms of body/mind and energetic therapeutics. Seeing a need for skilled therapists with conscious presence, she created a modular training curriculum in both eastern and western forms of body/mind treatment in 2001. This lead to the founding of the Taosomatics Institute, an integrative school for consciousness development. Attracting a core group of students, who are highly skilled and accomplished body/mind therapy trainers, Dr. Horan’s Institute now encompasses a growing sphere of complementary therapy trainings for earnest holistic therapeutic and wellness practitioners.

Dr. Horan is one of the founding members of the Indian Body/Mind Therapy Association, a first for India, which is endeavoring to coalesce therapeutic practitioners into a united whole.

Another factor in Paula’s life that inspired her to become an avid researcher on detoxification and rejuvenation therapies is her personal success in treating both a breast and ovarian tumors with a raw food diet and Reiki.

Fifteen years ago she also became acquainted with the therapeutic effects and astonishing benefits of oxygen in its tri-atomic form, ozone, in regard to healing degenerative diseases and also as a restorative rejuvenation therapy. Her knowledge and personal experience in this field has put her at the forefront of longevity treatments and for sustaining peak health in an increasingly challenged environment.

Paula’s seminars and retreats on an expansive range of wellness subjects and on non- dual awareness are whole-heartedly received, due to her unique ability to communicate complicated concepts in a simple and easy manner. She is well known for her warmth, for her inspirational teaching style and her enduring smile, indicative of the joy she finds in sharing her knowledge—which enliven and motivate her students to manifest the richness inherent in their lives.

Laxmi (as she is affectionately called) has appeared on Radio and TV shows in the US, Europe and India. In 1999 she received the Full Circle “Inner Flame Award” from former Prime Minister Shri Gujral for her contribution to disseminating alternative and complimentary methods of healing. The citation also commended her for her grace and grit in adversity.

Her first book, Empowerment through Reiki has been translated into 20 languages. It was followed by Abundance Through Reiki, Core Empowerment, Reiki –108 Questions and Answers: Your Dependable Guide For A Lifetime of Reiki Practice, The Ultimate Reiki Touch, The Nine Principles of Self-Healing and Heal Yourself With Oxygen. Her eighth book called Fierce Innocence, will be out in 2011.

Some themes Paula works with are:

Unconsciousness, the Cause for Unhappiness

The words “emotional intelligence” have become something of a catch phrase. More than being a trendy expression, they sum up the center focus of current leading edge exploration into the nature and workings of mind and cognition. They indeed point to the root of some key fundamental questions: “Why is it that so much of what our minds do, remains below the threshold of conscious awareness? What does this large degree of non-conscious cognition thought processing and ensuing action mean for our experience of the world? Why is our unconscious mind so all pervasive? Why do we have recurring experiences of being at the effect of the unconscious mind, to the degree that access to natural states of simple happiness seem to continuously elude us?

Science Now Agrees: Our Perception Is Ruled by Memory

Currently in several labs in the US, research is uncovering the secrets of cognition. Through the most advanced western technologies (for example, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS), scientists now realize that we do not see the world as it actually is, but only in terms of what we already know of the world. In other words, in states of non-conscious cognition (which is where most people are), memory shapes or dictates all of what we can perceive. We are thus deprived of free will and free agency. The moment we find access to being conscious and aware in the present moment, free will and free agency are restored. Brain scans using the same TMS technology also show how the practice of different forms of meditation, learned through long retreats, in fact influence perception in such a way, that humans can rise above an otherwise unconscious existence. For all human beings, this step into conscious awareness is of primary importance for it enables us to live a happy, balanced and fulfilled life.

Historically Only Lengthy Periods of Retreat Could Free the Mind

The question now is, how can this be accomplished? The traditional Buddhist approaches to the restoration of free will and conscious awareness require a long and arduous discipline of meditation over the span of many years. As the results of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation with experienced mediators suggest, these techniques do indeed work. The data collected at the E.M. Keck Laboratory for Functional Brain Imaging and Behavior on the Madison Campus of the University of Wisconsin, USA, demonstrate as much. The drawback is, in the past, these techniques were invented, taught and elucidated mainly by monks and other people who were in a position to live a life of seclusion and contemplation. In other words, in their old approaches these techniques are time-consuming and require years of dedicated effort.

Short Cuts Bring Awareness into the Present

The question now is, can we accomplish the same? Can the average person achieve comparable levels of mastership and conscious awareness as Buddhist masters after twenty or more years of meditation practice? Living in the world, going about his or her business, and taking care of the many obligations that are taken for granted by any ordinary socially active person? Whereas certain periods of retreat are recommended, the answer is, “Yes, with the right motivation and commitment, it is possible.” There are approaches to conscious awareness and emotional intelligence that are geared toward direct recognition of what is so in the moment which bypass the mental processing via memory. One pertinent example is the Core Empowerment Training, developed by Dr. Paula Horan and based on several time-tested meditative techniques.

The Memory Trap Is Released by Clear Perception

It is essential to explore destructive emotions and unconscious behavior patterns to bring them into conscious awareness. They are not judged, and neither are they rejected. No effort is made to push them away. Instead, explorers of vichar (direct self – inquiry) are encouraged to directly feel them, and cultivate a sense of exploration about every circumstance that arises, whether seemingly “comfortable” or “uncomfortable”, “happy” or “sad”, “good” or “bad”. This direct feeling and recognition brings about a sudden shift in perception. We cease to identify with the latest destructive emotion or behavior pattern. Although we can notice and sense its presence clearly, we also know without a shadow of a doubt that this is not who we are, but only a conditioned response with which we sometimes identify.

Clear Perception is due to Heart Intelligence

Subsequently, once the link of identification is broken through noticing and most of all feeling from the Heart, the same old destructive emotion or behavior pattern can no longer rule us. In other words, often in the 5 days that the residential training takes, the same depth of balance and lucidity is achieved, which through more traditional approaches could take years to accomplish. This fast track is made possible through a combination of fine-tuned techniques and extensive meditative experience on the part of the facilitators.

Depending on the individual, 15 years of experience on the part of the facilitator has shown that participation in three to five, 5-day seminars over a two to three year period, accompanied with a daily meditation practice, can help to stabilize one’s ability to transcend the filter of memory and live a true present. Because all emotions are reactions to thoughts, the ability to live in the present without clinging to passing thoughts, automatically gives one the ability to transcend the pull of emotion. The result is a greater degree of equanimity in all situations, whether “positive” or “negative” and the emotional intelligence of a life lived from Heart.

Paula helps you, through Vichar (direct self-inquiry), use the mind to see through the mind, much like using a thorn to take out a thorn. Rather than trying to therapeutically make ourselves “better”, she shares advanced yogic practices that you can use in every day life to help you drop the seeker, the illusory separate self who is identified with doership, the root of all suffering,ie.the one who is never satisfied and always wants to “improve”.

Paula calls CET is her ‘true heart work’ as it provides the supportive environment for her to share the teachings of her guru H.W.L.Poonja , well -known as Papaji.

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Master Mahatria Ra

Every tree, every flower has a season. Everyone will experience spring in their lives, not just once, but over and over.


The rise and fall of every human being has its effect on the overall human consciousness. Every lesson learnt, every mistake committed, every error corrected, every discovery, every invention, every insight, every idea, every revelation, every talent unfolded, every limit redefined, every thought released, every vibration experienced… by every individual paints yet another stroke in the evolution of human consciousness.

When ‘a’ man lives his life with heightened awareness, his life helps humanity to gain a few years of maturity without having to live those few years. In effect, he fast-forwards humanity by a few years.

Seldom in life, comes a Soul who walks amongst men and shows them how to live from a higher level of consciousness. Mahatria Ra, a true believer in human potential driven by love and compassion, has been tirelessly working towards evolving the collective human consciousness, expanding it far beyond perceived limitations.

Known for his inspirational thoughts, Mahatria is an impassioned propagator of value-based living and holistic development. A compelling presence on stage, he breaks down the most complicated aspects of life and presents them in a contemporary language that everybody understands. Having addressed crowds across the globe, he has been inspiring breakthroughs, regardless of geographic boundaries.

Mahatria has gone on to transform hundreds of thousands of lives which include top notch businessmen, global leaders, musicians, sportspersons and students by providing significant breakthroughs in their lives.

Mahatria, is a spiritualist, endowed with a deep connectivity to existence and enormous spiritual strength, he guides people in their quest for self-realisation. He has brought meditation to the common man, and in his presence, thousands have experienced the depths of silence. Across the globe he is highly revered by all those who have experienced him. He, for one, believes that the messenger should be the message. His skill in harmonising the materialistic and spiritual worlds is gracefully reflected in his lifestyle.

He has also authored 3 best-sellers. ‘Unposted Letter’, published in 7 languages, ‘Most and more’, available in 2 languages and ‘Clarity is Power’.

In the larger perspective, his vision is also to bring much needed dramatic changes to the prevailing education system and to create a paradigm shift in the attitudes of the teaching faculty, so as to better equip every child with an empowering personality. His ongoing effort in this direction through the ‘Subject +’ programs has touched innumerable educational institutions, a number that is increasing by the day.

A few of the spontaneous discourses to a live audience have been brought out as DVDs and Audio CDs and have been received very well. Seekers, who have ever experienced Him will vouch that His discourses aren’t mere transference of words, but transference of energy.

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BIOGRAPHY – Bhanu Narasimhan

We float in the effulgence of one scintillating unseen cosmic energy called the ‘Devi’ – the Divine Mother, womb of all creation.


Bhanu Narasimhan has played a key role in The Art of Living Foundation, since its inception. Founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, The Art of Living Foundation is a non-profit, educational and humanitarian NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) engaged in stress-management and service initiatives. The organization operates globally in 152 countries. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, her brother and guide, has been a constant source of support and direction for her. Bhanu has been instrumental in instituting the “Care for-Children” program, which provides education for underprivileged rural children, free of cost. The first School to be supported by this program started in 1981 with 30 children in rural Bangalore. Now, 30 years later, there are there are 404 schools educating over 39,222 children in India. She is especially focused on education for girls and empowerment of women.

In 1997, Bhanu was one of the founding members of VISTA India (Value Integrated Services to All), an initiative that aims to provide economic and social self-sufficiency for disadvantaged women. The project was launched under the aegis of the Art of Living Foundation, and it has provided vocational training, entrepreneurship, and self-development workshops to more than 8,000 women in India. As part of their training, women are also introduced to programs that promote hygiene and women’s health in rural areas.Sri Sri Women’s Empowerment Program is another initiative on similar lines of VISTA and caters to underprivileged women in rural areas. There are two centers currently operating – one in rural Tamil Nadu and another in the outskirts of Bangalore. Women are trained in various vocational skills like tailoring, candle making, incense stick production, packaging and marketing, and other related skills in order to make them economically self-reliant.

Bhanu started the HARA (HIV/AIDS Awareness in Rural Areas) project to create awareness on HIV/AIDS in rural areas. The youth volunteers trained under a qualified medical doctor receive training in this field and disseminate information in the rural areas. Since 2009, 40000 individuals across India have benefitted from this initiative.In support of traditional art and culture, Bhanu has initiated the Weaver-to-Wearer project. The project identifies skilled craftsmen in the traditional arts from rural areas and connects them with consumers around the world.

Bhanu has convened and chaired four international women’s leadership conferences since 2005. These conferences seek to provide a platform for women leaders to share their successes, and inspire one-another to s쳮d against formidable odds. Bhanu has been instrumental in bringing together people from different countries for various forums and guiding them on humanitarian projects.

Bhanu teaches Sahaj Samadhi Meditation and has initiated thousands of individuals around the world. A gifted singer, Bhanu has several albums to her credit comprising devotional bhajans and shlokas heard by people across the globe irrespective of their nationalities.

She holds a Masters Degree in Sanskrit Literature from Bangalore University. She is married with two sons, and lives in Bangalore, India.


Teachers play a pivotal role in the life of every child. Their presence and guidance lays a strong foundation for the child’s personality to blossom. When we think of our teachers we are reminded of our childhood and adolescent years making one nostalgic with fragrant and vivid memories of friends and our learning process, not to mention exam times!

Shiksha or learning begins when the child approaches the teacher with respect and reverence. A gardener puts a small fence around the sapling and provides all nourishment within that space; in time the small plant grows into a big tree. Similarly, the teacher develops and nurtures the child’s mind in a protected environment.

Whenever we learn something we get ‘disciplined’. There is a definite framework that is created in our life from which we can express ourselves clearly. Most of our problems are due to lack of proper expression and proper communication. When we know ourselves and when we know what we want in life, then we are able to put the two together and are able to express ourselves better.

Along with proper expression, skilful action is also necessary. Real education is when the learning is integrated in our life with skill. This is called ‘diksha’ and comes only from our guru or spiritual master. In the Indian tradition ‘Dakshinamurthy’, is honored as the first teacher. ‘Daksha’ means skill –skill in action, not just information.

In the olden days teaching was considered to be very noble and honorable. Teachers had the responsibility to mould the child in a stress-free environment. Today teaching is sometimes just another profession. When there is reverence, it reflects and makes so much difference in the ability to express and absorb the knowledge.

Further, learning is a never-ending process. Even a teacher is a student at many levels. When we realize that we are also constantly learning we can resonate well with what we do as a teacher. With an open mind, when we realize that we have so much to learn, then everything in creation teaches us something.

The majestic mountains teach us steadfastness and strength. The lotus flower teaches us how to be pure and untouched even in the face of  adversities or challenging situations. The trees teach us to be useful to others in every aspect of our life. The flame of a candle rises upwards even when the candle is held upside down – setting an example for undying enthusiasm. The honey bees teach us the importance of team work. The caterpillar reminds us how the potential for a beautiful butterfly is hidden in each and every one. The flowing river teaches us humility. In Sanskrit the word for water and love are the same. Even rough stones become smooth as water flows over it. Similarly, in life, love makes you soft and supportive and not aggressive. A progressive attitude comes only when we have love and respect. True teachers nurture these values in the children ensuring that they can blossom into a beautiful and knowledgeable individual.

In Sanskrit, there is a saying, ‘Baladapi subhashitam grahyam’. Children are always in the present moment. They simply smile and move. If they fall, the get up and try again and yet again. There is no boredom in them while adults are often bored at the drop of a hat. There is so much to learn even from children.

There are so many teachers all around us and we bow down to all of them. Life itself is a continuous learning. In this, some teachers are obvious and the real one is your Guru – the one who takes you from darkness to light, from untruth to truth, from the ever-changing to the immortal, infinite Self that is truly you.

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Awaken Aspiration by Swami Kriyananda

It was not until rocket engines were built with a strong enough thrust to escape the Earth’s gravity that man actually landed on the moon.

In the same manner, those of us who wish to get closer to Divinity can attain our goal only when we are able to generate enough upward thrust to break free of the gravitational pull of worldly desires and attachments.

The centre point between the eyebrows known as the spiritual eye, seat of super-consciousness, may be called the inner ‘moon’ in man, the centre of his divine awareness.

But many a practising yogi finds his efforts unfruitful; his consciousness remains anchored firmly to Earth. He must deliberately generate more upward ‘thrust’ in his endeavour to transcend.

The first battle is to generate enough upward flow to break free of the downward, gravitational pull of matter. For this, three things are necessary: 1) avoidance of those actions and states of consciousness which pull the energy downward; 2) upward, devotional aspiration; 3) techniques specifically directed towards raising the energy in the body.

In the most material manifestations of spirit, rocks and minerals, consciousness is so reduced that it is latent. To free your energy from the downward pull of matter, avoid anything that dulls the mind, or increases its identification with the senses. Devotional aspiration can be awakened by chanting, service or meditation.

The purpose of practising the principles of yoga is to raise one’s consciousness to the highest state of Self-realisation.

Many Christians visualise God as the venerable old man depicted in a painting by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. It shows the Lord manifesting the existence of Adam, the first man, by pointing a forefinger towards him.

Christians do commonly think of God as the Heavenly Father. On the other hand, some people simply cannot bridge the gap between the obviously impersonal Creator of this vast universe and an anthropomorphic being. They try to come up with philosophical concepts that, to their understanding, are more logically satisfying.

Does love suggest a clearer meaning? Not unless we can tie it down to something we ourselves have actually experienced. The only way to get some “handle of understanding” on any concept, one must relate it to something one knows already. That is why even the description of God as Love needs to be tied down to something comprehensible in human terms.

God —as Krishna explains in the Bhagwad Gita — dreamed the universe into existence. As trees grow from seeds, and animals develop from the union of two tiny male and female cells, even so, the Infinite Spirit brought everything into existence from an infinity of individual centers —dreaming outward, so to speak, from each centre. Divine Consciousness was described by my Guru Paramhansa Yogananda as “Centre everywhere, circumference nowhere”.

It’s a great mistake to try to reduce stress and tension by avoiding challenges and difficulties. You do not attain peace merely by escaping responsibility. You attain it by discharging your responsibilities and winning on the battlefield of life, in the true sense. Success means learning an important life lesson.

True success means taking a step toward infinite freedom because we’ve learned an important life lesson that we no longer need to repeat. Only that kind of success gives true peace. As long as there’s any fear — fear of the test, of being drawn into the karma, of failure, or even fear of success, then there is still karma to be worked out.
The pull of unwillingness: Most people are pulled in two directions. While they’re doing something, they’re wishing they weren’t doing it. For your spiritual growth, don’t try to reduce stress by avoiding what you’ve been given to do. Difficulties are opportunities for growth. When we give what we’re doing to God, we find that there is a great joy and even great relaxation in the process.

Learn to act from within outward. Relax. Do not worry what other people think about what you should, or should not, be doing.
The teachings of yoga say we should be centred in ourselves. Meditation is the best method for this. If you can be centred in yourself, and act from within outward, then you will have that degree of poise and relaxation to turn left or right as the circumstances dictate.

Work on developing an attitude of non-attachment to the fruits of your actions. People with that attitude will have the degree of relaxation needed to work without tension or fear, and even if they fail, they are able to rise again.

It’s very helpful to visualise the fear actually being fulfilled, to visualise the worst possible results of whatever you’re doing, because the anticipation is almost always greater than the realisation. Once you’ve accepted a certain possibility, you can then put all of your energy into the constructive action necessary for success.
In the Bible, we read that perfect love casts out fear. When you love God deeply enough there is nothing to fear because you know He’s always with you. It’s important to work toward attaining that level of courage. If in the process you sometimes feel anxiety about something, don’t pull back. Just call on God to support you in whatever you have to do. The time will come when you will be victorious over that fear.

Remember also that our thoughts send out a kind of magnetism that draws to us whatever is expressive of that thought. People who undergo a disaster of a certain kind in some way have put out a call for that disaster.

Conditions are neutral: Paramhansa Yogananda said, “Conditions are always neutral.” They seem good or bad according to the positive or negative attitude of the mind. We can make the best of even the worst circumstances. We have to be practical, but the most important thing is to have faith in God and to live in the thought that God is with you, always. Faith in God will give you the level of relaxation you need, to face life most effectively.

Yoga gives the “how to” of the spiritual path through withdrawing one’s consciousness from the body and centering it in the spine. Many obstacles confront you as you make this inward journey.

The first is the fact that human understanding is limited to the information it receives from the senses: of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. Next, our understanding is limited by the way we use reason to process that information. We have, in fact, entered a house of mirrors. Everything we see and experience in the world is only a reflection of our own awareness.

Happiness is reflected to us from the surrounding world, what we project outwardly from our centre. Happy melodies pluck at our heartstrings, but sound faint and elusive; we can enjoy them fully only when we realise that the source of happy melodies is inside of us.

We experience happiness or sadness only in our egoistic state. Paramhansa Yogananda defined ego as the soul identified with the body. We reach out to the world through our senses trying to grasp the joy that we think is our birthright.

Expanding sympathy helps the ego to be aware of its subtle identity with other people and with the universe. One’s own happiness, in consequence, expands exponentially. With compassion, the ego relaxes and we can effortlessly become aware of the indwelling soul. Ego discovers its identity, in this case, with the Infinite Spirit.

I love the saying, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” The past isn’t important, for, from today onward, we can change. My guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, often said, “Forget the past.” The thought of past mistakes pulls us down. People also live too much in their victories. In self-pride they say, “Oh, I did this and I did that,” but that’s history.
The Bhagavad Gita tells us to give the results of our actions to God. I was surprised to hear Yogananda say, “God is pleased when you give him your mistakes.” If you dwell on the thought, “I made a mistake,” you close the door to self-improvement.
We live in an age where one could say that today’s religion is science. This is good in the sense that science says, “If it’s true, we have to prove it.” I suggest that you test religion or spirituality scientifically within your own self. As an experiment, try for one week to think of God and talk to Him. Every thought that comes to you, even an ugly thought, share it with Him. Say, “God, help me. Change this idea, because I don’t like it.”
Resolve to think of God for five minutes every day. When you can do that, do it for 10 minutes, and then longer. I have found it to be very inspiring, when slowly walking, to try to share every moment, every movement, thought and sound with God. Each one of us needs to play his own song. In this way, God can do beautiful things through us. What God wants, finally, is to enjoy Himself in you. This is God’s purpose — give Him that chance.

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SADHVI BHAGAWATI SARASWATI, from Parmarth Ashram, Rishikesh

The term “spirituality” is used quite vaguely these days to refer to anything ranging from those who subscribe to an eclectic mix of practices, traditions and beliefs, to those who may agree with the foundational aspects of a religion while not adhering to all the rituals, to those who believe in a divine power without necessarily subscribing to a particular religion at all. The word is also used frequently in contrast to religion. “I am not so religious,” we hear people say. “But I’m very spiritual.”

Ultimately, spirituality literally means pertaining to the spirit, of the spirit, in relation to spirit. It is not the opposite or antithesis of religion, but rather it is the opposite of materialism. To be spiritual, in essence, is to live one’s life focused on the intangible, omnipresent, pervasive spirit rather than on tangible objects with distinct borders and boundaries. To be spiritual, to be “of the spirit,” means to focus on that which connects us to each other rather than that which separates us.

A materialist would say, “I end at the point where my skin ends and the air begins.” To the materialist there is a distinct starting and ending point for the self. For example: “Here is cushion. Here is self sitting on cushion. Here is loved one sitting next to self.” There are distinct beginning and ending points for each of these. A materialist could show you clearly where the cushion ends and the self begins, where the self ends and the air begins, where the air ends and the loved one begins.

A spiritualist, however, understands that that which pervades the cushion, the self, the air and the loved one is the same spirit. There is no distinct point of beginning or ending or boundary or border. Sure, the vessels through which the Spirit flows may vary, but the Spirit is one. So, spirituality is a practice, a lifestyle, a commitment to the spirit, to that which unites us and connects us.

Once I realize that I am one with Spirit, I realize that I am one with you, for that same Spirit flows through you just as it flows through me. Theoretically, that is actually what religion should do as well – connect us to the omnipresent, all-pervasive Divine and thereby connect us to all of Creation. Tragically, however, in many cases the institution of religion has gone awry. Yet, if religion could be distilled back to its essence, to its ultimate purpose, it too would focus on connecting people to God. God, of course, does not play favorites and does not discriminate. So, to be connected with God is to be connected with each other.

This concept of unity, of oneness with the Divine and therefore with all of creation is an intrinsic part of Indian culture and spiritual philosophy. The word “yoga” used so ubiquitously, literally means union. Today, unfortunately we seem to have misinterpreted it to mean a union of my head to my knee or union of my palms to the floor, but essentially it is a union of the self to the Divine. Whichever of the numerous paths of yoga one may choose, the ultimate goal is to deeply and experientially realize that Union.

In today’s world, our illusion of separateness is killing us – as individuals and as nations. Our individual feeling of disconnection from God and from all of Creation leads us to feel alone, isolated, ungrounded and uncentered. Rates of depression and anxiety are skyrocketing across the world even though each year we invent more, accomplish more, eradicate more diseases ,and more and more people have financial stability. Internally, we long for deep connection. Isolation – whether real or imagined – is one of the greatest sources of misery. Similarly, as nations and as cultures, our illusion of separateness from each other permits us to wreak the greatest pain and destruction upon each other. That violence which we could not conceive of doing to a family member or neighbor, we sit back and watch as it is done to people of other countries, cultures and races. We feel separate from them. They are not us. They are outside the border and boundary we have drawn of our own Self. Further, our disconnection from Mother Earth enables us to exploit her as a commodity, to ravage and pillage her forests, decimate her oceans, turn her rivers into sewers killing all life therein, and render her lush mountains bald with wanton disregard.

The Isha Upanishad tells us Isha vasyam idam sarvam. Everything in the universe is pervaded by the Divine. There is no place He does not exist. There is no person, no living being and even no inanimate object from which He is absent. The Divine Presence pervades every cell of my being just as it pervades every cell of you and every cell of him, of her, and of everything in this universe. We are not separate. We cannot possibly be separate. That spirit, that divine spirit that flows in and through each of us, from which each of us is made, is One. To live our lives with awareness of that Oneness, with consciousness of that Oneness, that is spirituality.

Then, when we become truly “spiritual,” when we become focused on and connected to spirit, we realize that we are not separate from anyone’s joy and we are not separate from anyone’s pain. I am connected to the starving child trying to sleep with pangs of anguish in his belly. I am connected to the woman dying in childbirth due to lack of medical care. I am connected to every animal tortured and slaughtered. I am connected to every tree being felled, every river being polluted, and every fish suffocating in the fisherman’s net.

To be truly spiritual requires one to live with an awareness of spirit, and that spirit is all-pervasive. It leaves nothing and no one out. If I am One with spirit, then by definition I am One with you.

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SADHVI BHAGAWATI SARASWATI, from Parmarth Ashram, Rishikesh

Countless people across the world ask me : “Have you converted to Hinduism?” The question is understandable. After all, people don’t often behold an American woman of Jewish ancestry draped in the saffron robes of a Hindu renunciant.

However, although the question is simple, the answer is complex. Hinduism does not convert. It does not exist in a box with borders and boundaries. There are more differences between lineages within Hinduism than there are between Hinduism and some other religions.

If one were to ask several Hindus, “What is the most fundamental tenet of Hinduism?” or “How is God understood in Hinduism?” one would get a wide range of equally viable, equally legitimate answers. In fact, two of the most fundamental teachings of Hinduism are “Let all the noble thoughts come from all directions,” and “The Truth is one but the sages call it by different names.”

So, what exactly is Hinduism, then, that is open enough to embrace an American sanyasi?

“By whatever name and form the devotee worships me with love, I appear to the devotee in that form.”“By whatever name and form the devotee worships me with love, I appear to the devotee in that form.”

Nowhere in the Vedas – the foundational texts of Hindu theology – does one find the word Hindu. Rather, “Hindu” is actually the name given to the people living beyond the banks of the Sindhu or the Indus River, in what was known as the Indus valley civilisation. Hindus refer to their religion as Sanatan Dharma, the eternal way of life. This way of life encompasses everything from a philosophical understanding of the nature of the universe and our role in it, to treatises on science, math, music, architecture and medicine.

The “religion” of Hinduism, if one wanted to attempt to neatly box it up, could be said to include several components.

The first of these is inclusivity. Hinduism excludes almost nothing. The arms of Hinduism are immeasurably long and embrace innumerable names, forms and concepts of the Divine. However, worshippers of varying Divine manifestations all agree on one essential component: the Supreme Reality is infinite, omniscient, omnipresent, and knowable by all names.

As God is infinite and all of creation a manifestation of the same Creator, Hindus see the whole world as one family. In fact, the scriptures state clearly: Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam, or “The world is one family.” Hindu prayers are prayers for all; Hindus don’t pray for Hindus or Indians. Rather, Hindus pray,

Sarve santu niraamayaah

Maakaschit duhkha bhaag bhavet

Another aspect is that of a personal relationship with God. Regardless of the name, form in which a Hindu believes, he or she is encouraged to have a personal connection with that particular form. The God of Hinduism is a God who is knowable, approachable, infinite and yet fully prepared to incarnate in material form, a God to whom our food, water, earnings and lives are dedicated.

Ishaavaasyam idam sarvam

It means the entire universe is pervaded by the divine. That same all-pervasive Supreme Reality manifests in infinite forms with infinite names. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna explains beautifully, “By whatever name and form the devotee worships me with love, I appear to the devotee in that form.”

Stemming from the tenet of an all-pervasive God, one of the core components of the Hindu tradition is service, seva, or karma yoga. Hinduism teaches us to see God in the poor, sick, and needy; the tradition is filled with stories of God appearing as an unexpected guest or a beggar.

As the traditional name of Hinduism is Sanatan Dharma or “eternal way of life” the tenets and principles of Hinduism are not relegated only to worship or prayer. Rather, Hinduism informs every aspect of our lives from the moment we awaken to the moment we sleep. There are shastras and sutras for nearly every component of life, as well as for architecture, medicine, science, math and music.

Another central and unique aspect of Hinduism is emphasis on the divine feminine, or Shakti, as the essential energy and force through which creation, sustenance and dissolution are performed. Worship of the Divine Mother – whether in Her nurturing, compassionate form or in Her fierce, fiery form – is a common thread that weaves through the entire tapestry of Hinduism.

As news reports cover the rape and abuse of girls and women throughout India, people misconstrue this as a subjugation of the female endorsed by Hindu culture. The abuse of women is a societal evil which must be swiftly eradicated. However, it couldn’t be further from the very tenets of Hinduism.

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SADHVI BHAGAWATI SARASWATI, from Parmarth Ashram, Rishikesh

It’s time to log off, writes SADHVI BHAGAWATI SARASWATI, from Parmarth Ashram, Rishikesh, referring to our increasing dependence and addiction to the virtual world

Iwas speaking at an event recently in the hall of an upscale hotel. On both sides of the stage were the large LED screens that have become ubiquitous at programmes these days.While giving my lecture, I kept looking out into the front rows of the audience to make eye contact. However, as I looked out I could not find a pair of eyes with which to connect. Almost everyone was looking to their left or right,at my projection upon one of the LED screens. There is something so magnetic about these screens that they automatically hijack our attention. We have become programmed and habituated to look to our screens rather than to the real world; it now barely occurs to us to turn our attention to the actual, live person in front of us rather than her magnified projection on an LED.

For Whom The Beep Tolls

Even when we are engaged in another task, not interacting with our phones, not expecting an important call or text, even then, a significant amount of our brain energy is dedicated to anticipating the next beep or buzz from our phones. The McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin,conducted an experiment in which participants had to perform a series of tasks on a computer, tasks that took full concentration. The study showed that those whose phones were in another room performed significantly better than those whose phones were face down on their desks. Simply having their phones within arm’s reach, even upside down and on silent mode, diminished the available cognitive power of the participants.

Given that most of us live, eat and sleep with our phones within arm’s distance, how much of actual life are we missing due to being unconsciously distracted by the mere presence of the device, even when we are not looking at it? And looking at it, of course, actually interacting with it, is even worse…. Our phones have become inherent, and dangerous I believe, aspects of our very identity. We craft and create online identities that project not who we really are but who we would like the world to think we are. Having to curate one identity is hard enough. However, having to curate two identities — a real one and a screen one — is the stuff that daily stress and depression is made of.

It’s now not only ‘Who am I?’ but it’s also become ‘Who should I be online?’ We compare and contrast our real lives with others’ screen lives. We forget that just as we carefully curate our online personas,so do they. Everywhere we look online, others are exuberant. A buttery croissant or cappuccino with a heart drawn in the foam accompanies our friend’s smiling face and her status of ‘very happy.’ Whether she is truly happy and also enjoying a croissant or whether she is sad or tired or bored or confused and using the buttery croissant to numb her emotions — the subtlety is glossed over and what we see is her status of ‘very happy.’ We then, experiencing a deep and pervasive sense of not-good-enoughness, post a picture of ourselves, with perhaps a Monet landscape in our triple soy latte (anything to beat the heart in a cappuccino) and check in as ‘awesome.’ Except that,we are not.

At least not until we get enough likes and comments on our post. Then, a friend or acquaintance who is also struggling,sees our post of unbridled exuberance and feels the same anguish — why is everyone so happy except her? And so the dominoes continue to fall, with each of us projecting that which is not, in order to cover up our insecurity over that which is, and in our simple effort to make ourselves feel better, we all end up perpetuating the very myth that haunted us in the first place: everyone else is happier than we are. The chasm between the real world and the screen world deepens, and we begin to compare ourselves unfavourably not only to our neighbours, friends and co-workers as our parents and grandparents did, but also to our own online identities. We don’t only have to keep up with the Jones or Kardashians. We have to keep up with the very roles we’ve created for ourselves online.

The Innernet & Intranet

As soon as the internet reached mainstream India,my guru began cautioning people,“please remember to stay connected also to the innernet.” And of course we can’t forget the intranet — our real-time, real life connections that are actually much better face-to-face than face-to-screen. Staring at a picture of a sumptuous feast for hours will do nothing to satiate my hunger. In order to be nourished by that food, I must reach through the screen, take it in my hands and carry it to my mouth. In the same way, we may have a lot more screen friends than real friends, and our screen identity may be a lot more exciting than our real identify. But it is those real, tangible connections and real, three-dimensional experiences that deepen our existence. Let’s try, at least every once in a while, to look straight ahead at the full people in front of us rather than let our attention, and lives, be hijacked by our screens.

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Shivaji’s letter to Mirza Raja Jaisingh

The Historic Letter of Shivraya to Jai Singh

The Historic Letter of Shivraya to Jai Singh

The Battle of Purandar and the Purandar Treaty

The Battle of Purandar and the Purandar Treaty

Letter to King Jai Singh by Shivaji Maharaj

Letter to King Jai Singh by Shivaji Maharaj

The Maratha King Shivaji Maharaj (19 February 1630 – 3 April 1680), popularly known as Shivraya, ruled over his own State, carved out of Bijapur Adilshahi territory, only for a short span of six years(1674-1680), but even today he is considered the Great Maratha King who laid the foundation of benevolent rule in present day Maharashtra. Chhatrapati Shivaji was given the title of Raja (King) by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb since he was his Sardar but after the Agra Durbar episode (1666), Shivraya could fulfill his dream to establish his independent Hindavi Swaraj, a sovereign State in 1674. After Shivaji and Afazal Khan’s deadly meeting on 10 November 1659 followed by his encounter with Shaista Khan and looting Surat city in 1664, which was under the Mughal territory, the Emperor Aurangzeb was feeling ashamed.

Aurangzeb deputed one of his most important Army General, Mirza Raja Jai Singh (15 July 1611-28 August 1667), in 1665 to control or capture Shivaji. Jai Singh was the King of Amber- Jaipur and had been loyal to the Mughal Durbar. Since he knew how clever Shivaji was, he got certain pre-conditions approved by the Emperor to function freely in the Deccan region. Mirza Raja even got certain Sardars of Shivaji defected to the Mughals like Netaji Palkar. Before the Treaty of Purandhar was agreed upon, a deadly fight between the Marathas and the Mughal warriors took place. Jai Singh convinced the Emperor to give audience to Raja Shivaji in the Mughal Durbar at Agra. Before that Shivaji tried to play a Hindu card followed by writing a historical letter to Jai Singh. This letter incorporated in the first volume of the book, “Shivkaleen Patra SarSangrah”, edited by N.C. Kelkar and D. V. Apte, published in 1930 by Raigad Smarak Mandal and Bharat- Itihas Sanshodhak Mandal, Pune. As per the arrangements, Shivaji reached Agra on 12 May 1666 along with his son, Shambhaji, appeared before the Emperor in the birthday celebration of Aurangzeb. Both offered the Nazrana to the Mughal ruler.

Shivaji was escorted by the son of Jai Singh, Ram Singh. Since he was made to stand behind Jashwant Singh, he felt humiliated and left the Durbar. Aurangzeb conspired to kill the Maratha Sardar but Shivraya along with son managed to vanish secretly from Agra. They appeared together at Raigad on 20 November 1666! In the historical letter written in 1965 by Shivaji to Jai Singh, the Maratha leader tries to instigate the Mirza Raja against the Emperor and offers to join hands with him to demolish the Mughal Empire. Unfortunately, since his family had the matrimonial alliance with the Mughals, Jai Singh preferred to remain loyal to the Emperor till his last breath.

In a lengthy letter to Jai Singh, Shivaji conveys the Mirza Raja: “If you have come to conquer Deccan for yourself, I would prefer to offer my services at your disposal. But since you have come on behalf of Aurangzeb, I am little perplexed how to deal with you. If we both fight, the loss of the Hindus would be from both sides. One would not be considered brave and no heroism in fighting among each other.” “The intention of Aurangzeb is no brave man among the Hindus should survive. The lions should fight among each other and finish off themselves so that the vultures can rule over. You do not understand the strategy of the Mughals… I would appreciate you not to blacken the faces of Hindus by fighting with lions like us. If you have guts, you should attack the enemies of Hindu religion and get rid of Islam. If Dara Shukoh would have been the ruler of this country, he could have showered love and affection on us. But since you have ditched persons like Jashwant Singh, you cannot distinguish between good and bad. You have been fighting small fries so far and now since you have to fight with lions like me, you would realize where do you stand. You may run after mirage. It is like after making so much of efforts, you can capture a beautiful lady to be handed over to our enemy. Are you such a low level personality? Do you feel proud of earning favours of such rascal? Are you not aware of the outcome of the efforts of Zuzar Singh?”

Jai Singh was instrumental in getting Dara Shukoh, the eldest son of the Emperor Shah Jahan, captured and killed by Aurangzeb. Jai wrote a letter to Jashwant Singh of Ajmer not to extend any support to Dara. Dara believed in Hindu-Muslim harmony unlike his fanatic brother Aurangzeb. Zuzar Singh was the King of Odisha loyal to the Mughal Emperors, Jahangir and Shah Jahan, but Aurangzeb sacked him from his Durbar and made him run from pillar to post.

Shivaji writes further: “A few Muslims taking over our great country really surprises me. But this has happened not because of their adventures. They talk nicely with us and made us slaves if you try to understand. If your eyes can see, you may realize it. We need to realize how they are tying shackles in our legs and cutting off our heads by our own swords. We need to make tremendous efforts to protect Hindus, Hindustan and Hindu religion. We should go for tit for tat policy. The Turks be shown the power of our swords. If you can join hands with Jashwant Singh, Raja of Marwad, and Raj Singh, Rana of Mewar, it would be of great help.” The Maratha leader expresses his desire to wipe out the influence of Islam not only from Deccan but also the power and fame of Emperor like Aurangzeb from India too.

Shivaji was a daredevil who was prepared to fight Jai Singh. Of course, both fought the battle and when Mughals had upper hand, Shivaji expressed desire for the Treaty of Purandar where he was prepared to have peace with the Mughals by offering certain forts and money to Agra Durbar apart from expressing his loyalty to the Emperor. Of course, as per the conditions laid down, Shivaji had presented himself before Aurangzeb on his birthday. Since he was insulted and arrested, his honeymoon did not last long.

Aurangzeb considered Ram Singh, the Prince of Jai Singh, responsible for Shivraya’s escape from Agra and banished him from the Durbar. Even Jai Singh died on 28 August 1667 at Burhanpur under mysterious circumstances, believed to be poisoned on the orders of Aurangzeb. Mirza Raja Jai Singh did not give an ear to the advice of Shivaji, otherwise the history of India would have been different.


Shivaji’s letter to Jaisingh.
1. O Sardar of Sardars, King of Kings, Manager of the mango-trees of the garden of Bharat.

2. 0 piece of the heart and consciousness of Ramchandra, the Rajputs hold up their heads owing to thee.

3. The grandeur of the Empire of Babar’s dynasty is rendered all the more powerful owing to thee and it is its good fortune to receive thy help.

4. 0 Jay Shah, whose fortune is ever young and whose intellect ever old, be pleased to accept the salutations and blessings of Shiva.

5. May the Creator of the world protect thee. May He show thee the path of Religion which is Justice.

8. I have heard that thou hast come to make battle upon me and to subjugate the Deccan.

7. Thou desirest in this world to make thy face glow with blood drawn from the hearts and the eyes of the Hindus.

8. But thou knowest not that thy face is painted in black, because owing to it, this country and religion are in danger.

9. If thou oonsiderest for a moment or givest thought to thy hands and thy strength,

10. Then thou wilst discover whose blood lends the glow and what will be the colour of the glow in this world and the next.

11. Further, if thou hadst come of thy own accord to conquer the Deccan, my eyes and my head could have been laid on earth for thee to tread upon.

12. I would have marched with my whole force at the stirrup of thy horse and would have yielded up to thee the country from one end to the other.

13. But thou hast in fact come to conquer at the instance of Aurangzeb and under the instigation of those who desire to destroy the Hindus.

14. I do not know how I shall deal with thee. If I join thee, there is no manliness in it.

15. For, brave men are not time servers. The lion pursues not the policy of the fox.

10. Or, if I lift up the sword and the axe, then the Hindus on both sides will suffer.

17. The greater sorrow is that my sword, which thirsts’for the blood of the Mussalmans, should be drawn from the scabbard for some other purpose.

18. E the Turks had come to fight this battle, then indeed the prey would have come to the lion in its lair,

19. For, they are Rakshasas in the guise of men devoid of justice ang religion, and sinful

20. When supremacy could not be secured hy Afzul Khan, and Shaista Khan proved no better,.

21. Thou art engaged to fight me because he (Aurangzeb) himself is not fit to bear battle with me.

22. He desires that no strong persons should be left surviving among the Hindus in this world,

23. That lions may fight among themselves and disabled, so that the fox may rule the forest.

24. How is it that his secret policy is not transparent to thy brain? It is clear that thou art under the influence of his magic spell.

25. Thou hast seen much good and evil in this world; thou hast reaped both flowers and thorns in the garden of life.

23. Is it not meet that thou shouldst fight us-people and bring the heads of Hindus to death?

27. After having attained ripe wisdom in action, do not then exhibit (the folly of) youth, but remember the saying of Saadi:

28. “The horse cannot be ridden on all the roads; sometimes discretion is the better part of valour”. (Lit. sometimes it is more fitting to throw down the shield and fly).

29. Tigers attack the deer and other animals They do not indulge in a fratricidal war with lions.

30. Or, if thy cutting sword has true water, if thy prancing horse has true spirit,

31. Then do thou attack those who are the enemies of religion and abolish Islam root and branch.

32. Had Dara Shekoh been King of the country, he would have treated his people with kindness and favours.

33. But thou deceivedst Jaswantsing; thou didst not first consider the high and the low in thy heart.

34. Thou art not satisfied with having played the fox and hast come to fight the battle with the lions.

35. What dost thou get from this running about and labouring under the Sun? Thy desires head thee to a mirage.

30. Thou art even as a mean creature who exerts his utmost and captures a beautiful damsel,

37. But, instead of tasting the fruit of that garden of beauty himself, delivers it into the hands of his rival.

38. How canst thou feel proud at the mercy of that mean man ? Dost thou know how the services of Joharsing were rewarded ?

39. Dost thou know by what means he desired to bring calamities to Prince Chhatra Sal ?

40. Dost thou know what calamities that sinful man has left inflicted on other Hindus also ?

41. I believe that thou hast attached thyself to him and hast laid down for him the self-respect of thy family.

42. But what is the value of this net in which thou art caught for the sake of the Rakshasa? This bond that binds thee is not stronger than the cord of the paijama that you wear.

48. In order to attain his ends, be hesitates not to shed the blood of his brother, or to take the life of his father.

44. Or, if thou appealest to loyalty, remember thou also thy conduct in reference to Shah Jahan.

45. L’ fate has endowed thee with any intellect or if thou seekest to pride thyself on thy manhood or manliness,

46. Then dot hou heat thy sword at the fire of distress of th.9 land thou wast born in, and wipe off the tears of the unhappy ones who suffer from tyranny.

47. Tbis is not the time for fighting between ourselves since a grave danger faces the Hindus.

48. O1 ir children, our country, our wealth, our God, our temples and our holy worshippers,

49. Are all in danger of existence owing to his mact inations and the utmost limit of suffering, that can be borne, has been reached.

50. If the work goes on like this for some time, there will not remain a vestige of ourselves on the earth.

51. It is a matter of supreme wonder that a handful of Mussalmans should establish supremacy over this vast country.

52- This supremacy is not due to any valour on their part. See, if thou hast eyes to see.

53. See, what policy of duplicity he plays with us, how differently he colours his face from time-to time.

54. He claps our own chains to our feet; h& cuts our heads with our own swords.

55. The most strenuous efforts should be made at this time to protect Hindus, Hindusthan find the Hindu Religion.

56. I desire to make an effort and bring about stability and strive my utmost for the sake of the country.

57. Polish thy sword and thy intellect and prove thyself a Turk to the Turks.

58. If thou joinest hands with Jaswantsing and divestest thy heart of the layers of trickery,

59. And if thou bringest about’ unity with the Raj Rana (of Mewar), then indeed there is hope for great things.

60. Do you all rush and fight from all sides; tramp down that serpent under the rock;

61. So that he may for some time l occupy himself with ruminating on the consequences of bis own actions; and may not further entangle the Deccan in his meshes;

82. And I may in the meantime with the aid of these and other lanoe bearing heroes make away with the other two Sultans (of Bijapur and Golkonda);

03. So that I may rain the shower of swords from the thundering clouds of my army on the Mussalmans;

64. So that, from one end of the Deccan to the other, I may wipe out the name and very vestige of Mahomedanism;

65/66. Thereafter, with the assistance of wise statesmen and the army, like the river swirling and foaming as it emerges from the mountains of the Deccan, I may come out into the plains;

67. And forthwith present myself for service with you, and then after that hear you render your accounts.

68. And then we – four – may again inaugurate a grim war and devote the battlefield to it;

69. And then the tide of our armies may be made to reach the crumbling walls of Delhi,

70. So that nothing may be left of the Aurang (throne) or the Zeb (lust), so that nothing may remain of the sword of his tyranny or the net of his policy of duplicity or dissimulation;

71. So that we may flow a river full of pure blood, and with that we may satisfy the souls of our ancestors; and

72. With the grace of God, the Just and the Giver of life, we shall entomb him (Aurangzeb) in the bowels of the earth.

78. If two hearts combine, they can burst a mountain, they can dispel and scatter the whole armies.

74. This is not a very difficult task, we only want good hearts, good eyes, and good hands. These are the really necessary things.

75. I have much to tell thee in regard to this matter which cannot in sooth be put on paper.

78. I am desirous of having a talk with thee so that no unnecessary pain or labour may be involved.

77. If such is thy desire, I shall come to thee and hear what thou hast to say.

78. Thy maiden of speech may open her mouth in privacy, and I may take guard against the words being divulged;

79. So that we put our hands to the plough of effort and practise some incantation on that mad Bakshasa.

80. I swear by my sword, by my horse, by my country, and by my religion, that no harm shall befall thee in this.

81. Or, we may find out some other way to attain our object and make our names in this world and the next.

82. Be not suspicious owing to the incident of Afzul Khan—the report spoke not truly.

83. He had secretly kept twelve hundred warlike Habsee cavalry to accomplish my death.

84. Had I not raised my arm against him first, who would have written this letter to you ?

85. But I do not believe any such thing of you; there is no inherent enmity between us.

88. Or, if I receive the desired reply from thee, I shall present myself before thee alone at night,

87. And I will show thee the secret letters which I cleverly extracted from Shaista Khan,

88. So that I may remove all doubts from thy mind and rouse thee from thy sweet sleep;

89. I may show thee the true result of thy dreams and then receive any answer;

90. Or, if this letter does not appeal to thee, then indeed I am ready with my sword to deal with thy army.

91. To-morrow, the moment the sun shall conceal his face behind the evening cloud, the orescent moon of my sword shall flash forth. That is all. God be with thee.

Reproduced from the Shivaji Souvenir 3-5-1927. pages 172 to 178, with the permission of Mr- G. S. Sardesai the reputed author of the Riyasats and Editor of the Shivaji Souvenir.


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Zhasi ki rani ki lagna Patrika, wedding card, maharani lakshmibai wedding card

Zhasi ki rani ki lagna Patrika, wedding card

maharani lakshmibai wedding card

maharani lakshmibai wedding card



1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - June 23, 2018 at 2:24 pm

Categories: History   Tags: , ,

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