I’d like to recommend this 46 minute long video. It is a well done documentary from the “Discovery Channel.”
It is the story of Ram Bomjon a boy living in Nepal, who meditated for months without receiving food or water.
This “feat,” was catalogued as a “hoax” by some scientific minds. In the video you will notice how the lady who is a well versed dietician, changes her mind; from assuring that no one could live for more than a few days without water according to scientific knowledge; to acknowledge the limitations of her “science,” or knowledge when “seeing” the fact of someone who is not “normal.”
Also, we can see how a personal, spiritual practice by the boy is readily made into a “profit” based thing, thanks to the devotional feelings of some and the incredulity of the “researchers.”
I hear that word all the time in religious gatherings.
What is sacred? What is holy? What is sacrosanct?
I don’t know. 🙂
That word must be something important. I need to find out. Let me look that word up in the dictionary.
According to the on-line Google dictionary:
Because I know something about duality, I can see that this word is dividing something “Godly” with something “secular,” that is; non-religious, worldly stuff.
Then, the problem arises when we want to pursue that which is “holy” and reject or put aside that which is not.
The issue is that our society, our traditions will choose that which is “holy” as the important thing.
Is the temple “holier” than my office at work?
Is the church sacred and not my apartment?
Is God deserving veneration but not Nature?
Is a ritual, something which God may need or like from us?
We can see how by inventing a word to convey “higher importance” than the other things, we have separated items which otherwise are just the same.
This is the origin of worship. The origin of devotion.
What is the sense of having devotion for something or someone?
Our sense of inferiority. We can call that with the nicer label of “love.”
However, love is not between an inferior and a superior. Love is between equals and that is why, devotion cannot be love.
Equality. We know that we are souls. Even God is a soul. That is our equality.
When we accept a tradition and perform a particular ritual, we may need to ask ourselves what is the point on that.
If we don’t, we may not be venerating the sacredness of our valuable time.
The universe is holy. Life is holy. Sacred. No need to be divided by a dualistic mind.
Devotion is one of those practices which are least understood in Western countries. As a matter of fact, the most “advance” the country, the least devotion will be seen unless there is an Eastern religious practice going, devotion as such is misunderstood, even by the ones practicing it.
At one time, I had the opportunity to see “Westerners renunciates” making a line to kiss the feet of someone considered a “Spiritual evolved” person.
It almost looked as “something mechanical,” something to do for a “protocol,” rather than the feeling of reverence or love. The action is just a “way” to express but behind that outward symbol, lies the feeling.
Whenever I visit India or Peru, I can see devotion from a far different perspective. It is that “blind love,” that sort of strong need to relate with that which is seen as holy or higher which is usually represented by a human being.
The vision however, is to be related with God or a Divine power through a human being. Kissing the feet of someone considered to be “holy” then, it is not just a “protocol” but an honor. This is a different perspective on the same activity.
How is that related with Spirituality?
It is fundamental to have that love. Without that love or that devotion, in us; our spiritual practices; whatever they may be, will be just another “job” something “mechanical,” something which will not bring much transformation in the self, for transformation implies love in one way or another.
In Spirituality, we see that love for something considered “higher,” as devotion. That devotion many times is just “outwardly” mechanical such as to say the name of a person, God, etc… There are no feelings, just protocol.
What are the typical sources of “that” love?
Love for God is the first one and most popular one. That is the love for that “someone” who is the highest. Our life becomes this awareness. That “relationship” could be forged through a “devotional practice,” or a prayer or meditation, etc. There has to be a way to relate in however way we perceive God is. The perceptions differ, but the feelings are important.
At the same time there is that love for something which does not have that “hierarchy,” as a person or someone but as the experience itself of awe and inspiration, that is Nature, for example. There is no person, no form in particular but the appreciation of beauty and the splendor of being part of it.
There is that love through “emptiness” as well for some, through the recognition of wholesomeness with the Universe; in them that love is usually known as “compassion,” which is that love for all.
Without this “compassion,” there is no way to connect with the rest, there is no communion with the Universe.
Therefore, in every spiritual or religious path, there is a need for love. That love for our own spiritual practices to connect with the Guru, God, saints, deities, Nature, etc; as a sure way to surrender that “ego” which is “proud” of being “itself,” and which needs a certain “status.”
In the “normal” world, we have seen that need to “love,” through the romantic scene of finding that “special one.” It is supposed to be a relationship of “equals,” in the best human relationships, nevertheless; many times we find that for one partner to be the center of attention is not unusual, and that becomes unhealthy although accepted. In this type of “give and take” there is no chance for that “higher love” to arise.
In the absence of something to “accomplish,” “to complete,” or something to “become,” there is the enjoyment of “doing” something for the sake of doing it. The “ulterior motive” is the one who kills the expression.
Even in something such as running (Which I understand and have experienced its beauty,) there is sheer enjoyment of simplicity in movement and the opportunity to feel how the body is capable of flowing in effortless, economical movement. That enjoyment could be “killed” when there is the ulterior motive to “beat John in the next race” as “my” goal.
Then, I am “using” running for this “goal,” that is to “show John who I am.” Many will discuss this point. They will say that they “enjoy to compete.” I would correct that, to “you enjoy to show off what you are capable of.” That is ego in action, transformed with the word “good.” To compete is good…. The world depends on it.. 🙂
Enjoyment is without goal. Just like devotion.
When there is no “goal,” flowing happens, transformation happens as long as there is love.
Dear Brother, First of all thank you for your wonderful insights and sharings. I feel really blessed to have found your site! I am relatively new to Gyan….. having ‘followed’ Sr Shivani’s programmes on TV for nearly 4 – 5 years. What really drew me to BK was that this knowledge came from the supreme soul himself….of course via the instrument of Brahma Baba. Having been attending the Centre now for app 1 year, the reverence and worshipping of Brahma Baba can be seen a lot. This I find really confusing. Sisters tell me that if I would sit in front of BB’s picture staring at his eyes, all my questions will be ‘answered’!! I thought we only had to concentrate and focus on Shiv Baba!?? While I understand about BB’s Karmateet stage, I am seriously been struggling with the concept of ‘BAPDADA’ and the ‘bhakti’towards his physical form; and his pre planned seasonal meetings through Gulzardadi! Also the meetings I have seen, it seems to be all Brahma Baba and hardly any Shivbaba words! How can God plan these dates in advance? Please note dearest brother, that I am simply trying to understand these points… not challenging them! I would be so grateful if you would kindly share your valued thoughts and insights to help clarify these points.
Thank you for your kind words.
If you have recognized this knowledge called, “Gyan” as of Godly source or Divine source, then you will have the tools for the next step, which is to be a “self realized” being. It is as simple as that.
Brahma Baba was and “is” an extraordinary being, but so we are. Many times, we are not willing to understand the message and are just happy admiring the messenger. We need to learn to respect that “difference” for everyone is at a different level. In this “university” you have all different grades and levels mixed up. Those who look down upon others, will fail in the subject of ego. Those who feel “bad” when referred in a “low” manner, will fail in self-respect. We learn from each other.
Basically, it works like this: Shiva is God. Shiva had a message. Shiva needs a “chariot” to convey the message. That is Brahma Baba. When both are together, it is known as BapDada. There is always a “filtering” in the message which is brought to us through the filter of Brahma Baba. Dadi Gulzar is the physical chariot for BapDada. There are many other realizations that we could come up with about this, but there is no way to know if we are right or not…but it doesn’t matter! That is not the point. Let us concentrate in the message.
To set a “date” for a meeting with BapDada shouldn’t be an issue, for there is no time in the subtle region.. 🙂 In other words, BapDada is always “there” for us.
Every religion has its own “Godly messenger.” That is how Spirituality is one, but the interpretation of it at different times in history has made the differences. Spirituality has always been about self realization. Consciousness. Everything else are just details.
There are 2 unique things about BK gyan which is important to be aware of: 1) Its philosophy known as Gyan, is able to explain all aspects of life from different points/views of consciousness. Sakar Murlis were based on the physical realm, the intellectual understanding of knowledge based on Hindu devotional background. Avyakt Murlis are in the subtle realm where to understand means to “practice,” to experience. Obviously there is an immense range “in between” these two. That is where BKs are positioned in a numberwise way. Some feel that devotion is love. Some feel that knowledge is to be “interpreted.” Some feel that to know is to interpret things literally, some feel that rituals are part of knowledge, etc, etc.
Find your own “comfort zone,” but respect the rest. Brahma Kumaris as an organization needs to “standardize things,” (like any other religion or large organization) thus, it becomes a religion. It cannot be otherwise, for that standard creates security among followers as far as “how to do things and relate among them.”
Those “standards” may have “devotional” practices to cater to one group, but also there is the possibility to churn gyan in a different way, and that is how you can read this blog. Some like this blog. Others care less. Acceptance is the keyword.
The other unique aspect of Gyan, is that it is typically explained in a “child like language.” In that way, someone without much “spiritual understanding,” nor “intellectually educated,” could grasp the main ideas from their perspective. In this University the teacher teaches to the “understanding” of the “lowest” student. (Unlike any other university.)
That is why, there is “churning.” That is why we have to experience this knowledge and learn from that. That is where your path becomes “personal” from my view.
Dear soul, in my years of experience in Brahma Kumaris, let me suggest this: Learn by churning/realizing the teachings of the teacher. Experiment with that, share your findings not as the “truth” but as your experience and move along with others in accpetance… the rest is of absolute no consequence if you would like your life to prosper in spirituality.
Thank you for your question!
In my experience, I haven’t been in a Western country when that practice takes place. However, in India when I visited a center in Jodphur, I recall such practice somehow.
Traditions and ways of doing things will change among centers in the world and among centers on the same country even. Depends on the person in charge.
Some souls may feel that by doing that practice they are giving respect to Brahma Baba or BapDada as to follow a tradition.
If I am in a BK center where that is required, I will follow that practice out of respect for that center.
However, that is where spirituality separates from religious rituals in my view. That religious ritual is not needed for self realization, but at the same time; to acknowledge someone else’s beliefs; is to show care and love which is part of that self realization.
Thank you for your feedback.
In fact, that is the message. However, it is not that “this brother is sharing his own manmat.” Rather, BapDada has mentioned that as well in avyakt Murlis: “Be equal to the Father.” “To have thoughts of the original self means to bring about transformation.”( Avyakt Murli, March 18, 2012.)
It is not about knowing in theory how to swim or how to praise the “trainer” or coach. It is about swimming, and eventually to swim without a coach as you mentioned. That is to be “equal to the trainer.”
As we are seeing there are many labels for the same “stage of being.” Such as: “karmateet,” “detached observer,” “the witness,” a “trustee,” “Being merged with the Father,” “having all relationships with the Father,” “enlightened,” “self-realized,” etc, etc, etc. Once we realize that the “coach” or trainer is not interested in my praise, is not interested in anything from me; we are free to find that “self.” BapDada in the role of the Father, treats us like little children. However, let us see that a little child cannot be “equal to the Father,” although is required to be a child in order to grow. That is the paradox.
The path is there waiting for us: praising, talking, singing and chanting or having devotion to pictures or people will not take us there. We need to walk the path ourselves at some point.
In my spiritual quest to experience the self, there has been many “landmarks.” Born in a Christian faith; I didn’t begin to really concentrate into Christian teachings until I left High school. It was convenient to believe what everyone believed. It was convenient to continue with that “tradition” for otherwise; I could be considered an “outcast,” a “devil,” etc.
It takes guts to follow your heart. It takes guts to be willing to learn through an experience and to move on following your own path and not through someone else’s. However, the phrase above could be misinterpreted (as it is typically the case) by many and pretty soon everyone will be following their own paths and thus, we will be in the same place as we are right now. 🙂
In order to follow our path, we need to reform the self. Without that “reformation,” there is no path to follow. If there is no recognition of our current state; there is no way to improve unless we recognize that which we need to improve, to heal, to nurture.
Brahma Kumaris appeared in my life as that source of knowing God in a different light. There was an experience but at the same time, there was a “body of knowledge,” which explained logically; what I was looking for.
That experience of the “Divine,” comes through many ways: a vision, feeling blissful energy, having “out of the world” experiences, etc. At that point there is the feeling of wanting to “belong” to God; to be close to Him; for those experiences mean that there is someone “up there” caring for us. That is when a Brahmin child is usually born or any believer of God in any other religion.
As time goes by, this admiration grows. It is about “singing His Praise.” It is about “doing what He wants me to do.” It is about “belonging to Him,” as if God was looking for followers, for someone to caress His “ego.” We do not realize that the “spiritual bait” has been thrown at us according to the Drama so we can reform the self, and that we have been “selected”… However, we misinterpret that opportunity to “die alive,” into sheer admiration for God, we become like artist’s “fans” rather than an artist itself. We begin to live through others.
That “high” in life of being a “fan” starts to move into higher “entropy” little by little. That “high” diminishes… then there is a need to add something to keep us going; that something has been historically the ingredients of “guilt and fear” rather than the environment or the knowledge to experience the self, to be “spiritual.”
Bhakti, devotion makes us oblivious of the true reason of spirituality; the “Know thyself.”
WHERE IS SOUL CONSCIOSUNESS IN BEING A “FAN”? HOW DO WE EXPERIENCE THE SELF IN ALL OF THAT “PARAPHERNELIA”? HOW CAN WE BECOME MASTERS OF THE SELF WHILE BEING DEPENDENT?
Perhaps that is what we need to ask ourselves.
Many claim to “know God.” Many claim to “know the truth,” or that they have the “truth.”
However, if someone tells you that they are “self- realized,” … it will be extremely easy to perceive the reality of that. Devotion is just emotional talk and doing things with that conviction. True spirituality is practical; it is BEING that which we know exists in us. In this we cannot fool others, but perhaps our own self.