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Today, 5 August 2019 has become a historic day in our history as something which could not be done in 70 years has taken shape now. Union Home minister Amit Shah has announced that Article 370 which grants special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir will be scrapped. He also announced that Jammu and Kashmir will no longer be a state and it will be bifurcated into two Union Territories— Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.  read more...
Is ours an ideal democracy!! Hardly so, it is far from being an ideal democracy; where there should be  two equal opponents, like Conservative and Labour party in Britain; like Republican and Democratic party in USA. As for India, for the two major parties here i.e. Congress and BJP there has never been a state of relative equilibrium. There was a time when Congress was all powerful for a long time, BJP had not come into existence then. BJP came into existence and gradually spread its wings and the status now of present election result on 23 May 2019 is that BJP alone bagged 303 seats and 353 seats along with its NDA Alliance. Congress on the other hand could muster only 52 seats; along with UPA, Congress got 91. Other parties won 98 seats. What to talk of equality, Congress party could not win even 55 seats which is the requisite 10 % to become the official opposition. read more...
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The stories are many, true stories, enthralling spiritual stories of people suffering mostly and experiencing the sublime and of those rare cases where there was no suffering but only sublimity because they had excellent samskaras. Khsipram bhavati dharmatma of the Gita is so correct. Those who have led their lives in proper way ethically become dharmatmas soon.

But how many people have led lives like dharmatmas? See most of the people who talk of the spiritual in India. The younger generation of males fall into definable classifiable categories. There are those who have made a career, know some Sanskrit, have lot of money, and lead the life of a second class citizen in a foreign country. They have read some religious books and now, in their thirties or forties, think that they are authorities on every aspect of spiritual life, kundalini, mantra shastra, and anything and everything on which the new age opportunists of USA have written books and made money.

For those Americans, Russians and other westerners, Hinduism, ayurveda, yoga, jyotisha are commercial commodities for which there is a market in the west coast including highly lucrative organized tours of India. Indians fall into this trap, make lot of noise on the internet, on their websites, betraying more ignorance
and arrogance than modesty and humility. If he is a Hindu Brahmin the noise is endless.

It is not a spiritual revolution. It is a disturbance, an aberration. To this, he adds astrology as a supporting cheating aid. Later, astrology becomes his source of income and gurudom recedes in the background. Count and make a list of such cases you know of and you will be suprised. I have seen enough of it in USA later, in Russia and am aware of it spreading in Germany, France, Italy , Australia and even New Zealand.

Good examples
But I will concede that some of these foreigners become truly spiritual. One of them from Australia used to meet me about twenty years ago and he got tired of those commercial Indian gurus who have spread their nets wide and earned fabulously but cannot enter some countries because of court cases against them.
He persisted and finally sought a  real good guru in Kashmir and knew the value of vairagya and gyan unlike many India reeling off their knowledge immodestly. He soon discovered how the devilish foreign women coming to India chase them even in gurus’s ashrams for dating. But this man was amazing and set his spiritual aims very properly.

The second an American with a very understanding wife both of whom have taken to spiritual life in the truest spirit of the Bhagwatam and prefer the seclusion of Govardhan. When this man drops in once in a while at my place, he appears to be so calm, so concentrated on his sadhana without any distractions. The best place for sadhana according to him is Govardhan.

Now read the last kanda, the uttarkanda of Ramcharit Manas or the last of skandaSrimad Bhagvatam or the Vishnu Purana about the tendencies of Kaliyuga to know why this too has to happen---the fraud along with genuine spiritual renaissance.

Keep away from it, read the works of saint poets again and again, Kabirdas particularly because he delivers poetic hammer blows the blind guru and the deaf disciple etc. the guru who knows how to take away your property not griefs.

Watch this dispassionately and see how well it was all foretold and anticipated  as tendencies of Kaliyuga. Become aware it.

In trying to discover the eternal India what you will meet most of the time is  that Kaliyugi guru, preacher, the astrologer prescribing his remedies at a high cost.

Your discovery begins when you succeed in steering clear of all these.

For nearly twenty seven years, I had the grace of God to meet extraordinary mahatmas. In 1963 when I could visit Vrindavan almost on every week end I invariably met some great mahatma. I had no demand, no greed. Once I had heard of a tall, lean, dark bodied mahatma who did parikarma of Vrindavan very fast. Once I saw him and ran to get near him. He stopped suddenly, turned towards me and said in Hindi. “ Badi kripa ki Radharani ne. Ab itni door jayoge ki Vrindavan aane ke liye tadapoge”.

(Radharani has been very kind to you. Now you are going to go away so far that you will pine to visit to Vrindavan.) He then walked away fast, leaving me
stunned. I never met him again.

Back to my office, I got my transfer order to a different station from where for four years I could not visit Vrindavan. Who was that mahatma who warned me of the coming disturbance to my week end blissful pilgrimage to Vrindavan ? He prepared me for a shock.

Is the meaning clear ? You can visit a great pilgrimage when there is the grace of God. You need grace of God to meet a true mahatma. Binu Hari kripa nahi mile santa. (Without the grace of God you cannot meet a saint.)

I am writing this to tell some people of the west who ask me or write to me to show them a mahatma who can show them God in the first meeting!! They should remember: first deserve then desire. They have read some books, read about some saints of India and think that they are available in every street and corner here as though there were pieces of vegetables. That is an extremely vulgar attitude which has come to stay in the western mind now as in the days of imperialism it was the snake charmer and rope trick.

India is a land of great seers, it always was, and always will be. A great Mahatma may be walking in front of you in an Indian pilgrimage and you may never know. He leads an anonymous life and he loves his anonymity. In that sense the only foreigner who seemed to have been lucky perhaps was Paul Brunton of the “In Search of Secret India” fame.

But what happens after you meet great mahatmas? Nothing. They drive you away. They love their loneliness, their divine hours. Human company is a disturbance, a distraction.

The Kaliyugi among the saffron clad want to cultivate you if they think that you can promote them, raise funds for their ashrams and various activities. I am giving you a hint here. They gatecrash into religious television channels buying their telecast time at a huge price.

Do not be influenced by the New Age frauds of USA who do ranking of Indian mahatmas and tabulate them them according to the marks they give!! When I saw such frauds in USA, I started wondering why it was being done. Do not treat the great Indian mahatma as a sight seeing item on your next trip to India.

At one stage you will begin to ask what is the use of great mahatmas? At any rate, you will have to sit down in your own place, lead a cloistered existence and spend time in God contemplation as the great mahatmas have done and are doing. If that lesson has been learnt, meeting mahatmas has served its purpose. If that happens to you, it is in God’s scheme. That is your destiny.

must lead to cloistered life
Cloistered life must lead to non-attachment
Non-attachment must lead to cosmic truth
That is true spiritual life.

So ask yourself, do you really want to meet a mahatma?

(14 Jan 2008)

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