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SACRED
THOUGHT




Geeta Ashram Malaysia
No 6, Lorong Utara B, 46200 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
Telephone/Fax: 603-79564267



www.geetamalaysia.org

1

GEETA ASHRAM MALAYSIA Founder President:
H.H. Swami Hari Har Ji Maharaj


MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE 2020-2022
President:
Chandru Binwani

Deputy President:
Dr Sarinder Kumari

Vice Presidents:
Kishan Kumar Agarwal
Vanita Rani

Honorary General Secretary:
Usha Devi

Honorary Assistant Secretary:
Anita Sharma

Honorary Treasurer:
Dr Diljeet Kumar Bhanot

Honorary Assistant Treasurer:
Satish Bhardwaj

Committee Members:
Puran Chand Rekhraj
Datuk Fateh Chand
Hetish Sharma
Tilak Raj
Rajinder Raj
Raman Kukreja
Dr Rumesh Kumar
Narain D. Joshi
Lal Mahadev

RESIDENT PRIEST
Pandit Amarnath Upadhyaya

EDITORIAL BOARD
Dr Diljeet Kumar Bhanot (Editor)
Tangamani Menon
Chandru Binwani
Vanita Rani
Dr Rumesh Kumar
Asha Devi


SACRED THOUGHT
August 2021 <><><> Volume 44

For internal circulation only

Contents

Editorial Note2
Recitation of the Bhagavad Geeta (Video)
H.H. Shri Swami Hari Har Ji Maharaj
3
Message from the President
Shri Chandru Binwani
4
Geeta Dham India5
A Few Drops of Nectar (1)
T R Sharma
6
Shree Janmashtami
7
Width of Appeal, Depth of Insight & Timeless Purity
of the Bhagavad Geeta : Dr Rumesh Kumar
8
Two Important Concepts In the Geeta:
Yoga Sastre & Brahm Vidya: Sukhdev Seoni
10
Regular Activities at Geeta Ashram Malaysia12
The Holy Feet of Swami Hari Harji Maharaj12a

2
EDITORIAL NOTE

The Covid-19 Pandemic - NATURE STRIKES BACK

The Covid-19 pandemic examplifies Nature’s proactive response to the selfish and arrogant behaviour of humans. Nature is sending us a message. We need to change our lifestyle and our attitude towards Nature. Exploiting Nature and abusing our planet Earth will have serious repercussions. Having unravelled just a minute portion of Nature’s secrets, we think that we can subjugate Nature. We look down upon and exploit non-human species. We attempt to alter the rules of the game, forgetting that Nature has its own arsenal of weapons to take revenge, including biological weapons in the form of Zoonoses like yellow fever, plague, Ebola, SARS, MERS ... and, most recently, Covid-19.

Deforestation, climate change (global warming) with disruption of the natural ecosystems, habitat fragmentation and loss of biodiversity contribute towards the emergence and transmission of new infections from animals to humans and also the increasing vulnerability of humans to new diseases. The outbreak of Covid-19 is an example of Nature’s response to human behaviour. We have to change our lifestyle and our attitude towards Nature.

Humanity is waging a "suicidal" war on the natural world. Nature is striking back, with greater force and fury, Nature is sending us a message with the coronavirus pandemic. Humanity is placing too many pressures on the natural world with damaging consequences. The Covid-19 outbreak is a clear warning from Nature that today’s civilisation is playing with fire. It is almost always human behaviour that causes diseases to spill over to human populations.

Add to the recipe for disaster the live animal markets which serve as an ideal mixing bowl for zoonotic disease. And we definitely cannot ignore the alarming evidence that the Covid-19 virus was not naturally-occurring but was laboratory created through genetic engineering.

While the immediate priority is to protect people from the coronavirus and prevent its spread, we must also look at the bigger picture and stop playing God if we want to avert a disaster for mankind. Surely we humans do no want to end up with the same fate as the dinosaurs.

Meanwhile, at the Ashram, activities have been curtailed to meet the present protocols. Face masks and social distancing are mandatory and accepted as the new norm. Devotees register themselves at the entrance and have their temperature recorded before admission into the premises. Most devotees prefer to play safe and follow the proceedings online via Facebook, Youtube or Zoom.

                   


3
Listen to
All 18 Chapters of the Bhagavad Geeta







Recited in his own melodious voice by
Swami Hari Harji Maharaj

4
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
JANMASHTAMI GREETINGS

Every year Geeta devotees all over the world celebrate Shree Krishna Janmashtami, with great devotion and shraddha, to commemorate the advent of the Lord in human form.

This event took place some 5258 years back. At the stroke of 12 midnight, the Immperishable, Unmanifest, All-Pervading, Supreme Brahman manifest Himself as the son of Mother Devaki and Father Vasudev in a dungeon, guarded by Kansa’s men, in the city of Mathura in India.

Dear readers, you are aware that the birth of Lord Krishna was not anything like ours, coming out of the wombs of our mothers. Vivid descriptions of the Divine form of Lord Krishna are given in our scriptures. In the Bhagavad Geeta, Shree Krishna does not make any mention to Arjuna about his birth and simply calls it Divine.

Janma karma ca me divyam, evam yo vetti tattvatah
Tyaktva deham punarjanma, nai ti mam eti so 'rjuna
(BG 4:9)

Meaning: Thus, he who knows in true light My divine birth and actions, on leaving his body he is not reborn but comes to me, O Arjuna.

The Lord explains the reason for referring to His birth as divine but He does not provide a description of the form which he took at the time of His 'birth' (Avataar). Mention is made in Sri Bhagwatam about Devaki addressing her son who appears before her having four arms decorated with conch, chakra, mace and lotus. She requests the Lord to please hide His extraordinary Divine form during his 'birth'. The Lord not only obeys His Mother but requests his father Vasudev Ji to take him out of prison in a basket to the endearing arms of his foster mother Maa Yashoda.

My dear devotees, we may not be able to celebrate Janmashtami in our temples or Ashrams due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but we can all still celebrate Janmashtami via Zoom or Facebook.

Whether we pray to the Lord physically or via Zoom it makes no difference as long we do it with FAITH AND DEVOTION. HE WILL ANSWER OUR PRAYERS.

Yours in the service of Guru, Geeta and Gopal

CHANDRU BINWANI
President
Geeta Ashram Malaysia


5
GEETA DHAM INDIA


There are four well-recognised Dhams located in the four corners of India at Dwarka, Badrinath, Puri and Rameshwaram. Swami Hariharji Maharaj established the Geeta Dham on 90 acres of land at Tinwari, near Jodhpur, Rajasthan, in a more central part of India. Swamiji envisaged the need to have a centre to act as a spiritual lighthouse for propagating the teachings of the Geeta. Swamiji wanted the Geeta Dham to serve as an international centre for research in the philosophy of the Geeta. His Holiness prepared an ambitious blueprint with 27 projects within the Geeta Dham complex. A number of them were completed during his lifetime and the stride of development never ceased after that. The main projects include the following - Gurukul Vidya Mandir, Gaushala, Gobar Gas Plants & Vermiculture Plants, Solar Energy Plants, Medical Services, Bal-Gopal Project, Medicinal Plant Project and Gurudev's Memoirs.


6
A FEW DROPS OF NECTAR (1)
by T R Sharma

The glory of the Geeta, impossible to describe;
Possible to write, but difficult to subscribe.

Supreme spiritual mystery for all time;
Our knowledge of it being less than a dime.

There being no parallel in any other scripture;
Such divine knowledge is impossible to picture.

Encompassing the essence of all scriptures in it;
Comprehending it fully may be beyond our wit.

Emanating directly from the Supreme Lord;
Each word of the Geeta holds a hidden magical chord.

A divine torchlight in a world of gloom;
A path of salvation from impending doom.


7
JANMASHTAMI


The Krishna Janmashtami festival marks the incarnation of the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu in the physical form of Lord Krishna. This is estimated to have taken place in the year 3228 BC.

Janmashtami is celebrated on the eighth day (ashtami) of the dark fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada (August / September). This is eight days after Raksha Bandhan, a festival celebrating the bond between brothers and sisters.

Lord Krishna's life marks the passing of the Dvapara age and the beginning of Kalyuga (which is the current age).

This year Janmashtami is being celebrated on Monday, 30 August 2021.

Further details regarding the circumstances surrounding this auspicious incarnation of the Lord are provided in the video above.


8
WIDTH OF APPEAL, DEPTH OF INSIGHT & TIMELESS PURITY OF THE BHAGAVAD GEETA
Dr Rumesh Kumar Sharma



Scriptures are meant to dovetail the minds of people towards their creator. To enable them to dwell into a world of the surreal while they remain deeply rooted in the reality of life. To bring a sense of hope that over powers hopelessness. To unleash true knowledge to dispel the darkness of ignorance that shackles the minds of the masses.

To be able to do all of the above, scriptures should have content that appeal to many people, the content should be thought provoking and engaging, the message conveyed should stand the test of time.

Among all authoritative revealed scriptures that exist, the Bhagavad Geetha towers them all. Three characteristics of the Bhagavad Geetha brings me to this conclusion. The width of its appeal, the depth of insight it offers and the timeless purity of message it delivers.

The opening chapter of the Bhagavad Geetha itself reflects the width of its appeal as it pulls at the heartstrings of all readers who are either in the state of ignorance, passion or goodness.


9

Width of its appeal
Dhritarashtra, who is blind, in the very first verse enquires about what is about to happen in the battlefield (BG Chap 1 verse 1). Desirous of knowing the outcome of the war but not being engaged in the war directly but being dependent on others leads to worry, confusion and anxiousness. These are typical characteristics of people in the mode of ignorance.

Duryodhana wanted to act in order to win. Highly arrogant of his army and his strength, his focus was on himself and his requirements (BG Chap 1 verse 11). This characteristic applies to people in the mode of passion.

Arjuna was too attached to his siblings and his teachers. He could not soak in hands in the blood of his elders due to the overwhelming compassion he had for them (BG Chap 1 verse 5). This characterizes people in the mode of goodness who care more for others than they do for themselves.

Since everyone is at varying stages of ignorance, passion and goodness, the Bhagavad Geetha is meant for and appeals to all human beings irrespective of caste, creed, religion and nationality, unlike other scriptures that are meant for specific categories of people. This indicates the width of its appeal.

Depth of its insight
The depth of insight the Bhagavad Geetha offers is limitless. It is a reservoir of knowledge that supersedes all knowledge (BG Chap 7 verse 2) as the messages therein reverberates at different frequencies to different minds of readers who possess different levels of maturity.

Other scriptures focus on hammering home codes of conduct that people should adhere it. They have to be fully understood and applied so that one enters the heavens above.

By reading the Bhagavad Geetha one can never proclaim the message is fully understood. The more one reads the same verse, and makes a conscious attempt to internalize it, the deeper one plunges into the depths of understanding that the Bhagavad Geetha offers in terms of liberating the soul from the clutches of illusory energy.

The Bhagavad Geetha does not convey the codes of conduct. Rather it conveys how to transcend the codes of conduct to escape the cycle of birth and death and be liberated even from the heavens above((BG Chap 6 verse 44).

Timeless purity of its message
Other scriptures have to be amended to suit changing times and circumstances such as the new and old testaments, even for religions than are around 2,000 years old. The message of the Bhagavad Geetha has and will never change for the last 5,000 years. It was relevant then as it is today. It will remain relevant forevermore.

Almost every verse spoken by the Lord is applicable today and every question posed by Arjuna then is a question till today we seek answers for. Questions such as “what is the root cause of sin?” ((BG Chap verse 36) were pertinent then and is pertinent now.

The Bhagavad Gita conveys the art of living a life in accordance with His plans. The message is eternal just like the person who delivered the eternal message is eternal, Lord Sri Krishna.

As such the width of its appeal, the depth of insight it offers and the timeless purity of message it delivers is unmatched compared to other authoritative revealed scriptures.


10
Two Important Concepts In the Geeta:
Yoga Sastre & Brahm Vidya
by Sukhdev Seoni

As we read the Bhagavad Geeta, we are reminded, in the conclusion of each chapter, about two concepts: Yoga Sastre and Brahm Vidya. This is a very central teaching of the Bhagavad Geeta.

There must be some reason why these two concepts are repeated and it is useful to understand them and how they are connected.

Very simply, one could view Yoga as the path to the goal of Brahm, Atma, the Totality.

Yoga
All the chapter titles have the word Yoga; the word yoga appears at least 78 times in the Bhagavad Gita. It simply means union. Other related words like "unity" or "united" appear more widespread in the Bhagavad Geeta.

The Bhagavad Geeta is referred to as Yoga-Shastre firstly because it teaches yoga. A teaching of practical life - it is a discourse of Yoga Shastre, the Scripture of Yoga, the science of Divine Union. Its truth is far removed from imagination or mood-making. It is not just a philosophy. It is realizable truth and one can derive practical benefits from it.

Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means "union¡" - not the union of the fingers and the toes or the forehead and the knee (Hatha Yoga) - but something far more grand:

  • Union of self with SELF (Atma). (see my earlier article: You Are Born Rich, Powerful & Beautiful)
  • It is also about the integration of life. This union of the two sides of life, the ever-changing and the never-changing, the limited and the unbounded, is the accomplishment of Yoga in the true sense of the word
  • The union of the Absolute and the Relative within our own life. With Transcendental Meditation (TM), this integration of life's inner and outer phases is an effortless process, involving neither concentration nor control. (see my article: Two Aspects of Life: An Objective Viewpoint)
  • Union of the individuality with the cosmic unboundedness
  • Yoga is the quality that unifies differences: the quality that allows differences to be integrated and form a meaningful whole


11

As we read Bhagavad Gita, we become aware of the path of Yoga and the states and qualities that arise. Now, there are many systems: Karma Yoga, Gyan Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Hatha Yoga, etc. Know more, see video link: https://youtu.be/OPwQfr3kjLY To know more about Yoga and its philosophy, one could read the "Yoga Sutras of Patanjali".

Brahm
Brahma Vidya - the wisdom of the full life, the wisdom of the Absolute and the Relative in both its aspects, theoretical and practical. The theoretical aspect is called the wisdom of Sankhya; it brings understanding of the absolute and the Relative fields of life as separate, one from another. The practical aspect is called Yoga, and it brings direct experience of these two fields of life in separation. What is Brahm?

  1. "The reality of the Self is Brahm¨ (Ayam Atma Brahma, Mandukya Upanishad).
  2. The Self is TOTALITY - WHOLENESS.
  3. This SELF, Atma is TOTALITY, BRAHM, a state of complete enlightenment. In its fully blossomed state it is expressed as Aham Brahmasmi: I am Totality - WHOLENESS.

Practical Value
Union is in Samadhi and Dhyan [Transcendental Meditation] leads to Samadhi. Dhyan is that which takes the mind from the field of gross experience, takes it to the subtle experience, takes it to the quietude of the transcendental area. Dhyan or meditation is a direct way to Samadhi which is Yoga. TM is easy to learn, enjoyable to practice and effective with 600 plus scientifically proven studies .... try ... http://transcendental-meditation.my

Being established in Yoga means that you never lose access to that vast storehouse of intelligence and dynamism at the level of the Unified Field. Maharishi also emphasises the role of the mind in spiritual development, but most importantly emphasises that his knowledge is "practical" and we can benefit in mind, health, interpersonal relationships and world peace, etc. "Yoga is skill in action". (BG 2 v 50)

Conclusion
We all know Arjuna as a highly developed individual: highly developed mind, heart and body, a great warrior (Partha, greatest archer of his time), good character, knowledge of scriptures, etc. However, he is put to the ultimate tests/ stress in the external battlefields in Kurukshetra (truly Mahabharat). The external battlefields can be overwhelming and become internal battles. Arjuna succumbs mentally, physically, emotionally. He collapses, is confused, helpless, depressed and despondent. We have had our personal times of Arjuna in chap one.

The current Covid 19 pandemic / battlefield affects many in different ways, and can have traumatic "breaking down effects (opposite of the integration of Yoga)" and I am reminded of this great teaching of practical value of Brahm Vidya and Yoga Shastre.

Acknowledgements and know more:

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on the Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation and Commentary Chap 1-6

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on Patanjali's Yoga Sutras: Clears misconceptions on Eight limbs of Yoga or Eight Steps. Enjoy video link: https://youtu.be/fatLopFLmns


12
REGULAR ACTIVITIES AT GEETA ASHRAM MALAYSIA
Daily Activities
Daily Pooja: Panditji performs a short pooja at sunrise and again at sunset

Weekly Activities
The main weekly activities are Hanuman Chalisa recitation by Panditji on Tuesday evening (7.00 - 8.00 pm) and the Sunday morning Satsang programme (11.00 - 11.45 am).
Other activities include Bhagavad Geeta classes for adults, Yoga classes, Children's Geeta classes and Hindi classes. Most of these activities are on hold because of restictions imposed in view of the current Covid-19 pandemic.


Other Celebrations and Festivals

Purnima: is celebrated on Full Moon day with recitation of all 18 chapters of the Geeta.

Holi coincides with the birthday of our beloved Guruji. Geeta Havan is performed in the morning. The evening programme includes the singing of bhajans, aarti, chanting of Guru Vandana and recitation of Chapter 12, followed by lighting of the Holi fire, mantra chanting and circumambulation of the fire. It culminates in personalized Guru Pooja led by Panditji.

Hanuman Jayanti celebrations coincide with Purnima. Special prayers are conducted by Panditji, the Mool Mantra (Om Shree Hanumante Namaha) is chanted, and the Hanuman Chalisa is recited.

Bhajan Yatra is a bhajan-singing marathon with groups of musicians and singers from various organisations joining the Geeta Ashram group in an evening of music and bhajans.

Guru Purnima is celebrated with chanting of all 18 chapters of the Geeta in the morning, followed by an evening of bhajans, recitation of Hanuman Chalisa, Guru Vandana and recitation of Chapter 12. Devotees offer their obeisance/dakshina at the Guru’s feet.

Shri Ganesh Chaturthi starts off with Havan in the morning, followed by prayers and bhajans extolling the glories of Lord Ganesh. The 108 names of Lord Ganesh are chanted followed by Aarti.

Shree Krishna Janmashtami: Geeta Havan in the morning, and an evening of prayers, bhajans and a children's programme of dance and drama, climaxing with Shree Krishna aarti at midnight.

Geeta Jayanti is an 18-day celebration which begins with the 1st Chapter and ends with the 18th Chapter. A chapter (in serial order) is recited and explained daily. In 2012 the grand finale was the 18-kund Havan on the final day.

Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam: On New Year's eve, the 1008 names of Maha Vishnu are chanted as devotees offer flowers to the lighted lamp.

Other activities include the 40-day Hanuman Pooja, the quarterly Havans and talks by visiting Swamis and guest speakers.

For any enquiries regarding any specific activity, please contact the Honorary Secretary, Usha Devi, at telephone number +6 013 3939858


12a


The Holy Feet of Swami Hari Har Ji Maharaj