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Friday, September 28, 2012

Did You Know This About The Gayathri?

J. B. S. Haldane was a British-born geneticist and evolutionary biologist who is known for his contribution to human genetics. While intellectually he was a thorough scientist who strongly advocated quantitative study of biology, at heart he was a socialist. 

In fact at one point he got so disappointed with the imperialistic ways of the British Government that he left that country, came to India and even became an Indian citizen. India according to him is the “closest approximation to the Free World.”

But that is not the reason why I am writing about him. There is something else he has said about a facet of Indian culture which captured my attention, and that pertains to a vital Vedic verse. "The Gayatri Mantra should be carved on the doors of every laboratory of the world" he wrote.

One prayer that promotes the acquisition of Divine Power is the Gayathri Mantra,” Baba declared in a discourse on February 25 1965.

And yesterday I met Captain Yasas, a former Indian Air Force pilot, who is nearly 70 years old. He was diagnosed with terrible deficiency of Vitamin D (the count was 4 while it should be 30), and post a few months of chanting the Gayathri Mantra regularly, his count has increased to 24, and all the while he has been fit as a fiddle working 16 hrs everyday.

In January 2011 I had spoken to a gentleman from Venezuela who from being a small-time salesman has today risen to the position of being the private secretary to the Foreign Minister of Venezuela. His name is Homar Farhon Viera Rodriquez. Ask him how he made it and he says, “The Gayathri Mantra!” (You can listen to the entire interview here).

Dr. Srinivas Rao, from Belthur, Bangalore, was struggling to get his thesis for Ph. D reviewed and approved for 18 months with no success. Someone told him why don't you start chanting the Gayathri Mantra. He began and in the next 15 days he was a doctorate.

The most fascinating story I heard about the power of this Mantra is this – even though this belongs to the pre-independence era it is really revealing.

To the village Garrepalli (Karimnagar district of AP) came a new Tahsildar. As he stepped into his office he noticed a disgusting scene. With utter disrespect his assistant was sitting on the chair with his legs placed on his table. No one in that office for years dared to question the acts of this individual because it was known that he was a dangerous man adept in black magic.

When the new officer accosted and threatened this man saying if he did not change his behaviour he would certainly fire him, this is the reply he got: “You will not be alive tomorrow to come to this office, let alone sacking me.”

And that night a saint who was highly revered and respected by the villagers saw this mysterious sight:

An ugly and grotesque looking lady tried to storm into the residence of the new Tahsildar but in vain. 

At every door and window of the house this evil-looking being was stopped by a resplendent little girl. When repeated attempts to enter inside failed, the demoness retreated but now her anger, fury and speed was double than before.

The next morning the saint narrated this episode to the new officer and finally asked, “Do you chant the Gayathri Mantra?” and the Tahsildar said, “It has been my practise to chant this hymn 1008 times everyday for many years.” 

“Then that explains everything,” said the saint, “Mother Gayathri is zealously protecting you.”

When the Tehsildar went to his office that day, news was rife that the assistant had mysteriously died the previous night. “That is because the malicious being he had created had to take a life to satiate herself and she had no other option,” explained the saint.

Till this day, the residence of this Tehsildar is where a place of worship stands, for it is here that Mother Gayathri had chosen to manifest herself.

I heard this from Ranganatha Raju, an alumnus of Baba's University, whose grandfather lived in Garrepalli for decades and knew all about this account in great detail.

If you chant the Gayathri Mantra you do not need to chant any other devotional or vedic hymn... it will bestow on you all power and talents,” Baba said on August 23, 1995.

And now every other day I meet people who have been saved or promoted or awarded or cured, thanks to this powerful hymn.

Some of them in fact have done some interesting experiments with this Vedic verse. More about it in future posts. Meanwhile, if you have any thoughts or experiences on this, please do share.

The inspiration for this blog was this ceremony of more than 600 young children being blessed with their sacred thread ceremony yesterday (Sep 27, 2012). What a glorious event it was in this Divine hamlet of Prasanthi!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Other 9/11s

The South and North Towers of WTC came down, the Pentagon was attacked, 3000 people lost their lives, victims came from 90 countries, the fire at Ground Zero burned for 99 days, prohibited items on aircraft cabins increased to 65 from 30... we know the gruesome tale of 9/11 2001 and its appalling aftermath.

This 9/11 understandably has left an unpleasant and hard-to-erase mark on collective consciousness of mankind.

Interestingly however I discovered that history has gifted us really momentous and indeed glorious 9/11s – events that in a manner of sorts did shake the world, but shook it not to plunge it into depths of deep depression like it happened in 2001 but to raise it to exalted heights of renewed inspiration.

Swami Vivekananda, the powerhouse of a patriotic saint, stunned the packed hall in the Parliament of Religions in Chicago with his electrifying eloquence, overwhelming warmth and overpowering wisdom on this day. It was 9/11 1893.

We know how the jam-packed audience of 7000 American men and women continued to applause unceasingly for two full minutes when this Oracle from the East rose to the rostrum and said, “Brothers and Sisters of America”. That of course was the beginning but what he said after that on this day was indeed prophetic.

Among other things, at one point towards the end of this historic address, he says:

Sectarianism, bigotry, and it's horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful Earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization, and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now.”

When I reflected on this I said to myself “Isn't this what 9/11 2001 all about?”

In fact, even though 3000 people lost their lives on September 11, 2001, civilian deaths due to the so-called 'War on Terror' has taken away atleast 14,000 to 120000 lives every year since 2001 in various countries from Iraq, Afganistan and Pakistan to countries in Africa and Middle East.

And the US government in the last decade has spent 3.2 to 4 trillion dollars on war and war-related expenditure. And the count is still on.... even as the economy of this country struggles to find its ground.

If only 9/11 1893 was accorded a little more genuine respect than mere enthusiastic applause, then probably the world could have been saved from a 9/11 2001 and its terrible aftermath.

R K Karanjia's Book
Again, as if to emphasise this utter futility of fighting hate with artillery, history has it that Gandhiji started his Satyagraha movement in South Africa on September 11. This was 9/11 1906!

And here is the cherry on the top. R K Karanzia, the eminent journalist who had first published an article deriding Bhagawan in his magazine Blitz, came to Swami, had the opportunity to not only see Him but also interview Him and later published this revealing conversation in his periodical with the title “God is an Indian”. This happened on September 11, 1976!

Karanjia asks Bhagawan if there would again be another massive Mahabharata-type of war to get rid of the evil forces, and Swami replies:

It is to prevent such a catastrophe that this Avathar has come....”

What is the solution to the escalating conflict between wealth and power on one side and poverty and weakness on the other?” he asks again.

And Swami says, “This barrier can be broken by creating a feeling of equality and oneness between the rich and the poor... When man realises his essential Divinity, he will acquire equal-mindedness towards all beings... This fundamental oneness has to be made manifest through the persuasive expanding power of love.”

Sounds philosophical, but isn't this profoundly practical too!

If any of these previous 9/11s (from 1893 to 1906 to 1976) had received even one-hundredth of the attention that 9/11 2001 received, then probably as Swami Vivekananda said “human society would be far more advanced than it is now” in true sense of this statement.