india

When Rahu met a Super Star

It is funny how in today’s world of ‘Rahu’ Kaal (The immortal North Node) we consider that a hero who can show much physical strength and power, often shown in movies with special physical powers as that of Spiderman, Ironman and so on. And even though there is emphasis on the internal strength and concentrated energies to activate and sustain those super powers, yet there is just a heavy bodily element there.

The Super Star I am talking about today is nothing like that. He possessed no particular bodily powers and in fact, did not need any. Dated back to 599 B.C. he was and continues to remain one of the most inspiring figures in Indian History. Originally known as ‘Vardhaman’ (birth name), he gained the title of * MAHAVIR (Maha = Super or Great, Vir = Courageous). Thousands of Jain followers bow to Mahavir Bhagwan (Bhagwan = God) on this special day of his Birth (Mahavir Jayanti; Jayanti = Birthday). As per the English calender it fell on April 1, 2018.

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For those who are new to JAINISM- It has been comparatively a small but extremely powerful SECT within the Indian cultural setting. Jains are followers of Jainism – a religion that focuses heavily on liberation of the soul by means of conquering the 5 senses and living a life of renunciation and unconditional love. Lord Mahavir was the 24th, last of the Tirthankars (Guide, Spiritual Teacher) of Jainism in this Era of the Earth’s cycle.

I have been lucky to be born in a highly religious Jain family, a family which owned a Jain Temple in India which was open to public. Not only did we pray diligently, we did several group satsangs (spiritual meetings) and attended religious teachings where we were taught and guided by inspiring stories of Lord Mahavir and other previous Jain Lords.

So What makes Lord Mahavir a Super Hero after all?

Mahavir Bhagwan was born in the city of Vaishali (current day Bihar) in a wealthy, kingly family of King Siddharth and Queen Trishala. The birth of a great man was expected by the 14 auspicious dream symbols his pregnant mom received in her sleep.

 

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Despite having several wordly pleasures and services at his command, he exhibited a kind, virtuous nature and deep respect of his parents since childhood. As per his parents’ wishes he married beautiful Yashoda at a young age and had a daughter with her. Vardhaman had immense love from family, good health and unimaginable prosperity and yet he continued to feel disconnected, detached from all those worldly pleasures. He donated tons and tons of gold and charity with ease to several of his people. 2 years after his parents’ demise, he renounced all his worldly pleasures, prosperity, personal bonds and became a homeless ascetic in the search for TRUTH and ENLIGHTENMENT.

For 12.5 years after that he spent his life in a single piece of cloth (to give up sensual pleasure, Jainism taught giving up all that belonged to one’s senses and using the bear minimum needed for survival), with no other bodily belongings (no shoes, no jewelry, no possessions or belongings) and deeply meditated in the jungles with silence and discipline. His massive courage was depicted by his unconditional patience and kindness towards animals, humans and demons who made every attempt to harm him and break his indomitable meditative pose. He was whipped, burnt, bitten, hurt, hammered into by cruel deeds and yet he remained unwavering in his resolve to be at peace and silence. In his meditations he received deep revelations about God, Godliness and liberation from Life and death.

 

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Once of the most powerful stories of Lord Mahavir’s monk life is when he was passing through a jungle path and all villagers had warned him to stay away from that path for the venomous and outrageous snake (Chandkaushik) would immediately kill all those who walked that path. When Lord Mahavir exhibited invincible courage and walked that path with a heart full of unconditional love and peace for the snake, the villagers did not expect him to see him alive again. The snake tried all he could to defeat and scare Lord Mahavir with his fierce moves, bites and behavior. Not only did the snake bite heal itself on Lord Mahavir’s feet but he shed white milk liquid from his body instead of blood when he was bitten. With his loving heart, Lord Mahavir held up his right palm to bless the snake and eventually with his unconditional love, he melt all of the snake’s anger and even healed the snake’s past life emotional patterns of rage and pride. The snake bowed to Lord Mahavir and the villagers could then safely travel that path never to worry again about being attacked.

 

Many a stories have been told about Lord Mahavir’s UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, irrevocable KINDNESS and unshakeable internal will power. There were days and weeks he spent on forced fast with no food to be found anywhere as he refused to eat Non-Vegetarian (organisms with 3 or more senses) or Underground food (roots have unlimited amounts of micro-organisms) of any kind. He liberated Chandanbala from her shackles and ultimately attained Kevalgyan (ULtimate, Universal Knowledge) owing to his constant dedication to peaceful instrospection. Kevalgyan is attained only by those who are completely conquered the 5 senses, have no sensual desires left to fulfill.

He then sermoned for several years, enlightening not only humans of all languages but even animals and other organisms by his own single speech and dialect (He was internally so powerful that each organism understood his speech in their own language). His spirit was then liberated from the birth-death cycle forever and became an enlightened, liberted soul, inspiring, motivating and guiding millions of Jain followers for centuries later.

 

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My love for Mahavir Swami (Swami = Lord) is very deep. When I was in my early 20s and had visited Jodhpur, Rajastan, my family went up to the top of the fort to get the view of the city and tour the fort. I however, sat a full 2 hours in Mahavir Swami’s temple, looked at him, meditated and cried for wanting to be like him, with him, following his path. Post that deep connection that I had found with him in that temple, Lord Mahavir visited me in my dreams early in the morning on the way back to my home. The bright, bold Halo around his head and his charismatic presence and words are still fresh in my mind – soul after a decade and a half.

It was Lord Mahavir who gave us the words – “LIVE and LET LIVE” which meant do no harm to others not only by action but also by thought (don’t judge, don’t criticise, don’t anger) and allow others the freedom to self-expression and life.

Today across the world Lord Mahavir’s Jayanti (birthday) was celebrated with pomp and joy. My celebration of this day was by a Loving Silence for a few minutes and stories of Mahavir Swami’s courage and kindness to my young daughter.

So if you ask me who is my role model, you know that it is no human born in this era! So what or who do you call a SUPER HERO, a SUPER STAR? One that embodies unlimited physical strength to win others through physical power or one that exhibits ultimate Soul Power merely by Unconditional Love, Kindness and Will Power?? What kind of power would you want your children to learn? How do we resolved conflicts in our lives??

* Please note that many Indian names and words don’t traditionally end in an ‘a’ . The ‘a’ in the end is what I have found as an adaption by the western world. There is nothing like Yoga in traditional Indian dictionary or dialect. It is Yog (Exercise of the Soul), It is Mahavir not Mahavira and so on..

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Astrology

Great Myths & Misconceptions of Astrology. Things you probably never knew!

Last week, when I created my Astrology Study Group on facebook, 27 people wrote to me, asking me to look at their or their kids’ or husbands’ charts. I have been that person who has always been attracted to Astrology even though my family never depicted that. In terms of Astrology, my passion is to help people understand the TRUE MEANING AND PURPOSE OF ASTROLOGY. We are highly MISGUIDED in our knowledge and use of Astrology.  There is so much I can say about this. Truly! and some of it, I have explained in my video at the end of this article. Do hear the video, there is lots of great information on Astrology in it. Below are some MISCONCEPTIONS we have on Astrology.

When predictions fail, we doubt astrology

If you have a bad experience with a doctor, do you stop believing in the field of medicine or do you simply change your doctor?Astrology is a very accurate and ancient science. It is also a highly complicated subject to understand. It is said that one can never learn astrology in one birth, there are so many complex calculations to be done that only 1% of the world’s population could ‘Master’ this skill. In fact, Astrology is more the work of a Spiritual Soul than that of someone who has learnt it. Hence, when predictions fail, when astrologers tell you things that do not come true, it does not mean that Astrology is wrong. It only means that the Astrologer is not well-equipped.

Astrology is all about Predictions

 False! Predictions are possible in Astrology, but Astrology is so much more about diagnosing the problem areas of one’s life, analyzing the client’s strengths and empowering clients to focus their energies on their strengths. Unfortunately, today’s astrologers have made this subject very ‘fancy’ and ‘commercial’ by projecting it as a Science of Prediction. Hear my video to understand this better.

Astrology can help change your future

There are no real remedies to change our luck. As described in astrology, luck is nothing but accumulated karma – both good and bad and there are only 2 ways around it: face it with pain or face it in a spiritual manner. Gem stones are one of the biggest myths. Astrologers direct clients to gemstones mostly for commercial reasons OR due to the lack of true knowledge. Take a logical approach to this – if gemstones could truly dissolve your problems or make them easier, then all of the world’s problems could easily be solved or reduced. The truth is that there is a big psychological ‘trick’ here. We start BELIEVING that gemstones will help which increases our mental strength and start to attract better things. Gemstones, havans, pujas, etc., are not mentioned in ancient astrology as ‘problem-solvers’. To improve our luck, we must face our probems and by live a ‘satvik’ life: serve the needy, be kind by thought and deed, stop eating animals, work on our anger, greed and pride, meditate, use techniques like reiki and life-coaching to emotionally heal yourselves and so on.

Forecasts are true

There is no such thing as the forecasts you read in newspapers. It was created by someone and sustained by other astrologers to ‘hook’ us to their readings and services. Again, apply some logic here: there are BILLIONS of people on this earth, how can 12 zodiac signs and forecasts based on them apply to billions of people?! Trust that original astrology has no place for or description of daily / monthly forecasts like the way it has been projected to us for so many years. For once, read the forecast of another sun sign and find it to be true for yourself! Again, there is a psychological element here: we want to hear something ‘good’ or ‘fear based predictions’ attract us and no matter what is said, our mind finds a way to apply it to our life.

Sun Signs describe your personality

No two people are alike on this planet and hence, no two horoscopes! 12 sun signs cannot describe the personality of billions of people. Astrology analyzes our personality from so many factors: The rising sign in our horoscope, our moon and sun sign, the constellations and so on. It is a long list! Describing personality based on sun signs is just a ‘fancy’ thing.

 Mangal Dosh(a) or Manglik is the worst thing to have in a chart

In reality, Mangal Dosh means only this: This person is highly ambitious and has an insatiable drive to contribute to the world. Hence, this person focuses less on family life, has more problems in personal family life but is going to be an achiever, a very successful person in society. This also shows a strong athletic drive, angry or impulsive nature in earlier years of life especially before 35 years. It is good for a Manglik to marry a Manglik for they can understand each other’s passionate nature easily but it is a myth that when a non-Manglik marries a Manglik, it threatens their life. A person with Saturn placed in or influencing the 7th house may also marry a manglik as Saturn is opposite of Mars and so helps to tone down the impulsive, angry nature of mars.Mangal dosh is considered when Mars in placed in certain houses like 2nd, 4th, 7th, 8th, 12th and is a ‘hot’ concept in India. Many people reject marriage proposals to those who have manglik dosh. Many astrologers believe this too.

Saturn is the worst planet and Sade Sati the worst time period 

Contrary, Saturn is the best for polishing out our loose ends into a wise, successful person. Yes, it teaches lessons harshly but it always IMPROVES us in some way. Sade Sati does bring hardships and the extent of hardships depends on Saturn’s position in one’s chart and on the overall horoscope of a person. That period of life can make someone go from rags to riches or riches to rags. The toughest time of Sade Sati is the 2.5 years when Saturn sustains itself on the moon. Don’t fear Saturn, be happy that it strikes to teach and polish us.

Astrology works only if you believe in it 

False! The planets or combinations in our chart continue to influence our life even if we reject the notion of astrology. However, this influence lasts only as long as our focus is a lot on the material side of life. The moment we start meditating and what I call ‘spiritualizing’ regularly, we start breaking the bonds of our karma. Remember religion is following a certain faith while spirituality is working towards self-realization and reaching the purest state of the soul.


We are doomed to the life written in our chart

Nope! Astrology clearly states that we write our destiny by our thoughts, beliefs and actions and since we create it, we have full control to ‘change’ it as well.

Kaal Sarp Yog is true

In astrology, yog means ‘combination’. There is no such thing as kaal sarp yog. If an astrologer says that you have this yog, change the astrologer.

Gun Milan is great to test compatibility. 

In Indian astrology, 2 charts are matched to test on 36 points. It is assumed that the more the points meet, the better the compatibility. This is a great myth! Gun milan can tell you very little of how well you will settle with your partner in the marriage. There are other very important methods to test compatibility.

All Astrology is the same. Astrology is just one large subject with no branches

False! Linda Goodman is a classic example of Western Astrology which is very different from Indian, Vedic Astrology. China and Korea have their own astrology as well. It seems that each culture has some form of astrology which validates the truth in it but astrology notes in India date back to as early as 9th Century B.C. or even before!

Kundlis or Horoscopes can tell only certain broad things about us

False. Except for when you wake up, gargle and drink tea, your chart can sketch every minute crease on your skin. This means that your chart can tell your likes, dislikes, relationship with siblings, hidden desires, secrets, about your parents, friend circle, no. of spouses, nature of the spouses, directions you are likely to live in, passions and careers, school studies and so on.. Hence, be wary of sharing your birth chart the way in which you share news about your shopping.

A good astrologer will tell me about my life-span and warn me about accidents / all negative events in my life

False! A good, genuine, knowledgeable astrologer will NEVER mention these life-events to any client. Astrology has not given the RIGHTS to an astrologer to tell a person when they will die or something horrible will happen. Never!

It is hurtful to read posts of people who said the astrologer told them that they will no good or that they will meet a horrible accident in a few years, etc. Well, astrology was made to EMPOWER people, to give them true direction and hope and to believe that there is GOOD in every person and in everyone’s life. Ethically, astrologers are supposed to focus only on the GOOD and even if some negative news were to be shared it for the good of the client, it must be put in a way that the person feels POSITIVE and HOPEFUL.

Please share this information with others. Hear my videos. My website www.rimadesai.org

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