spirituality

* THE THREE HINDU GODDESSES – their gifts *

Copyrighted material by Rima Desai

I promised to speak more about other Deities. We have in the past few weeks, explored the idea of Deities incarnated on Earth, looking like ‘regular’ human beings. I have spoken a lot about Shiv-Durga’s presence and this entire Earth Change, Earth’s Healing aka COVID deeply related to it also, activated by Shiva’s massive Kundalini Awakening as the 3rd eye opens!

A quick recap – Goddess Durga who has now ascended to the calmer form aka Goddess Ambe is regarded the Universal Mother. She has powers of the Moon – a Strong Water Sign, she aims to protect, support and guide women and children. She has natural parenting, mothering, nurturing skills and a very strong Mars aka courage as found in the hearts of Mothers. A mother will do anything to protect her child, will take risks, be bold, speak up, fight if needed!

Durga/Maa Ambe is called the Ardh (half) form of Shiv(a) as being born from him aka the Universal Father as per Hinduism. She balances the feminine and masculine energies along with Shiv. We witness strong shades of femininity in Shiv and strong shades of masculinity in Durga. Durga is a strong water (moon, emotions) element while embodying the balance of all the other 3 elements in her (air, fire, earth).

We find the element of Ethers strong in all the chief Deities, in differing levels with one of the highest being in Shiv’s existence! All the Goddesses will posses differing levels of strength in EACH element with some being their predominant elements, followed by the other elements in varied proportions.

Talking more to Saraswati and Lakshmi. Goddess Saraswati is here to protect ‘knowledge’, ‘scriptures’, ‘classical arts’ and continue the tradition of self-connection by cultivating deep connection through classical arts and traditional, ancient knowledge. In the human form we see her a strong Fire Sign who values higher knowledge, continued learning and education above everything else. She is also a keen listener. You will find her being more traditional in her attire, bringing to light the most classical form of Indian culture. Music, words, knowledge flow through her easily. She has a stronger masculine side, high fire element, followed by water.

Goddess Lakshmi on the other hand is the powerful Air Sign- blessed with a strong Venus – the lover of art, trade, wealth, health and human interaction. Libra is the sign of BALANCE. Lord Lakshmi teaches us to balance our material and spiritual side, balance our give-take in human relations, be more tolerant of each other, value the ‘good’ in everyone and easily attract abundance. She is the most feminine of all the 3 Goddesses, high air element, followed by fire.

While Shiv-Durga, may be ‘extremists’ in their focus on spirituality, wisdom, philosophy and values and be too intense for some, Devi Lakshmi connects more deeply to ‘Earthiness’ of things- the Real Deal in the day to day and how to make it work for you while Devi Saraswati teaches the importance of our Mental Body aka Intelligence.

‚ú®ūüēČLord Shiv and Durga are called the #Universal Father (Sun’s powers) and Mother (Moon’s powers) within the Hindu mythology. They are excellent to pray for Wisdom, Courage, Will power, inner strength, Resilience, Emotional I.Q., Parenting

‚ú®ūüēČLord Lakshmi and Vishnu are excellent to pray for Balance and Harmony in life + in human relationships,Good Health and lots of Financial Prosperity/conveniences (with good intentions).

‚ú®ūüēČLord Saraswati and Brahma are excellent to pray for Memory, Focus, Concentration, Education, knowledge, Intelligence aka mental functions.

While all deities have higher order values in general, they specialize in these core areas while being on their own higher ascension.

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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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parent of the month

The Biography of a Fearless Parent

~ Copyrights reserved.

Parent of the Month (July 2015):¬†Deepak Chheda: aka ‘BHAISHREE’

“The waves of the sea tide high and low to test the strengths within you. They rise up high to see if you can fly when you cannot swim. They bow down low when they know that you shall glow even through a whole bunch of grey clouds!” ~ Dedicated to Dad by Rima D.

It is tough enough to be a Parent, think of being a Single Parent to two young girls with no real career or earning to begin with. In a NEED TO GET INSPIRED?! Read how this parent fearlessly faced all the challenges that life hunted him with…

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Dad was just about to be 34 years when Mom’s sudden demise struck him with immense shock and grief. Then, he had an older daughter at 9 years and me at 6 years. Call it trauma or chaos, he not only had two daughters to care for but also an immense financial burden.

I still remember the day when I was¬†wondering why people all around me are all dressed in white and why they are all crying. What would I understand at 6 years of age? One of the following day, there¬†was¬†an¬†exaggerated¬†silence in our extended living room. Dad was sitting quiet on the 2-3¬†seater sofa we had – the only furniture that accompanied the long room. Everything seemed empty, not only¬†our hearts, but also our home, and it¬†felt like even¬†the dead living room was crying to be more ‘busy’. I was wearing my white and red two-piece night dress with red hearts on the pockets, beautiful frills. It was my favorite dress. I asked dad – “Where is mom?” He sat there with no response. I can only imagine, how life’s painful demands must have blown upon dad like a loud, commanding trumpet that¬†shakes us from our dearest dream. But he made it through…!

I have seen Dad take heavy loans in an attempt to give us just basic living. We lived in a huge home which was granted by grandpa but besides of that, we literally struggled for even basic clothes or good food. People judged us from the home we had and thought we were rich. We also lived in a suburb that belonged to the elite class since grandpa built his home there and we had cousins that were truly¬†very well off.¬†Our family was socially¬†knit and religiously driven. Hence¬†we had several rituals to attend many times in a month¬†and when all of this is put together, dad had a lot to keep up to: The worry of¬†building his business from scratch, educating his daughters while on a heavy loan, having someone take care of us after school (since school ended by 1pm);¬† get us enough clothes to keep up with the family and religious rituals, have maids to help us with house work – which was always a huge challenge, and¬†a lot more… I remember his tears and worry when his very own close family members wanted to snatch our home and have us come on the streets. Dad had a legal battle to win to save his two daughters from being homeless, I remember that day when, the little child became his parent and said – “It will be okay dad” but inside my heart, I was hurt, scared, in anger. I remember tons of days of darkness, sadness, struggles in our lives where dad had to fight many social, emotional and financial battles…

I don’t think even a 100 pages can suffice for what I would want to express or vent you may say. I can say that no matter what faults others find, I can vouch for what he did right!¬†In spite of massive financial burden and almost no support from outside, he gave us the best education. He put us in the most competitive and¬†expensive school in one of the most elite areas of the prestigious¬†Mumbai City!

That education has today led me to be this person who is writing on this blog, serving the community, and build a personality that can adapt to any cultural backdrop across the world. I haven’t had a problem conversing in English and interacting with the¬†general public¬†across different countries. My School played big role in it!
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I am honored to have learnt some amazing things from dad:

  1. Excellent Organizational Skills:¬†Until date,¬†I haven’t met anyone who can beat dad in his organizational skills.

  2. Social Skills: Over the years, I saw dad as very sociable. He was friendly, helpful and was quick to make them feel comfortable and good about themselves.

  3. Hard work and the value of being Responsible: Maybe there are people more hardworking than my dad or maybe there aren’t! I cannot owe him enough to teach me this important¬†value. Dad gave his best swim across the tough tides of life. He never backed from his responsibilities¬†even when¬†he had several strong enemies in his business and life.¬†I witnessed him face them all with great courage.

  4. God-fearing and religious – Dad exposed us to deep religious knowledge of Jainism and its rituals. Sometimes it felt like it was too much for a child but today I cherish those experiences and knowledge. It has imparted great wisdom and strength into me. He believed in God and taught us values like being kind, never eat animals, etc.. By belief in God and by modelling courage, he taught us to be Brave and Optimistic in life.

  5. Skills with Kids: Dad is just super with kids. He did great in having cousins stay overnight, arranging games and activities with them, teaching us in fun yet educational ways, entertaining the younger tots, etc. I subconsciously learnt a lot about playing with kids by watching dad over the years.

  6. Have the Faith: Dad taught without the use of words, that having faith and having an optimistic ‘expectation’ out of Life, always leads us to a ‘good’ place. He always taught me – “Never fear”.

  7. Strong cultural roots: I learnt to interact with elders, be courteous, be rooted to my homeland, to my religion, culture, be curious of other cultures, etc all from dad through his wise advices and by observing him.

  8. Business Skills: I have observed him to be an honest, fierce and powerful businessman.

I have learnt a lot from him and still continue to. No parent is perfect and no parent should be, because all that matters if we are bonded with ‘Love’. Love makes it Perfect.

“Dad I am Honored for all that I have learnt from you. You deserve all the success that is coming to You for Jee¬†and me know how much you have invested into us and into life! We love You Unconditionally and so do your Grand-children”. Also, a Big Thank You to Jinal di for participating in this and for being a great sister through and through all the years till now”.

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Elder Daughter: JINAL

“Whatever I am today is only and only because of my Father. A highly organized person and extremely dedicated to his duties he has brought us up in a very cultured and disciplined environment. Playing the role of a mother and father is not easy. We have seen hardships he has faced in order to raise us so diligently. Spiritual and honest in his ways, he has given us a strong base to face the outside world. He always wears a smile and his simplicity adds a charm to his personality.

He can be like a child with his grandchildren and mold himself easily to his surroundings. Words are not enough¬†to say or justify¬†what I owe to him. Also Dad, Sarthak¬†receives so much joy learning and playing with you”.

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A sincere and heartfelt¬†‘THANK YOU’ to you Dad for all that you have done for us. Love You!

        HBDD

BHAISHREE’S PARENTS – My Grandparents :))

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BHAISHREE’S ACTIVITIES

Dad continues to live independently by himself since 9 years now. He is as active as before but is living a simpler and a much more religious life now. He is now fiercely active in the Jain religious spectrum with his organization https://www.facebook.com/pages/International-Jain-Foundation-IJF-Mumbai/

He is working towards creating more awareness of and support for the Jain Sect. His recent, Jain event in Mumbai was embraced with a huge sucess. He is commonly and respectfully referred to as ‘Bhaishree’ by all who know him in recognition of the work he is doing for the Jain Community. This name has been ‘gifted’ to him by a Jain Monk.

 
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