KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

MAY I HAVE YOUR PERMISSION TO POST ON YOUR GROUP

I am writing to you to enquire if you will grant me permission to post on your page. My articles are generally based on the Fasts, feasts and festivals and spirituality based upon scripture.

I am seeking permission from you as I have been posting on various groups as people look forward to reading and sharing bona fide information and well researched articles that are placed by me. Unfortunately some groups have not rejected the articles which they are entitled to do, but reported this to the facebook manager as abuse yet we see so much of junk being accepted by them.

Please reply to this message and indicate if I have or do not have your permission so that I will know where to place my articles in future.

I thank you

Pundit Roshan Singh

KARMA AND ASTROLOGY



Jyotishacharya Shastri Pundit Roshan Singh

Leading Jyotish Astrologer in South Africa.

If its a perfect prediction it has to be Astroworld.co.za

Karma explains cause and effect and nothing describes it better than the saying

As you sow so shall you reap.

On this note one should know that you do not go to an astrologer but will be taken to him by your karma. If it is meant for you to go there then your destiny will take you there. Compiling your reading again will not be out of your free will but will be determined by your Karma. If it is willed it will happen and if not you will continue to struggle and bear the consequences of your Karma.

Karma is “the force generated by a person’s actions”. Throughout the operations of the Law of Karma, the manifestation of perfect justice is apparent. We are not punished for our sins, as everyone believes incorrectly, but we are punished by our sins.

We are not rewarded for our good acts but we receive our reward through our characteristics and qualities acquired by having performed these good deeds in previous lives.

In other words, we are our own judges and executioners

The Vedic horoscope of a person is like a business man’s balance sheet at the beginning of every year. It represents the debtors and creditors accumulated by the soul in its past lives.

Vedic Astrology believes in the transmigration of the soul in its quest for further spiritual growth in every “life-time”.

To achieve this, man has to keep on taking many births until he is freed of all his bad Karma. Knowing man’s materialistic urges, this task is not an easy one, hence man has to keep coming back to Earth to learn his lessons.

You are what you are because of these experiences that you have had in your past lives. Just as a pebble is moulded by the swirling waters over time, so is the soul’s consciousness moulded by our experiences in various life times.

There are four types of Karma that we have to contend with in our quest to achieve final liberation or enlightenment:

Sanchita Karma represents accumulated good and bad Karmas of past lives which have already matured and their influence in the circumstances in which one is born.

For example one can be born a pauper or a king. This Karma is mainly responsible for our time of birth and hence the circumstances that we have to face in this lifetime. Some people are born with mental or physical handicaps over which they have no control. Yet others are born with great talents which shine through at a very early age.

In the birth chart Sanchita Karma is represented by the 4th, 8th and the 12th houses (Water signs in the Zodiac) which are traditionally called “dark” houses because they represent deep and hidden meanings and influences which are related to life’s comforts, death and transformation in one’s chart. These are in fact houses of final liberation and enlightenment.

One does not have any control over this Karma because it has matured fully

On a physical level, this Karma materialises or manifests itself through the Artha houses which are the 2nd, 6th and 10th houses (Earth signs in the Zodiac) which represent wealth, daily work, health, creditors, career and personal status. Therefore when an Astrologer looks into this Karma, he has to view these houses to analyse the physical and earthly effects of this Karma on the native.

The reason for apparent inequalities of birth and circumstances become clear when it is accepted that our circumstances today are the result of decisions and actions taken previously.

Pralabda Karma represents unfinished transactions brought over from previous lives which need to be dealt with in this life time. This Karma is reflected in the chart through the 5th house (Purva Punya) and it manifests itself on a physical plane in the 1st, 5th and 9th houses (Dharma houses – life purpose or righteous action)

One has a certain amount of control over this Karma as it has not yet crystallised fully – Rahu and Ketu (The Moon’s nodes) are the two Karmic planets that trigger off this Karma. Ketu represents the Karmic debt brought forward and Rahu reflects how this is likely to be fulfilled. Rahu plays a major part in elevating certain people out of the blue and it is very conspicuous by its presence in their 10th house of career. One can be forewarned about the likely effect of this Karma and how best to cope with it.

For example, Margaret Thatcher the ex prime minister of the UK was totally unknown to the public and a back bencher for almost sixteen years before her Rahu period started in 1972. In 1975, Edward Heath resigned as the leader of the Tory party. From being a back bencher, she was propelled into the front rank of the party and proposed as a candidate for the leadership. Nobody believed that she could beat the other contenders but she did and she went on to win the next election in her own right in 1979. She remained the Prime minister of the UK right up to the end of 1990 when her Rahu period came to an end, almost to the day. Narendra Modi was in a similar phase in his life but became the Prime Minister of India when he came out of the karmic cycle of Rahu and Ketu. Jacob Zuma is in a karmic cycle of Rahu and Ketu and this will cause his destruction until and unless this is remedied astrologically.

Prarabda Karma usually has the effect of totally changing one’s direction in life – as if someone up there has a different agenda in mind for the native. Usually after this, the native pursues a higher path in life.

Kriyaman Karma represents new Karma or current Karma that we are now creating in this lifetime, the effects of which we will have to face at a later time or birth. On a physical plane, this Karma should manifest itself though the 3rd, 7th and 11th houses (Kama houses – desire, hopes and motivation).

One has total control over this Karma if we use our free will to make correct choices in life and accept that suffering has a purpose and effort is not wasted, life becomes full of hope and meaning. Man is then seen to be the controller of his own destiny, with the gift of free will to choose his way of life and to design his own future.

The way in which one uses their free will to make decisions, automatically shapes their future in full accordance with Karmic Law.

Aagmi Karma represents Karma of future birth if the present one is not the last.

You must realise that apart from Sanchita Karma, no other Karma is eternal, but can be changed. Therefore man must use his free will within the parameters of his birth chart to rule his destiny. Vedic Astrology takes the view that if a person leads his life morally and righteously and gains higher knowledge, the past Karmic debts will get paid off and new Karmic credits will be built up for this life as well as for a future birth.

Free will alone at times cannot shift one’s current path in life to what is required. One has to resort to the use of Muhurtha (auspicious timing), mantras, yantras, yagyas and gemmology.

You must appreciate that Astrology is based on the Laws of Karma and Nature. It teaches us to be at one with nature and to flow with it, otherwise we will waste our energies in undirected efforts. A birth chart should be used as guidance in life, so that one meets with as few obstacles as possible. A well known Astrologer once said:

“To refuse to hold a bright lamp in the darkness indicates ignorance, whilst to shed light on our future path at any cost, shows great wisdom. Choose your own path, and either control the planets and stand a victor in your struggle for self enlightenment, or yield to the Karmic influences without personal efforts on your part, and suffer the consequences”.

Your ever well wisher

Punditji



Kartik and Dipavali

14 October to 12 November

Kartik & Dipavali

Jyotishacharya Shastri Pundit Roshan Singh

Click on the following link to listen and download the Damodhar Astakam which is sung daily during the month of Kartik

The lighting of lamps and offering aarti to the Lord commences on Monday 14 October and end on Tuesday 12 November being in mind that Dipavali will be celebrated on 27 October.

Blessed indeed is that fortunate soul, who, due to some past pious activities, can observe the month of Kartik in the most exalted of all holy places, Shri Vrindavan dham. This month, know as the month of Damodar, is most auspicious and truly benevolent, for the sukriti obtained by performing devotional activities for the pleasure of the Lords in this month is 1000 times more, than in any other time of the year. This month commemorates how mother Yashoda was able to bind the Supreme Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna with the ropes of her love and affection.

The same Supreme Lord, whom neither Lord Brahma, nor Lord Shiva, and not even the Goddess of Fortune, Laxmi devi, can ever bind, was bound by the selfless pristine parental love of Mother Yashoda. It is in this very month, that Vrajendranandan displayed transcendental fear from his mother and was running from her trying to escape her punishment. After putting her own endeavor and receiving the mercy of the Lord, the two ingredients that a devotee needs in order to bind Shyamsundar, she tied Him up to a grinding mortar, taking which Shri Krishna later crawled to the Yamalarjun trees growing in the courtyard of Nanda Maharaj and delivered the two sons of Kuber, namely Nalakubera and Manigriva.

Remembering this beautiful pastime, and hoping to one day be able to tie Damodar with their ropes of love, all the devotees offer ghee lamps in the evening and sing the beautiful Damodarashtakam, creating a very transcendentally surcharged atmosphere in the temple room of Krishna Balaram mandir, in the land of Vraja, the very place where these pastimes were manifested by Yashodanandan, five thousand years ago, to attract the minds of the conditioned souls of this material world and make them realize their eternal identity as the servants of Shri Krishna (Jivera svarupa haya Krishnera nitya-dasa).

This month is also known as Urja vrata. Urja means shakti and refers to Shri Krishna’s internal potency which is none other than Vrindavaneshwari Shri Radha, and thus she is the predominating deity of this month of Kartik, and the glorification of her transcendental name, fame, forms and qualities, is the main vrata to be performed in this month. This is the month when Shri Radha and the other sakhis sang the Gopi geet, which is truly relished by the elevated vaishnavas following the moods of the young damsels of Vraja, whose love for Krishna is unsurpassed, and the foremost of whom is Shrimati Radhika. Aspiring to be the humble recipients of a single drop of the moods of separation of the Gopis and pleading to receive the dust of their lotus feet, the devotees all chant the Gopi geet in the Krishna hall after Damodarashtakam.

This month is truly glorious not only due to the aforementioned reasons, but also because many prominent pleasing pastimes of the Lord were performed in this month of Kartik. The first day of the month, Sharad Purnima, is when the Sharad raas was performed and the desires of all the Gopis of Shri Krishna were fulfilled. In this month, the Gopis who had never before attained the direct audience of their worshipable Lord, their very life and soul Shri Krishna, were purified of all the traces of anarthas left in them by the intense heat of separation and were able to fulfill their long cherished heart’s desire to attain their one and only goal, the lotus feet of Shri Krishna.

It was in this month that the demon Arishtasura was killed, which led to the appearance of Radha kund and Shyam kund, two beautiful kunds at the foot of the great Govardhan hill, having jeweled steps, blooming lotus flowers and surrounded by the kunjas of the eigth prominent Sakhis, and in the center Svanada sukhad kunja of ananga manjari where the divine couple perform many enchanting pastimes.

DIPAVALI – 27 October

The Amavasya of this auspicious month is celebrated as Dipavali, the festival of lights, celebrating the long awaited return of Lord Ram to his kingdom Ayodhya after the 14 years banishment and the war that waged between Ram and Ravan. All the devotees celebrate this beautiful festival by lighting lamps in all the corners of their houses and discussing the pleasing transcendental pastimes of Lord Ram. The next day of Amavasya is celebrated as Govardhan puja, when all the brijvasis, after stopping the worship of Lord Indra in accordance to the instructions of Shyamsundar, worshiped Giri govardhan, who is celebrated as Haridasya varya, the best of the Vaishnavas, who serves the divine couple with its many gushing streams, beautiful waterfalls, fragrant forests full of fruits and flowers and caves suitable for various pastimes. Mother cow is also worshiped on this day, and all the Brijvasis performed the parikrama of the glorious blessed mountain Govardhan. Following in their footsteps the devotees perform parikrama of Giriraj maharaj and offer anakut to the deities.

Other auspicious days celebrated in this month are the Disappearance day of Srila Prabhupad, the founder acharya of ISKCON, without whose mercy we would know nothing about this supremely purifying month. A few days after that, comes gopashtami, when Shri Krishna goes for cow herding for the very first time time. And many other festivals are celebrated in this month enhancing the spiritual mood of this already transcendental realm of Vrindavan.

Devotees from all over the world come to Vrindavan during this month to spiritually surcharge themselves so they may continue to preach Krishna Consciousness all over the world. They participate in Vraj mandal parikrama, Krishna katha, Deep daan, Singing of various Vaishnava bhajans, Kirtan and many other devotional activities for the satisfaction of Guru Gauranga and Krishna.

Everybody should follow following practices in Kartik (Damodar) month:

1. Daily offer a ghee lamp to Krishna and sing the Damodarastakam, meditating on meaning.

2. One should always remember Supreme Lord Hari. Devotees should try to do more Harinam Chanting. Do extra rounds and more kirtana.

3. Hear Srimad Bhagavatam, daily in association of exalted Vaisnavas, if possible. All other duties should be given up in favor of hearing the scriptures from sadhus during this month. It is most beneficial to recite and read Gajendra Moksha Lila-stava from 8th canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, which teaches complete surrender/dependence of Supreme Lord.

4. Eat only prasadam.

5. Daily recite Siksastaka of Sriman Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and meditate on its meaning. Read the commentary on Sikastaka by Bhaktivinod Thakur.

6. Daily Read the the Updeshamrata of Srila Rupa Goswami .

7. Daily offer lamp to Tulsi devi and pray for eternal residence in Vrndavana and eternal service of the lotus feet of Radha and Krishna. Do 4 parikrama (circumbulation) of Tulasi.

8. Make nice offerings for Krishna. Devotees should observe the festival of Annakuta, Giriraj Govardhan Puja.

9. Associate more with devotees.

10. Practice brahmacharya – celibacy.

11. Perform austerities.

Following are excerpts from some scriptures (Puranas) describing the glory of the pious Kartik month:

“If somebody performs even a little worship of Lord Shri Hari in this month, He offers that devotee His own abode.”

“If somebody burns a lamp in the temple of Lord Shri Hari even for a short time (in the month of Kartik), then whatever sins, he has acquired for millions of kalpas (one kalpa equals 1000 yugas) are all destroyed.”

“A person, who for the entire month of Kartik eats only once a day, becomes very famous, powerful and heroic.”

“A person who happily reads the Bhagavad Gita in the month of Kartik does not return to the world of birth and death.”

“Of all gifts, the gift of a lamp during the month of Kartik is the best. No gift is its equal.”

“The pious result obtained by bathing in all holy places and giving all charities is not equal to one ten-millionth part of the result obtained by following the vow of Kartik.”

Damodarastakam : Must sing during Kartik month

(1) namāmīśvaraḿ sac-cid-ānanda-rūpaḿ , lasat-kuṇḍalaḿ gokule bhrājamanam
yaśodā-bhiyolūkhalād dhāvamānaḿ, parāmṛṣṭam atyantato drutya gopyā

(2) rudantaḿ muhur netra-yugmaḿ mṛjantam, karāmbhoja-yugmena sātańka-netram
muhuḥ śvāsa-kampa-trirekhāńka-kaṇṭha-, sthita-graivaḿ dāmodaraḿ bhakti-baddham

(3) itīdṛk sva-līlābhir ānanda-kuṇḍe, sva-ghoṣaḿ nimajjantam ākhyāpayantam
tadīyeṣita-jñeṣu bhaktair jitatvaḿ , punaḥ prematas taḿ śatāvṛtti vande

(4) varaḿ deva mokṣaḿ na mokṣāvadhiḿ vā , na canyaḿ vṛṇe ‘haḿ vareṣād apīha
idaḿ te vapur nātha gopāla-bālaḿ , sadā me manasy āvirāstāḿ kim anyaiḥ

(5) idaḿ te mukhāmbhojam atyanta-nīlair , vṛtaḿ kuntalaiḥ snigdha-raktaiś ca gopyā
muhuś cumbitaḿ bimba-raktādharaḿ me , manasy āvirāstām alaḿ lakṣa-lābhaiḥ

(6) namo deva dāmodarānanta viṣṇo , prasīda prabho duḥkha-jālābdhi-magnam
kṛpā-dṛṣṭi-vṛṣṭyāti-dīnaḿ batānu , gṛhāṇeṣa mām ajñam edhy akṣi-dṛśyaḥ

(7) kuverātmajau baddha-mūrtyaiva yadvat , tvayā mocitau bhakti-bhājau kṛtau ca
tathā prema-bhaktiḿ svakāḿ me prayaccha , na mokṣe graho me ‘sti dāmodareha

(8) namas te ‘stu dāmne sphurad-dīpti-dhāmne, tvadīyodarāyātha viśvasya dhāmne
namo rādhikāyai tvadīya-priyāyai , namo ‘nanta-līlāya devāya tubhyam

TRANSLATION

1) To the Supreme Lord, whose form is the embodiment of eternal existence, knowledge, and bliss, whose shark-shaped earrings are swinging to and fro, who is beautifully shining in the divine realm of Gokula, who I (due to the offense of breaking the pot of yogurt that His mother was churning into butter and then stealing the butter that was kept hanging from a swing) is quickly running from the wooden grinding mortar in fear of mother Yasoda, but who has been caught from behind by her who ran after Him with greater speed–to that Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, I offer my humble obeisances.

2) (Seeing the whipping stick in His mother’s hand) He is crying and rubbing His eyes again and again with His two lotus hands. His eyes are filled with fear, and the necklace of pearls around His neck, which is marked with three lines like a conch shell, is shaking because of His quick breathing due to crying. To this Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, whose belly is bound not with ropes but with His mother’s pure love, I offer my humble obeisances.

3) By such childhood pastimes as this He is drowning the inhabitants of Gokula in pools of ecstasy, and is revealing to those devotees who are absorbed in knowledge of His supreme majesty and opulence that He is only conquered by devotees whose pure love is imbues with intimacy and is free from all conceptions of awe and reverence. With great love I again offer my obeisances to Lord Damodara hundreds and hundreds of times.

4) O Lord, although You are able to give all kinds of benedictions, I do not pray to You for the boon of impersonal liberation, nor the highest liberation of eternal life in Vaikuntha, nor any other boon (which may be obtained by executing the nine processes of bhakti). O Lord, I simply wish that this form of Yours as Bala Gopala in Vrndavana may ever be manifest in my heart, for what is the use to me of any other boon besides this?

5) O Lord, Your lotus face, which is encircled by locks of soft black hair tinged with red, is kissed again and again by mother Yasoda, and Your lips are reddish like the bimba fruit. May this beautiful vision of Your lotus face be ever manifest in my heart. Thousands and thousands of other benedictions are of no use to me.

6) O Supreme Godhead, I offer my obeisances unto You. O Damodara! O Ananta! O Vishnu! O master! O my Lord, be pleased upon me. By showering Your glance of mercy upon me, deliver this poor ignorant fool who is immersed in an ocean of worldly sorrows, and become visible to my eyes.

7) O Lord Damodara, just as the two sons of Kuvera–Manigriva and Nalakuvara–were delivered from the curse of Narada and made into great devotees by You in Your form as a baby tied with rope to a wooden grinding mortar, in the same way, please give to me Your own prema-bhakti. I only long for this and have no desire for any kind of liberation.

8) O Lord Damodara, I first of all offer my obeisances to the brilliantly effulgent rope which binds Your belly. I then offer my obeisances to Your belly, which is the abode of the entire universe. I humbly bow down to Your most beloved Srimati Radharani, and I offer all obeisances to You, the Supreme Lord, who displays unlimited pastimes

CHANT AND GET OUT OF THIS DEGRADED CONDITIONED LIFE

Jyotishacharya Shastri Pundit Roshan Singh

There are two mantras that are especially recommended in the Vedic literature. One is omkara or the om mantra, and the other is Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, which is known as the maha or great mantra. It is explained that these two mantras can deliver one to the realm beyond material existence.

Omkara (pranava) is considered to be the sound incarnation of the Supreme Personality of God and is identical with the Supreme Lord. It is beginningless, changeless, supreme and free from any external contamination. The Narada-pancharatra states: “When the transcendental sound vibration is practiced by a conditioned soul, the Supreme Lord is present on his tongue.” The Atharva-veda and the Mandukya Upanishad both mention the importance of omkara. Omkara is said to be the beginning, middle, and end, and is eternal, beyond all material restrictions or contaminations.

Actually, the chanting of omkara is generally practiced by those engaged in the mystic yoga process. However, anyone who chants Vedic verses will also be chanting om, because om is often included as the bija or seed mantra at the beginning of many such verses or other mantras. By chanting om and controlling the breathing perfectly, which is mostly a mechanical way of steadying the mind, one is eventually able to go into trance or samadhi. Through this system, one gradually changes the tendencies of the materially absorbed mind and makes it spiritualized. But this takes many years to perfect and such a slow process is hardly practical in this age. If one is not initiated into the brahminical way of knowledge, he will find it difficult to understand the depths of omkara and will not likely be able to get the desired results from chanting it. Therefore, it is not advised that people in general chant omkara in this age of Kali-yuga and with the expectation of reaching full spiritual perfection because they are often not qualified or unable to chant it properly to attain the inner depths of spiritual completion.

The mantra that is meant to be chanted in this age is easy and is actually more directly connected with the Supreme than the sound vibration of omkara because it contains the direct holy names of the Lord. So the mantra for Kali-yuga is the maha-mantra, or great mantra for deliverance, which is Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

Chant and liberate yourself from the bondage of repeated birth, disease, old age and death.

Your ever well wisher

Punditji


AYURVEDA (Herbs) vs MODERN MEDICINE (Drugs)

Treating yourself with herbs that heal or killing yourself with drugs. The choice is yours. The world is being flooded with drugs that are not only harmful but also very expensive. A product that costs less than R5.00 to manufacture is being sold for R150.00 or more. How long are we going to accept this . The choice is yours.

Astroworld South Africa offering a Vedic solution to all problems and diseases under one roof.

As providers and practitioners, we become custodians of the health and well-being of our trusted patients. The first tenant in medicine is to “do no harm.” The second should be to guide our patients toward authentic healing by addressing the root cause of illness and disease. While this is clearly not in present health care systems, it has always been the core of Ayurveda.

We are living in a Neo-liberalized society in which we are socially isolated and lonely, destroying the key mechanism for our health.

I am writing this article on the basis of my experience and expertise. My intention is not to offend the work of conventional approaches to medicine, but having said that, it is clear to me that we are conditioned to believe certain issues about health that have no relationship to the truth.

I want to give my opinion on how this techno-civilization is affecting our well-being. In fact, we are more concerned about diagnosed health rather than on perfect health with peace and feeling well. It is good to feel safe but at the same time we must not live in a phobia of getting sick. This constant fear of becoming ill can lead to big health issues.

I also want to request my fellow health care providers to have open dialogues with patients without an authoritarian approach.

3 year ago, 29-year-old, Andrew, while struggling to meet a deadline, felt flu symptoms and body aches. He took a strong painkiller. The next week he felt weak and dizzy. He later went to the GP, who found his BP was 135/95. The GP prescribed antihypertensive pills for him. Now at 32, Andrew feels weaker than he should for his age. The GP told him that it could be because of the antihypertensive medication. So, what can Andrew do? Nothing. He will have to be subjected to the antihypertensive pills for the rest of his life.

Jason first went on antidepressants at the age of 18 years old, when he experienced a relationship break-up. It was his idea: he felt bad and wanted help. His parents agreed. They were concerned, because after the breakup he had sometimes been coming home drunk. Jason’s doctor prescribed the antidepressants.

Now at the age of 28, his hands are shaking, he is often constipated, and his memory is very bad.  He can also lose his job at any time. This issue is completely legitimate and worth worrying about.

We can see that the dynamics which occurred in the above-mentioned medical encounters may still be highly affected by a medical dominance, instead of a patient-oriented perspective. This may contribute to a questionable present health care system.

A DOCTOR doesn’t bother to try a natural way of healing the body before prescribing pills. There is a great possibility of recovery without medicines by changing patient’s diet and life style factors.

Every health care provider must convince himself that we are human beings not programmed devices.

Should we use medicines for normal life problems?

There are three main concerns about taking a medicine for a normal life event. Firstly, the medicine is being prescribed for an untested use, for which it may not work. The same medicine that treats symptoms of major clinical conditions may not provide relief after an abnormal event. This is an untested off-label use—or unapproved use—of a medicine.

Secondly, any decision to take a medicine requires a balancing of normal process, because all medicines have side effects. The likelihood of the benefit needs to be weighed against the likelihood of harm. With conditions like AIDS or a heart attack, the decision is quite easy, even severe side effects may be worth risking, if the untreated disease is life threatening or is much worse than the side effects itself—this applies to mental illnesses as well. However, if you don’t have a health problem in the first place, a medicine would be of no help, and ideally no side effect, no matter how mild, is worth risking. Thirdly, treating a life problem as a medical problem can distract from actual, real solutions. The comprehensive care about lifestyle—not a medicine—can provide this kind of help.

Ever since the 1970’s the medical encounter has been under sociological investigation, which has revealed conflicts and tensions that arise as patients and their doctors negotiate and bargain over aspects of care. They ask questions such as: Why was a medical diagnosis so rapidly formalized with a subsequent decision about medical treatment? Are patients losing trust in their doctor once they perceive that he or she did not care about them as patients and/or did not acknowledge their reasons for seeking help in the first place? They found that trust was sometimes compromised as early as in the first consultation. Some of the narratives contained experiences of arrogance and an unsympathetic attitude from the doctor. This could mean that a patient felt the doctor misunderstood or did not take him or her seriously during the communication.

Patients’ trust in their doctors is extremely important and is usually associated with patients’ perceptions of doctors’ medical expertise and capability. Patients’ trust in their doctors is further diminished when they feel somewhat imposed upon due to the trust factor, for the doctor that ultimately allows the acceptance of a diagnosis and chronic medication as an intervention, in the name of receiving medical attention, falls short in his treatment. Some patients feel abandoned by their doctor, sometimes throughout the entire treatment process. This could include a lack of follow-ups of treatment. Prescriptions were sometimes renewed without personal contact, for instance by telephone.

More than 50 years ago, countries as far apart as, Indonesia, Tanzania and Guatemala began to train local people as community health workers to provide advice about treatments themselves in efforts to help their neighbours and communities prevent disease. The idea took off and spread through low- and middle-income countries, by, for example, establishing a programme of Lady Health Workers (Sakhi) in the Indian sub-continent. Health improvement begins in the community (grass roots) and if you tackle challenges at the source, whether it be health, education or skills training, it will have major health and economic benefits later.  The community health worker model has been very successful.

This community-based approach allows health, education and other social issues to be tackled together in a holistic fashion. Girls and boys who are healthy, for example, are more likely to get a good education and go on to be productive members of society and live healthy lives. The strongest systems work across sectors, breaking through barriers to drive programmes and solutions that touch on health, education, economic livelihoods and beyond.

This is why we should all be looking with particular interest at the work underway in order to build a sustainable welfare state. We need to create a social safety net for this country; it could transform the lives of millions.

Despite some progress since freedom, many people in South Africa still live in poverty, with rates of rural poverty more than double those in urban areas. We will have to create a million new jobs each year just to keep up with the number of young people entering the job market. The Government must devolve powers related to the education and health sectors respectively. Without a multisectoral approach, it would not have been possible to create the welfare state envisioned by people in India. The launch of a countrywide public consultation in India is particularly important as it will be the first time a public policy will be developed in this way and therefore, demonstrates a new level of openness and transparency. It will provide many insights for low-, middle- and high-income countries.

Development should not be seen as a one-way exchange between the rich and the poor. We can and must all learn from each other. South African policy makers can learn from their more integrated and cross-sectoral approach with its emphasis on governance and empowerment and greater understanding of the role that gender and other factors play. Too often we are stuck in our silos and not taking this system wide approach.

We should seek to learn from the innovative approaches of health plans that can be implemented in order to lift children out of poverty, to ensure girls get the same shot as boys in school and to ensure that millions of young people as well as old people have the skills, training and a social safety net within their reach. This includes freedom from a gender biased society, and empowering the most marginalized women through the latest mobile technology. As with the community health worker system that turned global health on its head, the breaking down of silos is a vital step in building a welfare state but also provides a blueprint for how other countries can ensure essential service development for all.

A strong advertising message: Ignore the context for your problem.

Advertisements for prescription medications are illegal, but we are still exposed to them because of the number of television programs and magazines we see every day. Advertising medicines blurs the boundaries between normal life and medical problems. I personally coin the term “disease-mongering” to describe attempts to “convince essentially well people that they are sick, or [to convince] slightly sick people that they are very ill” in order to sell treatments. Adverts for medicines don’t just sell drugs. They also sell the idea that sickness “may be related to the imbalance of natural chemicals between our cells,” and that the drug “as a mental image of perfection works to correct this imbalance.” These biological explanations remove the social or personal context, even for mild problems or for distress that is clearly related to an event/ circumstance.

Most news media information also described the experiences of an extreme sufferer. They don’t explain that most people are much less troubled. The drug was often presented as a ‘miracle cure,’ although only one in eight users do better on the drug than on a placebo.

When public relations companies get a new drug into the news, readers don’t always realize this is not neutral reporting, but part of a promotional campaign. The problem is that these adverts have been shown to affect prescribing. This unnecessary use of a medicine can leads to serious harm.

The same companies that advertise Coca Cola or Budweiser are producing such adverts. The image of the happy, treated patient—like the glowing housewife in 1960’s “whiter than white” detergent ads—has little to do with what the product is like, and everything to do with making it look like something you need.

I would like to conclude this article with a quote from the former head of Merck, who candidly told Forbes Magazine 30 years ago that he dreamed of being able to “sell to everyone” by making drugs for healthy people. Using a dazzling array of techniques, and plenty of cash, the industry has come a long way toward making this dream a reality.

Acknowledgement – Taken from the writings of Dr Garga

Navarathi Message : Pujye Pundit Roshan Singh

One of the most important aspects of Hinduism is reverence for the Divine Feminine, the Shakti – the Mother – in all Her myriad manifestations. As we reach the end of Navratri, let us remember what it is that we are truly celebrating.

A mother is truly divine. It is from her womb we have come. Our life is a gift from her own; our nourishment flowed from her body. The love that sustains us, that embraces our soul, ceaselessly streams from her heart.

When I say your “Mother,” I mean many things. Of course, I mean the actual mother who gave you birth. But, I also mean the Divine Mother, the Goddess – Mother Nature, Mother Earth and Mother Ganga.

These Mothers must be seen as divine. For your own mother, this means treating her with respect, with love and with patience. Treat the widow with love and respect and allow her to participate in all our pooja’s and ceremonies. For Mother Nature and Mother Earth, this love and respect means protection. 

Let us treat our Earth as a Mother. If our own mother were sick, you would not let her simply suffer, decay and die. We would fight tenaciously to bring her back to her full state of health and glory. Let us give the same to the real Mother. We must not pollute her or waste her. We must nurse her back to health!

Eternal Love, light and Divine Blessings to you and your family.

Love is God and God is Love.

Punditji

Sri Ramacandra Vijayotsava / Vijay Dashmi / Dashera – 08 October

Jyotishacharya Shastri Pundit Roshan Singh

On the tenth day of the waxing moon of Padmanabha (Asvina) month, occurs Vijayotsava. On this day Lord Ramacandra heard from Hanuman beneath the sami tree that he had found and seen Sita on the Island kingdom of Lanka. Hearing this, Sri Ramacandra held a festival, and then set out for Sri Lanka. On this day one may perform special puja of Lord Ramacandra and then in His honour feed the Vaisnavas. This is a popular festival in north India, where, on this occasion, large paper effigies of the demon Ravana are burned to the resounding chants of Victory to Rama, Victory to Rama. You may light lamps and decorate your alter and home in celebration of the victory over the demoniac Ravana and pray to the Lord to assist you in destroying the Ravana that exists within us. In this way we can safely say that our fast for the 9 days during Navarathri was beneficial to us.

In the pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu he absorbed Himself in the transcendental lila of Lord Ramacandra in the following manner as recorded by Srila Krishna dasa Kaviraj Goswami.

Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya-lila Chapter 15 Texts 31-35.

Madhya 15.31
parama-avese prabhu aila nija-ghara
ei-mata lila kare gauranga-sundara

TRANSLATION
In great ecstasy, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu returned to His residence. In this way, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, known as Gauranga-sundara, performed various pastimes.

Madhya 15.32
vijaya-dasami——lanka-vijayera dine
vanara-sainya kaila prabhu lana bhakta-gane

TRANSLATION
On the victory day celebrating the conquest of Lanka–a day known as Vijaya-dasami–Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu dressed up all His devotees like monkey soldiers.

Madhya 15.33
hanuman-avese prabhu vriksha-sakha lana
lanka-gade cadi’ phele gada bhangiya

TRANSLATION
Displaying the emotions of Hanuman, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu took up a large tree branch, and, mounting the walls of the Lanka fort, began to dismantle it.

Madhya 15.34
‘kahanre ravna’ prabhu kahe krodhavese
jagan-mata hare papi, marimu savamse’

TRANSLATION
In the ecstasy of Hanuman, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu angrily said, “Where is the rascal Ravana? He has kidnapped the universal mother, Sita. Now I shall kill him and all his family.”

Madhya 15.35
gosanira avesa dekhi’ loke camatkara
sarva-loka jaya’ jaya’ bale bara bara

TRANSLATION
Everyone became very astonished to see the emotional ecstasy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and everyone began to chant, “All glories! All glories!” again and again.


Sri Ramchandra Vijayotsav (Dassera)

From Shri Valmiki’s Ramayana, Yuddha-khanda:

Pronunciation guide:
Ram = raam / rAm
Ravan = raavan / rAvan

Lord Ram then ordered, “Matali, drive quickly to where Ravan is staying, but at the same time be very cautious.”

Then, remembering that He was speaking to Indra’s charioteer, Lord Ram felt embarrassed and so He apologized, “I am very sorry to have instructed you as if I were your master. It is just that I am eager to kill Ravan, so please excuse My offense.”

Matali was very touched by Lord Ram’s wonderful display of humility. As he maneuvered Indra’s chariot close by Ravan’s side, Lord Ram and his adversary began to exchange arrows. Soon, the fighting became very intense. Clouds rained blood upon Ravan’s chariot, and a flock of vultures followed him from behind. A huge meteor fell nearby and so all the Rakshasas (the monster clan) became exceedingly despondent, while Ravan became convinced that he would soon die.

On the other hand, very pleasing signs appeared before Lord Ram, and so He became convinced that victory would soon be His. In the duel that followed, Lord Ram and Ravan gradually exhibited the entire wealth of their respective prowess. The competition became so intense that both armies became stunned with amazement. Indeed, all the soldiers stood motionless, just like paintings, and because they were so absorbed in watching the fight, they did not even think of attacking one another.

When Ravan tried to knock down Indra’s flag, Lord Ram deflected his arrows with His own. Then, because He was determined to match Ravan, blow for blow, Lord Ram knocked down the Rakshasa King’s flag. Ravan then pierced Indra’s horses, but when the celestial steeds did not even stagger, he became angry and frustrated.

At last, Ravan resorted to the Rakshasa power of illusion to send forth mace-clubs, huge shuriken-discs, trees, and mountain peaks. Lord Ramchandra was able to counteract all these before they reached His chariot, and so they fell upon the army of monkeys. Lord Ram and Ravan continued to dispatch thousands of weapons at each other, and as they collided in the air, they fell down onto the battlefield. In this way, the fighting continued for about an hour. Lord Ram matched Ravan, blow for blow, while all created beings looked on, their minds astonished with wonder.

Both drivers also displayed great skill. But, when the chariots came side by side, Lord Ram forced Ravan’s four horses to turn away by piercing them with four arrows. This incited Ravan’s anger, and so he repeatedly pierced Lord Ram in retaliation. Lord Ram remained undisturbed, and thereafter, the exchange of all varieties of weapons became so feverish, that the fighting that took place was unparalleled in the history of warfare.

Sometimes Ravan fought in his ten-headed feature, and at other times he fought in his normal form, having one head. On one occasion, Lord Ram managed to sever Ravan’s head with an arrow. But, as that head fell to the ground, a duplicate one miraculously cropped up in its place. Lord Ram then severed that head, but once again, another one immediately manifested itself as a replacement. Again and again Lord Ram cut off Ravan’s head, until, altogether one hundred such heads lay on the battlefield.

Because each time a new head appeared to replace the old one, Lord Ram began to wonder, “With these arrows I formerly killed Maricha, Khara and Viradha. I pierced seven Sal trees and killed the invincible Vali. These arrows had humbled great mountains and agitated the fathomless sea. How is it that they are now ineffectual against Ravan?”

The duel continued at a furious pace. Both combatants were obsessed with the desire for killing the other. In fact, several days and nights passed without any break in the fighting.

At last, when Matali saw that Lord Ram was not gaining His desired victory, he inquired, “Why are you simply fighting defensively? My Lord, are You not aware of Your limitless potencies? The hour of doom has now arrived for the King of the Rakshasas. Why don’t You employ the divine brahmastra?” Being thus reminded of this ultimate weapon, Lord Ram picked up the arrow that Agastya Rishi had formerly given Him at the time of their meeting in the Dandaka forest. That arrow had been constructed personally by Lord Brahma for Indra’s use, and later on it was presented to Agastya. Garuda supplied the feathers of that wonderful arrow and the sharp head combined the energy of the Firegod, Agni, and the Sungod. Mount Meru and Mount Mandara contributed their gravity to the arrow’s weight, and its shaft was made from the subtle ethereal element.

This brahmastra weapon was omnipotent and infallible, and its dazzling effulgence made it rival the splendor of the sun. After empowering the brahmastra with the required mantras, Lord Ram placed it upon His bowstring. As the monkeys gazed upon that flaming arrow, their hearts became filled with delight, while a dreadful fear penetrated the cores of the hearts of all the Rakshasas.

As Lord Ram pulled the bowstring back to His ear, the earth trembled and the heavens also appeared to become disturbed. When Lord Ram released the brahmastra, it sped through the air like death itself, and then violently fell upon the chest of the wicked Ravan. After piercing right through the King of the Rakshasa’s heart, that effulgent arrow entered deep into the earth, taking his sinful life along with it. As that awesome brahmastra came and re-entered Lord Ram’s quiver, Ravan dropped the bow from his hand and fell down dead from his chariot.

With great, transcendental ecstasy, the monkey warriors loudly proclaimed Lord Ram’s victory as they attacked the fleeing Rakshasa army. From the sky, the demigods shouted, “Sadhu! Sadhu!” (“Well done! Excellent!”), as they completely covered Lord Ram’s chariot with showers of flowers, and beat upon their celestial drums.

Now that Ravan was dead at last, the demigods and great rishis felt blessed relief and a peace of mind that they had not enjoyed for a long time. A cool and gentle, fragrant breeze began to blow, and the sun spread its rays very serenely, so that happiness seemed to pervade all directions. Sugriv, Angad, Vibhishan and Lakshman were the first to come and pay their homage unto Lord Ram. But, when Vibhishan saw his elder brother lying dead upon the ground, he broke down and cried in an outburst of intense grief. Meanwhile, news of Ravan’s death spread throughout the inner apartments of the royal palace. Ravan’s wives came out of the city and entered the battlefield, their hair disheveled and dress and ornaments in disarray. Overcome by unbearable grief and wailing aloud, some of the women rolled in the dust like madwomen, while others went and embraced different parts of Ravan’s dead body.

Crying out, “O my lord! O my husband!” one of the ladies hung around Ravan’s neck, while others clutched at his feet, rubbed his wounded chest, threw up their arms in despair or fainted away, being unable to bear the grief. Amidst the sounds of loud wailing, these lamentations were heard: “Oh, dear husband, by ignoring our good advice, as well as that given by Vibhishan, you have brought about your destruction. Now that you are dead, our lives are also finished, for the wife has no other support than her husband. This is the inevitable end for such a cruel and hardhearted person like you. Who else would have dared to kidnap Sita and keep her by force, against her will?”

Ravan’s favorite queen, Mandodari, lamented, “My dear husband, even though you were so powerful, you could not stand before Lord Ram. You were too proud because of your acquired prowess, and so you became a great burden for the earth. You foolishly could not understand that it was Lord Vishnu Himself who had descended upon the earth as Lord Ram, in order to relieve her of that burden.”

“O Ravan, your sinful passion for Sita has turned out to be the cause for the destruction of all the Rakshasas. You always masqueraded as a great hero, but you were actually proven to be a coward when you deceitfully kidnapped Sita. Still, despite your abominable character, I do not see how I shall be able to go on living in your absence.” Finally, Mandodari fainted with her head upon Ravan’s chest. Her co-wives then lifted her up and revived her. At this time, Lord Ram ordered Vibhishan, “You should begin the funeral rites for your elder brother without further delay. Only after the cremation of Ravan’s body will it be possible to comfort his widows.”

Vibhishan replied, “I do not want to perform the funeral ceremonies for a man who kidnapped the wives of others, who was merciless and tyrannical, and who was inclined toward irreligion. Of course, Ravan was my elder brother, and so it is my duty to respect him. But, on the other hand, because his actions were like those of an enemy, I feel that he does not deserve my worship.”

Lord Ram said, “Vibhishan, I approve of your words because they uphold the cause of virtue. Still, I would like you to cremate your brother’s body. After all, despite his faults, Ravan was a great hero. And, it is a fact, that with the death of his body, all hostilities have now ended.” Vibhishan went inside the city to make arrangements for Ravan’s funeral. After bringing his maternal grandfather, Malyavan, Vibhishan placed Ravan’s body on the funeral carrier and then proceeded, along with other Rakshasas who carried the firewood. Going toward the south, the party arrived at a consecrated place where they cremated Ravan’s body according to the Vedic injunctions. Thereafter, Ravan’s wives were consoled, and then everyone returned to Lanka.

Having given up His transcendental anger, Lord Ram now assumed a gentle appearance and laid aside his bow, arrows and armor. The demigods departed from their positions in the sky and returned to their abodes, and while going they chanted the glories of Lord Ram with great satisfaction. After receiving due honor from Lord Ram, and permission to depart, Matali ascended into the sky upon Indra’s chariot and returned to the heavenly kingdom.

After coming to Their camp, Lord Ram ordered Lakshman to perform Vibhishan’s installation ceremony. In turn, Lakshman gave golden vessels to the chief monkeys and ordered them to go quickly and fetch water from the four seas. Soon after, Lakshman performed the installation ceremony strictly according to the Vedic injunctions, and all the citizens of Lanka came to the sacrificial arena with presentations of auspicious articles. After receiving these gifts, Vibhishan offered them to Lord Ram.

Lord Ram then told Hanuman, who was standing nearby with folded hands, “Please go and find out how Sita is, and inform her that I have killed Ravan. After doing so, return here with any message that she may give you.” After taking permission from King Vibhishan, Hanuman went to the Ashoka grove. There, he found the grief-stricken Sita, surrounded by hideous Rakshasis.

Standing meekly in front of Sita, Hanuman said, “Your husband has sent me here to give you this message: ‘After many sleepless months, I have finally been able to accomplish My vow to rescue you. Now that your oppressor, the King of the Rakshasas, is dead, you can give up all your anxiety.’ ” Upon hearing this, Sita became so happy that she could not reply for some time. When Hanuman asked why she remained silent, Sita said, “I can hardly speak because I am so elated. Hanuman, what you have told me is unlimitedly more valuable than any amount of gold or jewels.”

Standing with folded hands, Hanuman suggested, “If you so desire, I can kill all these hideous Rakshasa women who have tormented you for so long. In fact, I would take great pleasure in avenging all the suffering that you had to undergo. I simply await your permission.”

By nature, Sita was very kind to the downtrodden. So, she replied, “They are only foolish maidservants who had to carry out the orders of the King. Whatever I had suffered was the result of my own misdeeds, and these Rakshasis acted only as instruments in the hands of destiny.” “Hanuman, perhaps you have heard this old adage that was once spoken by a bear: ‘A great man never takes into account the offenses that are committed against him. Indeed, he vows that at all costs he will not return evil with evil.’ The story goes like this:

There was a hunter being chased by a tiger, and so he climbed up into a big tree. It so happened that there was a bear perched upon one of the branches. Seeing this, the tiger said, “This hunter is our common enemy. Therefore, you should push him out of the tree so that I can eat him.” The bear replied, “This hunter has taken shelter of my home, and so I will not do anything to harm him. To act in such a way would be most unrighteous.” After saying this, the bear went to sleep.

The tiger then told the hunter, “If you push the bear out of the tree so that I can eat him, I promise that I will not harm you.” Being swayed by the tiger’s words, the hunter pushed the sleeping bear. But, as he was falling, the bear managed to grab onto a branch and save himself. The tiger then said to the bear, “Because this hunter tried to kill you, you should retaliate by pushing him out of the tree.”

And yet, even though the tiger appealed to the bear in this manner, again and again, he refused, saying, “A great person never takes into account the sins of one who has offended him. Instead, at all costs, he keeps his vow to never return evil for evil, because he knows that good conduct is the ornament of virtuous persons.”

Before departing, Hanuman asked Sita if she had any message for Lord Ram. Sita replied, “My only words are this- ‘I long to see my dear husband, who is known to be always very affectionate toward His unalloyed devotees.’ ” Hanuman said, “Rest assured that you will see Lord Ram, along with Lakshman, this very day. Now, please grant me your permission so that I can return to Lord Ram without further delay.”

Hanuman went and related Sita’s message and after doing so, he urged Lord Ram to go and meet Sita at once. “Because she has suffered so much and longs to see You, You should go to the Ashoka grove immediately,” Hanuman pleaded. Upon hearing this appeal, tears came to Lord Ram’s eyes. Then, with His eyes cast downward, Lord Ram ordered Vibhishan, “Have Sita brought to Me, after having bathed, dressed, and decorated herself with celestial ornaments.” Vibhishan went to the Ashoka grove, and through the Rakshasa women he made his presence known to Sita. Then, after very submissively approaching her, Vibhishan said, “Lord Ram would like to see you. First of all please bathe and dress yourself in these celestial clothes and ornaments. Then, mount upon the palanquin that I have brought, for that is Lord Ram’s desire.” Sita replied, “I want to see Lord Ram immediately. I do not want to bathe first.”

However, Vibhishan advised, “You had better do as Your husband has ordered, for that will bring you all auspiciousness.” Sita then went to bathe, and after dressing herself very nicely, she was placed upon the palanquin and brought before her husband. When Vibhishan came before Lord Ram, he saw that the Lord’s head was bowed down, as if He were absorbed in deep thought.

Vibhishan announced Sita’s arrival, and in response, Lord Ram asked that she be brought to Him at once. Hordes of monkeys had come there out of curiosity, just to get a glimpse of mother Sita. Vibhishan and his four assistants began pushing them back, so that mother Sita could approach Lord Ram privately. Because of this, there was a great commotion.

Due to His strong affection for His faithful servants, Lord Ram became annoyed to see this, however, and so He told Vibhishan, “Do not harass these monkeys. There is nothing wrong if a chaste woman is seen in public during a time of adversity or war, a svayamvara, a sacrifice or a wedding. Please allow the monkeys to see Sita if they so desire.” Lord Ram then ordered, “Let Sita get down from the palanquin and come to Me on foot.”

As Vibhishan escorted mother Sita, all the monkey chiefs could understand that Lord Ram was in a very stern and grave mood. They were very surprised that not only was Lord Ram making mother Sita walk within public view, but that His demeanor was so severe as well. Sita innocently approached Lord Ram with great shyness, as if she were shrinking into herself. Then, when Sita saw the handsome face of her beloved husband, her miseries immediately vanished, so that her face shone brightly like the full moon.

Then, as Sita continued to gaze upon Him with great love and affection, Lord Ram began to give vent to His pent-up inner feelings. Lord Ram’s heart was tormented by fear of stain to the impeccable reputation of His dynasty, and because of this, He addressed Sita as follows, in an angry tone of voice. Lord Ram said, “I have fulfilled My vow to win you back and thus avenge Ravan’s insult to My honor. But, you must understand that My great endeavor to kill the King of the Rakshasas was not actually for your sake. I did this just to vindicate My good name, and that of the Ikshvaku dynasty.”

“Truthfully, your appearance before Me is not at all pleasing. You are free to go wherever you like. No cultured man will accept a wife who has been embraced by another man, or who has lived in someone else’s house. I am sure that no woman could have remained with Ravan for so long without having been enjoyed by Him. Ravan was obsessed by lust for you. How could he have controlled himself and refrained from enjoying you by force? By killing Ravan I have regained My honor. But there is no need for Me to have any more attachment for you. You are now free to do as you like. Fix your mind upon Lakshman, Bharat, or anyone else whom you may choose.” While listening to this speech, Sita bent her head low with shame. Having formerly heard only loving words from Lord Ram, His talk seemed like arrows piercing her heart, and thus she began to bitterly weep. Being in the presence of so many spectators, it was very difficult for Sita to endure her husband’s reproaches.

Finally, after wiping the tears form her eyes, Sita replied in a faltering voice. She said, “How can You dare speak about me in such an irresponsible manner? Never for a moment did I give up my chastity by body, mind, or words. My character is pure and so You should not judge me as if I was an ordinary woman. Although I am called Janaki, the daughter of King Janaka, my birth was transcendental, for I appeared from within the earth.”

“Lord Ram, if all along You had cruelly planned to reject me in this way, then why didn’t you inform me when Hanuman came here as a messenger? If I had known that You did not intend to take me back, I would have immediately given up my life and thus avoided many months of unbearable suffering. You could have avoided this ghastly war that has taken the lives of countless Rakshasas and Vanaras. What was the need of demanding so much service from your allies? Lord Ram, why are You acting like this? Does my pure devotion for You mean nothing?”

Sita then turned to Lakshman and said, “Please build a large fire for me to enter, for this is the only path that remains for one who has been rejected by her husband in public.”

While suppressing His agitation, Lakshman looked at Lord Ram, and when He saw that His elder brother approved of Sita’s words, He went to prepare the fire. In fact, Lord Ram looked so stern and intense that no one dared to even talk to Him, and so what to speak of try to pacify Him. Thereafter, when the fire blazed up brightly, Sita first of all circumambulated Lord Ram. Then, after coming before the fire with folded hands, Sita bowed down to the brahmanas and demigods.

She then offered the following prayer to Agni: “O god of fire, because my heart has never turned away from Lord Ram, please protect me. Although I have never been unfaithful to Lord Ram in thought, word or deed, He accuses me of being polluted. Therefore, O lord of fire, seer of all within the three worlds, I request you to become the witness of my purity.”

After saying this, Sita circumambulated the fire. Then, as a huge crowd looked on with wonder, she entered the flames with a fearless mind. Within the blazing fire, Sita, who was adorned with dazzling gold ornaments, shone with a golden radiance. As soon as Sita was within the flames, all the women present screamed with horror and a loud cry of anguish arose from the assembled monkeys and Rakshasas. Amidst all these sounds, Lord Ram appeared to become very thoughtful. At that time, all the principal demigods hurriedly appeared before Him, riding upon their celestial vehicles. Then, as Lord Ram stood before them, with folded hands the demigods, headed by Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva, said, “O Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Ramchandra, we are very pained to see how You are neglecting Your eternal consort, Mother Sita. You are the creator of the universe and the Lord of all the demigods. Why don’t You recognize Your divinity instead of rejecting Sita, as if You were a common man?”

Lord Ram replied, “I consider myself to be an ordinary human being, the son of Maharaja Dasharath. But, if there is something more to be said, then perhaps you, Lord Brahma, can disclose it.”

Lord Brahma then said, “My dear Lord Ram, I will now reveal Your real identity. You are directly Lord Narayana, and thus You are identical with all the forms of Vishnu-tattva. You are a plenary expansion of Lord Sri Krishna, the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus You are the cause of all causes. You are the universal form, the support of the cosmic manifestation, and all of the demigods are Your parts and parcels, or in other words, Your eternal servants. Sita is none other than Lakshmi herself, the supreme Goddess of Fortune. Both of you have appeared on the earth for accomplishing the destruction of Ravan. Now that this mission has been accomplished, You may return to Your transcendental abode in the spiritual sky, after ruling over the earth for as long as You desire.”

As soon as Lord Brahma finished speaking, the fire-god, Agni, emerged from the flames, carrying Sita in his arms. As Agni placed Sita before Lord Ram, everyone was amazed to see how her body, bright red dress, ornaments and hair showed absolutely no sign of being even slightly burnt.

Then, in his capacity as one of the universal witnesses, Agni announced, “Lord Ram, here is Your dear wife, Sita. She is completely pure and devoid of even the least tinge of sin. Sita was never the slightest bit unfaithful to You by word, thought or glance, and so what to speak of action. Therefore, My dear Lord Ram, You must accept Sita without reservation and give up Your harsh speech and behavior.”

Lord Ram was very pleased to hear this testimony, and as tears of joy fell from His eyes, He replied, “Agni, it was necessary for Sita to undergo this trial by fire in order to convince the masses of people of her purity. If I had prevented Sita from entering the fire, people would have criticized Me for accepting her without first proving her chastity. They would have concluded that I had only taken her back because of being under the influence of lust to enjoy her.”

“Actually, I knew all about Sita’s purity, and I knew that Ravan could never have polluted her, for she is fully protected by the prowess of her righteousness. It was only to prove Sita’s chastity to the world that I appeared to neglect her. Factually, Sita is not different from Me, for she is directly My internal potency, the hladhini-sakti. Just as sunlight, being not different from the sun, is inseparable from the sun, so there is no possibility of My rejecting Sita.”

Actually, Lord Ram felt great transcendental bliss while being reunited with Sita, for His pastimes were all manifestations of His internal potency, and had been enacted for the purpose of relishing spiritual relationships. Lord Shiva then addressed Lord Ram, saying, “My dear Lord, by slaying the incomparably powerful Ravan, You have performed a wonderful feat that will be glorified throughout the three worlds until the time of dissolution.” Then, while pointing toward the sky, Lord Shiva said, “Lord Ram, look up and see how Your father is waiting, seated upon his celestial chariot. After having been delivered by Your mercy, he now resides in the planet of Indra, the King of heaven. Go quickly, along with Lakshman, and be reunited with Maharaja Dasharath, for he has come here just to see You.”

Lord Ram and Lakshman went and bowed down before Their father. Feeling extremely delighted, Maharaja Dasharath took Lord Ram on his lap and said, “My residence in heaven does not give me any real pleasure. Ram, only now that I am able to see You do I feel happy. Kaikeyi’s words, demanding Your exile, have always remained imprinted on my heart. Only now that Your period of exile has ended do I feel somewhat relieved. I yearn to see Your return to Ayodhya and installed as the Emperor, after being reunited with Bharat. I can now understand that You are the Supreme Lord, Vishnu, and that You had descended upon the earth for the purpose of vanquishing Ravan.”

Lord Ram replied, “My dear father, I also feel greatly relieved now that My period of exile is over and My mission has been accomplished. But still, there is one thing that I wish that you would grant Me. May you now withdraw the harsh words that you had spoken at the time of My banishment, disowning Kaikeyi and Bharat.”

Maharaja Dasharath readily consented, saying, “Let it be so.” Then he fondly embraced Lakshman and declared, “My dear son, because of the dedicated service that You have rendered to Ram, I feel eternally indebted to You. You should know that Your elder brother is directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appearing in human form, for the welfare of the world. He is worshipful even by the greatest demigods, and so what to speak of ourselves.”

Maharaja Dasharath then told Sita, “Please do not bear any grudge against Ram for having tested your purity. You can rest assured that your remarkable behavior will earn you a place in history as the most glorious woman the world has ever seen.”

Having thus spoken, Maharaja Dasharath remounted his celestial chariot and ascended to heaven. Then, as Lord Ram stood before him with folded hands, Indra said, “My audience can never go in vain, and so I wish that You would take a benediction from me.”

Lord Ram was pleased to hear this, and He requested, “King of the celestials, please bring back to life all the monkey warriors who died in My service. In addition, let all the trees in the places where these great heroes dwell become full of fruit, even when out of season.” Indra replied, “Although this boon is very difficult for even me to grant, I shall happily do so.”

Immediately, all the monkeys who had died in the battle began to rise up from the ground, and since all of their wounds were completely healed, it appeared to them as if they were awakening from a deep sleep. But, when they saw Lord Ram and all the demigods before them, the monkeys could understand that they had gotten back their lost lives, and so they felt supremely delighted. Indra then ascended to heaven, followed by all the demigods. Lord Ram and the monkeys passed the night at that place. The next morning, Vibhishan came to see Lord Ram, along with numerous maidservants who carried all kinds of paraphernalia for His bath.

However, Lord Ram ordered, “My dear Vibhishan, summon all the monkeys, headed by Sugriv, and let them utilize this royal luxury. As long as I am separated from Bharat, who is practicing severe austerities on My behalf, such opulence does not appeal to Me. My only request is that you arrange for My speedy passage back to Ayodhya, for to travel there by foot would be an arduous journey.”

Vibhishan replied, “I can enable You to reach Ayodhya this very day by making use of the Pushpaka chariot. But, I request that You, Sita and Lakshman remain here for some time, along with the army of monkeys, so that I can royally entertain all of you before Your departure.” Lord Ram replied, “I certainly cannot refuse your hospitality, and yet, because My anxiety to meet Bharat, My mother and My step-mothers is so great, I beg that you allow Me to depart without delay.”

Vibhishan quickly went and brought the Pushpaka chariot. This wonderful vehicle had originally belonged to Kuvera, before it had been forcibly taken away by Ravan. The Pushpaka chariot was built by Vishvakarma and was made mostly of gold, and had seats made of vaidurya gems. This aerial chariot could travel anywhere, following the mental indications of its driver. When Lord Ram and Lakshman saw the chariot awaiting Their commands, They were astonished. But, before departing, Lord Ram requested Vibhishan to present gifts of gold and jewels to all the monkey soldiers. Then, after mounting the Pushpaka chariot, along with Lakshman and Sita, Lord Ram addressed those who surrounded Him.

Lord Ram said, “There is no way I can repay all you monkey warriors for your heroic fighting on My behalf. Your unflinching devotional service will always serve as an inspiration for future devotees. Your glories will forever shine brightly. Now, please return to Kishkindha and live there happily under Sugriv’s leadership. Vibhishan, you should accept the responsibility for ruling over Lanka at once, because the citizens have become bereft of their king.”

While standing before Lord Ram with folded hands, Sugriv and Vibhishan pleaded, “O Lord, please allow us to accompany You to Ayodhya. After seeing the coronation ceremonies, we will return home.” Lord Ram replied, “There is nothing that would please Me more than to return to Ayodhya along with all of My dear friends. Both of you can get up onto the Pushpaka chariot, and let all the other monkey heroes and Rakshasas come along as well.”

Finally, after all were comfortably seated, the Pushpaka chariot rose up majestically into the air. While the monkeys, bears and Rakshasas were enjoying the flight, Lord Ram pointed out all the sights to Sita. Lord Ram said, “Just see the great battlefield where all the heroic Rakshasas lay dead, having been killed just for your sake. There is Ravan, there is Kumbhakarna, there is Indrajit, and there is Prahasta. Over there is the bridge called Nalasetu, over which we had crossed the ocean to Lanka. There, on the far shore, is Setubandha, where Lord Shiva had appeared to Me, and where the construction of the bridge had begun. From this time on, Setubandha will be a very sacred place, capable of washing away all of one’s accumulated sinful reactions.”

Then, when Lord Ram pointed out Kishkindha, Sita said, “I would be pleased if I could return to Ayodhya in the company of all the wives of the monkey chiefs.”

Lord Ram granted Sita’s wish, and after halting the chariot, He instructed Sugriv and others to quickly go and bring their wives. When everyone was once again seated, the journey continued.

Lord Ram then pointed out, “There is Mount Rishyashringa, where I met Sugriv, and nearby, you can see the heavenly Lake Pampa, which is full of bluish lotus flowers. Further on, you can see the River Godavari, and on its banks, the ashram of Agastya Rishi. Sita, there is the spot where Ravan kidnapped you! There is Chitrakoot, where Bharat came to meet Me. There is the River Yamuna, and there is the mighty Ganga, where King Guha’s capital, Shringaverapur, can be seen.”

In this way, Sita, Lord Ram and Lakshman remembered Their entire forest life, in reverse order, as They retraced their way back home to Ayodhya. Finally, the River Sarayu came into view, and then, at last, the outskirts of Ayodhya. Before entering Ayodhya, Lord Ram stopped at Bharadvaj Rishi’s ashram, so that He could inquire about the welfare of His relatives before meeting them. After heartily welcoming Lord Ram and receiving His obeisances in return, Rishi Bharadvaj said, “In Your absence, Bharat has been living a life of severe austerities, wearing deerskin and tree bark and keeping matted hair. He has been ruling the kingdom as Your subordinate by keeping Your shoes upon the royal throne. Lord Ram, by dint of my mystic power I know everything that has happened during Your exile. I am very pleased that You have removed the burden of the earth, and so I would like to award You with any benediction that You may desire.”

Lord Ram happily replied, “Let all of the trees along the way to Ayodhya become full of fruit and flowers. Let streams of honey flow from these trees, exuding the fragrance of nectar.”

As soon as these words were spoken, all the trees along the road to Ayodhya immediately became filled with sumptuous fruits. When they saw this miraculous transformation, thousands of monkeys quickly jumped down from the Pushpaka chariot and began feasting to their full satisfaction. Lord Ram was always thinking of how He could reward the monkeys for the selfless service they had rendered, and so He felt very happy to have received this opportunity to please them.

Then, turning to Hanuman, Lord Ram said, “I would like you to go and inform Guha of My arrival. After that, go to Nandigram. I want you to describe to Bharat all the events surrounding Sita’s abduction and her subsequent recovery. Watch the expression on Bharat’s face very carefully as He hears about My arrival. Then, report back to Me before we leave this place. If Bharat wants to rule the kingdom, whether it be due to attachment for position and its resultant power, or attachment to royal luxuries, or even because of Kaikeyi’s urging, I am happy to allow Him to do so.” Hanuman took a human form and departed, traveling through the air. First, he went and informed Guha that Lord Ram would come to meet him after spending the night at Rishi Bharadvaj’s ashram. Then, upon his arrival at Nandigram, Hanuman saw Bharat dressed in tree bark and having matted hair. Bharat had been living in a small cottage, subsisting only upon fruit and roots, and he appeared to be very miserable and emaciated.

Hanuman approached Bharat and announced, “I have come here as a messenger from Lord Ram. He inquires about your welfare, and He wants to inform you that He will return to Ayodhya very soon.”

When Bharat heard these nectarine words, his face lit up with great delight. Having become exhilarated with transcendental emotion, he suddenly fainted onto the ground. After coming to his senses, Bharat stood up and embraced Hanuman with great satisfaction. While bathing Hanuman with torrents of tears, Bharat said, “Because you have brought me this wonderful news, I will immediately reward you with 100,000 cows, 100 villages and 16 virgin girls to marry. Please sit down and tell me everything that happened during Lord Ram’s exile.”

Hanuman narrated everything. When he heard about Lord Ram’s immanent return, Bharat exclaimed, “My long-cherished desire is finally going to be fulfilled!”

Bharat then ordered Shatrughna to make all the arrangements for Lord Ram’s reception. Sumantra and the other ministers soon arrived at Nandigram, riding upon elephants, and Kaushalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi came riding on palanquins. Engineers and work crews also arrived, to begin constructing a new road connecting Nandigram with Ayodhya.

After all the arrangements were made, Bharat picked up Lord Ram’s sandals, a white royal umbrella and chamaras. Then, accompanied by many brahmanas, he went out from his cottage amidst the blowing of conch shells and beating of drums, to wait for Lord Ram’s arrival.

Meanwhile, because the news had spread like wildfire, practically the entire population of Ayodhya came to Nandigram in the expectation of seeing Lord Ram. But then, after some time, when there was still no sign of His arrival, Bharat told Hanuman, “I hope that you are not exhibiting your frivolous monkey nature by joking with me.”

Hanuman then pointed out to Bharat clouds of dust in the distance that were being raised by the approaching monkeys. Just then, tumultuous roaring sounds became distinctly audible as well. When Hanuman sighted the Pushpaka chariot in the distance, he shouted, “Here comes Sri Ram!” A loud clamor arose as the restless crowd of people sighted the Pushpaka chariot, appearing like the full moon in the sky.

Then, as everyone got down from their horses, elephants and chariots, out of respect, Bharat began to worship Lord Ram from a distance. With folded hands, Bharat recited many prayers to the Lord, and then He offered various articles. Finally, when Bharat could distinctly see Lord Ram, who was glowing magnificently while seated at the front of the Pushpaka chariot, He bowed down with great reverence.

When the celestial airship landed, Bharat rushed forward and climbed aboard to greet His elder brother. Lord Ram immediately got up from His seat, and after embracing Bharat with great affection, He took Him upon His lap. Afterwards, Bharat greeted Lakshman and Sita, and then, while embracing Sugriv he said, “Although We are four, you are now just like Our fifth brother.” At this time, Lord Ram approached His mother, Kaushalya, and lovingly clasped her feet. Then, one after another, He greeted Sumitra, Kaikeyi and Vasishtha, as all the citizens came forward to welcome Him with folded hands.

Bharat then approached Lord Ram, carrying His wooden shoes in His hands. As He carefully placed those slippers on Lord Ram’s lotus feet, Bharat said, “Here is the kingdom that I was overseeing in Your absence. By Your mercy, Ayodhya is flourishing and the treasury, storehouses and army have all increased tenfold. My duty is now over and so I hereby relinquish everything to You.” After this, Lord Ram ordered the Pushpaka chariot to return to its original owner, the god of wealth, Kuvera. That celestial vehicle then ascended into the sky, heading toward the North. When Lord Ram sat down at the lotus feet of His spiritual master, Vasishtha, Bharat came and requested, “My dear elder brother, please install Yourself on the royal throne without further delay, and then resume a life of royal luxury.”

Lord Ram gave His consent and so barbers were immediately summoned and His matted hair was shaved off. After bathing, Lord Ram dressed in a royal style, while the three mothers similarly dressed Sita and the wives of the monkeys. Then, at Shatrughna’s command, Sumantra came to Lord Ram with a lavishly decorated chariot. Lord Ram graciously mounted upon it, Bharat took up the reins and Shatrughna held the royal white umbrella. On either side of Lord Ram stood Lakshman and Vibhishan, waving a fan and a chamara, and from the sky, the demigods and celestial rishis glorified Him with carefully chosen words. As Lord Ram proceeded toward Ayodhya, a huge procession followed Him, and all the monkeys, appearing in human form, rode upon elephants. When Lord Ram entered His capital, He saw how all the citizens had come out of their houses and lined the streets to welcome Him. Men and women, the elderly and the children gazed upon Lord Ram as if they were getting back their long-lost lives. While waving their cloths and jumping with excitement, the people shouted, “Our beloved prince has returned! All glories to Lord Ram, the maintainer of His devotees!” Amidst the playing of musicians and the chanting of Vedic mantras by the brahmanas, Lord Ram reciprocated by glancing lovingly over His subjects. While approaching his father’s palace, Lord Ram greeted His ministers and described to them the political alliances He had made with the monkeys and Vibhishan.

Lord Ram ordered that His palace be given for Sugriv’s use, and so Bharat took the King of the monkeys by the hand and led him there. Then, at Bharat’s request, Jambavan, Hanuman, Gavaya and Rishabha brought water from the four seas while five hundred other powerful monkeys brought water from five hundred sacred rivers. These vessels of water were placed before Vasishtha. Soon after, the rishi had Lord Ram seated along with Sita upon a royal throne. Then, with the assistance of Vamadeva, Jabali, Kashyapa, Katyayana, Sujagya, Gautama and Vijaya Rishis, Vasishtha performed the abhishek, and the first bathing was done by the brahmanas. Next, unmarried virgin girls got the chance to bathe Lord Ram, and then the ministers, leading warriors, and lastly, vaishyas, one after another. After the final bathing, Vasishtha had Lord Ram sprinkled over with herbs by the four Lokapalas and other chief demigods, who were witnessing the coronation from the sky. When Lord Ram sat on the golden throne bedecked with valuable jewels, Vasishtha came and placed the royal crown on His head and decorated His body with gold ornaments. This crown had been worn by all the Kings of the Ikshvaku dynasty, and was made by Lord Brahma especially for the coronation of Vaivasvata Manu.

Then, at Indra’s prompting, Vayu came and placed a garland made from one hundred golden lotus flowers around Lord Ram’s neck. The god of air also presented a celestial necklace made of pearls and jewels. Shatrughna held the umbrella over Lord Ram’s head while Sugriv and Vibhishan fanned Him from both sides.

At the completion of the ceremony, as the Gandharvas sang and the Apsaras danced in ecstasy, Lord Ram gave away 100,000 cows in charity to the brahmanas, as well as 300 million gold coins and all varieties of precious jewels. Lord Ram gave a celestial necklace of gold and jewels to Sugriv, and He gave Angad a pair of bracelets that were adorned with diamonds and vaidurya stones. To Sita, Lord Ram presented the necklace that had been given to Him by Vayu, as well as many lavishly decorated dresses.

Mother Sita had a very strong wish to give something to Hanuman as a token of her appreciation for all that he had done for her. With this in mind, she unclasped the necklace that Lord Ram had given her and then looked at the Lord questioningly. Understanding her intention, Lord Ram requested Sita to give the necklace to Hanuman and so she happily went and placed it around his neck. All the monkey chiefs were given valuable clothing and ornaments, and in this way the coronation of Lord Ram came to a successful conclusion. Being greatly satisfied at heart, all the monkeys returned to their respective kingdoms and Vibhishan also departed for Lanka. After all had left, Lord Ram said to Lakshman, “My dear brother, now that I have been installed upon the royal throne, I wish to install You as My successor.”

And yet, despite being repeatedly addressed by Lord Ram in this way, Lakshman remained silent, for He refused to accept the proposal. Lord Ram could very well understand Lakshman’s mind, and so, at last, He conferred the title upon Bharat.

Thereafter, Lord Ram ruled the earth from His capital, Ayodhya, for 11,000 years. During that period, Lord Ram performed numerous sacrifices, including one hundred ashvamedha-yagyas. During the reign of Lord Ram, there were no widows to lament the loss of their husbands, there were no diseases, and there were no thieves. In fact, even wild animals gave up their natural enmity and did not kill one another. All the citizens were fully righteous, and they considered Lord Ram their Lord and master, and beyond that, their very life and soul. Everyone lived for thousands of years and had many sons. All talk was centered about Lord Ram alone. Thus, the entire earth appeared as if it had been transformed into the kingdom of God, Vaikunthaloka. Lav and Kush concluded their narration by saying, “Anyone who daily listens to this transcendental history, known as Ramayana, will become completely freed from all sinful reactions. This sacred narration grants prowess, longevity and victory to those who subdue their passions and hear with faith.”

Jai Sri Ram

THE UNTOLD STORIES OF THE RAMAYANA

Transcribed from lectures given by His Grace Atma-tattva dasa during Gaura-purnima 1989 in Sridham Mayapura

CHAPTER 13: THE KILLING OF MAHI RAVANA

Hanuman was flying over the ocean looking for lotus flowers.  He came to an area where there were many lotuses, and he saw one particularly big lotus.  “That must be the lotus,” he thought.  He entered it, and he was thinking, “What are those sounds?  I should have asked Vibhisana.  Anyway, I can’t waste any time.”  He prayed to Vayu, and Vayu came in front of him.  “What is the problem Hanuman?” Vayu asked.  Hanuman said, “The problem is that I have to go inside here, and some sound is supposed to be pronounced.  I forgot.”  Vayu said, “Don’t worry.  This is working by suction system.  Suction system is by air, and I am that.  You go.”  The lotus opened, and Hanuman went through very quickly, and he landed on the bottom, and looked around.  What he saw was a big tank which was known as kalpa, or the desire fulfilling tank.  People were coming from the city, taking a little water from there to go and worship Kali.  Hanuman thought, “This is the outside of the city, and it looks so wonderful.  The inside must be even more beautiful.”  Then he was wondering how to enter, and there was a brick fort.  On top of the brick fort there were two thousand lakhs of demon soldiers walking with their bows and arrows.  Hanuman saw them and thought, “I want to finish all of them together and it is very good that they are all on the fort.  If they are spread out it is very difficult, but they are all in one spot.  This is good arrangement.  Now what should I use to kill them?” and he was looking around.  Then he heard a sound.  “Hanuman!  I am here!  Use me!”  He looked back, and there was a big tall tree, very big and fat.  The tree was talking.  Hanuman said, “Who are you, and how are you talking?”  The tree said, “I am a demigod.  I was cursed by Narada Muni to become a tree.  `Why will you make me a tree?’ I asked him.  `I will become useless.’  He said, `No, I will make you a useful tree.  You will grow in Mahipuri, and when Hanuman comes he will use you for the war.’  Please use me Hanuman, that is what I am here for.”  So Hanuman took that whole tree, and then he held it up and brought it down upon the fort wall.  Two thousand lakhs of soldiers were finished.  Then he opened the door wide and went inside.  He crossed a forest.  That was the brick fort, and now there was a brass fort.  So many more soldiers were there.  He stood there and he slapped his shoulders, challenging them.  They all jumped off and they formed themselves into an army.  They were marching, left right left right.  Hanuman increased his hands.  His form was the same, but his hands increased.  He went as much as the army was there, and he closed the hands and threw the soldiers to one side.  He opened that door and went inside, and he went through a forest.  Then he came to the copper fort.  There was three times more soldiers there.  There were eighteen thousand lakhs of soldiers.  So he grew and took his visvarupa, a huge big form, and then he looked at them and he breathed.  They were all finished.  He opened that fort.  Then he came to the white metal fort.  At that fort there was one demon who was leading all of them, and he had got mystic perfections.  He produced a storm, and began producing rain.  He produced stool rain, bone rain and all kinds of rain.  Hanuman came there, and said, “This is very bad.”  He looked at them, and they all disappeared.  They were illusion.  They couldn’t stand the gaze of Hanuman.  Hanuman took that demon in his hand and said, “You create all this illusion.  You are so vile that even your dead body shouldn’t remain here.”  And he ate him up.  Hanuman is no vegetarian.  When the soldiers saw this, they thought, “Oh, this is very difficult, we must run away.”  But Hanuman did not let them run away.  He took them all in groups and started eating them.  He was hungry for a long time and had not eaten anything.  He ate some, crushed some, threw some away.  He finished all of them, and then he opened that gate.  Then he came to the bell metal fort, and each one was whiter than the other.  He came in there, and he thought, “What to do with all this?”  And then he sat in one place, and he got so angry.  He looked, and the fire came out of his eyes.  The whole fort just melted.  In that melting, all the soldiers died.  This time he didn’t open any door, because it was all finished.  He just climbed over.  The white metal fort was finished, and he came to the golden gate.  In front of the golden gate was a machine.  It was a big meter, and it had a hand on a scale.  When anyone passes that way, it would show whether they were a friend of Mahi Ravana, or they are inimical toward Mahi Ravana.  According to your inimical feeling, it would show ten degrees, twenty, thirty degrees.  It was very difficult.  If it moved a little bit this way, the army was ready to come and finish you.  Hanuman thought, “Now I have to do some lila,” and he was waiting outside.  In the meantime, Mahi Ravana was sitting in his room, and he called his sister.  There is a story that his sister, who was married to another demon, they had a son.  When the son was gone there was an ashariri from the sky who told them, “This son will become king when Mahi Ravana dies.”  Mahi Ravana did not want to die, and he did not want anyone else to become king, so he put that family in the jail, just as Kamsa did.  So her name was Duratandi.  This Duratandi and her son Nilamega were both in jail.  But this Duratandi had a very auspicious power that any abhiseka or puja that had to be done, if you ask her to bring water then the puja was always successful.  Now they had to do a very important puja, sacrificing Rama, so that is why he gave her a release.  He only released her legs from the chain, her hands were still bound up.  Servants would go with her and only at the water tank would the chains be opened.  She would collect the water, and the chains would be locked again, and she had to bring back the water.  This was the plan of Mahi Ravana, and he was telling Duratandi to do that.  So Duratandi was coming to the water tank, close to which Hanuman was standing.  He was behind a tree and thinking how to get in the gate.  She came and while taking water she was lamenting, openly cursing Mahi Ravana.  “What a brother I have!  He wants to kill Rama and Laksmana.”  When Hanuman heard that he jumped up and came in front of her.  “What did you say?  You know where Rama and Laksmana are?  I am looking for them!”  She said, “Who are you?  Are you Ravana, taking another form?”  “No, no, I am Hanuman, the servant of Ramacandra.”  She said, “Oh, you must help me!”  She gave a whole story, and he said, “Don’t worry.  If you help me I will help you.”  She said, “How will I help you?”  He said, “I will become small, and I will enter a leaf.  You put the leaf in your water pot and carry me inside.  I want to trick these people.”  She said, “What happens if they find out?  They have got a scale there, and if you don’t like Mahi Ravana, it will show.”  He said, “All right, I like Mahi Ravana.”  “No, no, no.  How can you like Mahi Ravana and Rama?  It’s not possible.”  Hanuman said, “Anyway, why don’t you do it?  I like a thrill, and I want to trick them.”  So he became very small and entered into a mango leaf.  When you bring water for bathing, you put a mango leaf in it.  She put mango leaves in there with Hanuman.  And then very peacefully she was bringing it.  The meter was there, and she was slowly coming, and she was shivering.  Some demons were saying, “Hey!  Why are you shivering?  What is that you are bringing?”  She said, “No, no.  This is abhiseka water, we are going to kill Rama today.”  As soon as she came in front of the meter, it went right over the other side and there was no more numbers it could go to.  They said, “Hey, stop!  You are hating Mahi Ravana so much.  You used to hate him before, but it was only thirty degrees.  Now it’s coming out of the meter.”  She said, “No, I have become friendly now, otherwise how has my brother let me out?”  So then they said, “There must be someone inside the water!”  And they looked in the water.  Hanuman was there in the leaf.  They couldn’t see anything, so they concluded, “There is something wrong with this machine.  You walk past, and let us check again.”  So she went back and then came past the machine again.  “Boing!” and it broke.  “Who is this who does not like Mahi Ravana?” they asked.  Hanuman jumped out of the pot and said, “It is me!” and he became huge and took everyone and began to make a big mess, he couldn’t wait to see Rama.  He was smashing some people, crushing some people, biting some, walking on them, throwing a bunch and another bunch another way.  He took a group and another group and smashed them against each other.  In this way he finished them all.  Then she said, “There are ten houses around Mahi Ravana’s house.  These are his great corporals and generals.  You must kill them.”  “No problem,” Hanuman said.  He went there and stood in the middle and put his tail slowly inside each house.  First one house, where one general was sitting with his wife telling her, “You look like the moon.”  And she was saying, “You look like the sun.”  In the meantime the tail came and bound both of them, pulled them out of them house and started flapping them on the floor.  In the same way he went to every house and smashed them all.  All the houses were finished.  Then the news reached Mahi Ravana.  Mahi Ravana came out in front of Hanuman and said, “Hey!  I will kill you!”  And he got on his chariot.  Hanuman flew up and fell on the chariot.  He crushed the chariot.  Mahi Ravana was smashed.  Hanuman said, “Jaya Ramacandra Bhagavan ki jaya!”  And then Mahi Ravana came up again.  Hanuman gave him a big punch on the chest, making him unconscious.  Hanuman said, “Jaya Ramacandra Bhagavan ki jaya!”  Again he got up.  Hanuman thought, “Every time I say Jaya he gets up.  Next time I’m not going to say it.”  So he took Mahi Ravana in his hands and tore him to pieces, and he threw the pieces everywhere.  He sat down, and they all joined together and Mahi Ravana got up.  He used his special martial arts techniques.  He locked Mahi Ravana, and got him in a hold so he couldn’t breath.  Then Mahi Ravana disappeared.  Hanuman said, “No-one can get out of my locking system!”  Then he looked around and he saw a silver mountain, a rock.  Duratandi told him, “This is not a silver rock, this is Mahi Ravana.  He can take any form.”  Hanuman sat on it and crushed it.  Again Mahi Ravana came out, and he started running.  This time he was so fast that Hanuman couldn’t catch him.  Hanuman went to Duratandi and said, “Now what?  Where has he gone?”  She said, “He is performing a yajna for killing you.”  Mahi Ravana went inside a cave and he was quickly performing some yajna, and from the yajna, a big brahma-rakshasa came.  He was saying, “Who?  Who?  Whom should I eat?”  Mahi Ravana said, “Hanuman, over there!”  So he jumped up and came to Hanuman.  Hanuman got ready to fight the bhuta, but Duratandi said, “Don’t fight with the bhuta, it’s a waste of time.  Go and spoil the yajna.  Automatically the bhuta will die.”  Hanuman said, “Oh, that’s good.”  So he went there and spoiled the yajna by passing urine on the fire.  The yajna became contaminated, and the brahma-rakshasa disappeared.  Again Mahi Ravana disappeared.  Hanuman came back to Duratandi and said, “I am confused.  What should I do?”  Duratandi said, “Even if you crush him he won’t die, because his life is in three places.”  She told a secret.  So he came to the Kali temple and saw Ramacandra dressed up with turmeric powder, sindhu, flower garland.  He was going to be sacrificed, so he had to look good.  He came to Rama and said, “My Lord, You must help.  I did everything that I know.  This man is invincible.”  Ramacandra said, “No problem.  At midnight he will kill Me.  At that time, I will make some trick and I will shoot the arrow.  At the same time, you must go and finish those lamps.  I will get Laksmana to crush the diamond.”  Rama was the Supreme intelligence.  So Laksmana got Duratandi to find out where the diamond was, and he reached that place and was waiting for midnight.  The midnight was slowly coming.  Hanuman was flying and flying.  He was going very, very fast.  Finally he landed there.  He saw this cave, and he saw five entrances.  They all connected inside, and there were five lamps burning.  He came in there, and he blew one out.  He came to the next, and he put that one out.  He looked back, and the other one had again lighted up automatically.  He put one off, and another lighted, back and forth.  Then he said, “I will do everything at once.”  So he turned his head while blowing.  They all went out, but all came on again.  In the meantime the snakes had come out spitting poison.  The poison was not doing anything to him, but they were coming and moving mystically, and Hanuman came out and said, “Oh, what am I going to do?”  Again he thought of Vayu.  Vayu came and said, “Hanuman, what’s the problem now?  You don’t have much time, only three minutes left!”  Hanuman said, “Well what can I do?  This lamp goes out and another one starts.  This lamp that lamp, back and forth.  I am confused.”  Vayu said, “Ahh!  You forgot who your father is!”  Hanuman said, “I didn’t forget.  You are my father.”  Vayu said, “You know that only because of me is any light burning?”  And Vayu withdrew from there.  As soon as Vayu withdrew from that cave, it became a vacuum.  And at that point, they all went out at once.  Immediately Hanuman remembered Brahma, and he prayed to him, “I want to use that benediction, that special benediction.  I want to reach Mahipuri right now.”  Next moment he was in Mahipuri.  At the same time Laksmana crushed the diamond.  Just before that, Mahi Ravana had come and told Rama, “Pay obeisances!  And then I will offer you to Kali!”  Rama said, “I don’t know how to pay obeisances.  I forgot.  I was in shock.  Can you teach Me how to pay obeisances?”  So Mahi Ravana said, “All right, I will show you.  This is how you pay obeisances.”  As soon as he bent down, Rama took his arrow and shot him.  All these things happened at the same time, crushing the diamond, putting the lights out, and Ramacandra’s arrow went inside Mahi Ravana’s chest.  And then he started dying.  When he started dying, everything began to cave in.  The jewels became powerless, the roads were cracking, the buildings were crumbling.  And then Hanuman came and said, “Rama and Laksmana, sit on my shoulder!”  And he broke everything and flew off.  He came back to Sri Lanka.  And then the war started.

CHAPTER 14; RAVANA KILLED AND SITA RECOVERED

In the area of Mahipuri, Nila the engineer of the Vanara army reconstructed the city, and Mahi Ravana’s nephew was established as the king.  Now the war started.  This war was different from how the Kuruksetra war was fought.  Day and night the fighting was going on.  Demons especially become more strong after sunset, and a lot of damage was done to the monkey army.  Especially when Indrajit came to the battlefield, and when Kumbhakarna came to the battlefield, a lot of damage was done to the monkeys.  Indrajit used a lot of illusory techniques.  By becoming invisible he fought, and at one point he made Rama and Laksmana unconscious by using some special snake weapon.  Then on the advice of one of the great doctors of the Vanara army and Vibhisana, Hanuman flew to the Himalayas and brought the Puspa-Puspa-Puspa-samjivani mountain.  Puspa-samjivani means, “The flower of revitalisation.”  Actually they told him to bring the Puspa-samjivani leaf.  But the Puspa-samjivani leaf had some sparkle or shine.  Hanuman arrived in the Himalayan region and went to that particular mountain.  The rishis who were meditating on the mountain, for them this Puspa-samjivani leaf was very valuable, because if you just took one leaf you wouldn’t have to eat for five years.  No food, no thirst, no hunger, no sickness.  It was very nice.  They saw that Hanuman had come.  They knew if anyone came there they only come for Puspa-samjivani.  There was nothing else there, just Puspa-samjivani plant and rishis closing their eyes and meditating for thousands of years.  They knew that there was some danger, so they used their mystic power and made all the leaves shine like Puspa-samjivani.  Hanuman was looking.  “Ah, this one!  But that one is also shining.”  He saw the whole mountain was shining.  Hanuman said, “Oh, now I have a problem.  I don’t know which one to take.  I will take the whole mountain.”  So he put his hand under the mountain and he lifted it up.  The rishis were alarmed.  “What’s going on?”  He flew, and before Hanuman came with the mountain, Jambavan very cleverly used the monkey army to kick all the dead bodies of demons into the ocean.  He cleaned the whole place.  Only the monkey dead bodies were kept.  Because otherwise, when Puspa-samjivani mountain comes, then everyone will get up.  They will be as before.  So very cleverly Jambavan arranged that all the dead bodies of demons were kicked into the ocean, and some stones put on their head that they wouldn’t come to the surface.  Then the Puspa-samjivani mountain came, and all the monkeys got up.  Now the demons were small and the Vanaras were more.  Even when he was bringing the mountain, even before he had landed they all got up, the power of Puspa-samjivani was so much.  The fight was going on and everyone had very powerful weapons.  Indrajit means `the conqueror of Indra’.  But he had a benediction that he would be killed only if while he is performing a sacrifice someone stops him and fights with him.  Because Indrajit was very powerful, he was thinking, “Who would dare to stop me while I am performing sacrifice?”  In between the war he disappeared and went to a very secret place to perform a sacrifice.  But Vibhisana knew the place, and he brought Hanuman and Angada there, and they contaminated the sacrifice and pulled him out.  Then there was a big fight, and finally Laksmana killed Indrajit.  One by one everyone was killed, and only Ravana was left.  The demigods helped a lot in the war, and Indra sent his chariot and his charioteer Matali there, which Ramacandra was using.  He broke Ravana’s chariot, killed his charioteer and his horses, broke the bow, broke his club and flag.  And then he said, “All right Ravana, I will give you some time.  You go today, and you come back tomorrow, with the good decision of giving Sita back to Me.  If you do that, everyone who is dead will come back.  You will get all your opulences.  As if it has never happened, people will forget what they knew of you, and you will be known as a noble king.  I will go back to Ayodhya, and we will have a good friendship.”  Ravana felt this a great insult that he was not killed, so he went back to his palace.  Then he remembered that Lord Siva once said to him, “When your life is in danger, you call me.  I will save you.”  There is a vina known as Rudra-vina, Lord Siva’s personal instrument.  That was with Ravana, so he took that vina and started singing songs in praise of Lord Siva.  Lord Siva is easily pleased, so he immediately came before Ravana and said, “Why did you call me?”  Ravana said, “My life is in danger.”  Siva said, “How is your life in danger?  You tell me.”  Ravana said, “I took the wife of the son of Dasaratha, and he came here with his army of monkeys, and they have killed everybody.  Even Kumbhakarna, Indrajit, everyone is gone.  I am the only one left.  And that king insulted me by telling me, “You go.  I won’t kill you today.  Come back tomorrow.”  So over and above everything, I am insulted.  Please save my prestige and my life.”  Siva said, “Yes, I must save your life.  I will save your life.  Here, I am saving your life.  Give Sita back.”  Ravana said, “No!  Oh, the same thing again!  You are cheating me!  You promised me you would save my life, but you are not doing it.”  Siva said, “No, I am saving your life.  Did I say that to save your life I would go and fight with someone?  I have my own method of saving your life.  Just take this small piece of advice:  Give back Sita.  Everything will be wonderful.”  Ravana said, “No, I expected that you would go and fight with Rama and finish Him.”  Siva said, “I don’t mind.  I can go and fight with Rama, but I will be finished.”  Ravana said, “No, I am not going to give back Sita.”  Siva said, “All right, then you will die.  Who can protect you?”  Then Ravana came the next day.  When he came, Ramacandra was standing there holding His bow.  Even to carry that bow was very difficult.  It was much bigger than His body, and very heavy.  He used to hold it like he was holding some grass.  When Ravana came he saw Rama and he folded his hands.  Vibhisana and Laksmana said, “Jaya!  Finally, he is surrendering!”  Then the next moment Ravana said, “What am I doing?  No, I am here to fight with you.”  Then Rama fired His arrow, and he finished Ravana.  Then all of Ravana’s queens came, and they were crying.  Then Vibhisana and Hanuman came to Ramacandra, and they said, “So the war is over, and we are arranging for the cremation of Ravana.  We are performing sraddha for all the ones who are dead.  Please instruct us about bringing Sita.”  Ramacandra said, “Yes, you both go and tell Sita that Ravana is killed, and you bring her here.”  So they went there, and Sitadevi had already got all the news from Vibhisana’s daughter.  Hanuman told her, “Mother, you are being called by Ramacandra, so you must come.”  So she dressed in the same cloth in which she was taken away by Ravana, and which was hanging on the tree.  She dressed herself up, and she came.  When she came, Hanuman and Vibhisana came and said to Ramacandra, “Here is your wife, Sita.”  Ramacandra said, “Tell her that she can do anything she likes and go anywhere she likes.  I have killed Ravana, and she has no fear now.  She can go where she likes.”  Hanuman cried, and he was looking at Vibhisana saying, “What is this?  Cross the ocean, build a bridge, kill the demons, bring a mountain, and then, `You go wherever you like.’  Did He actually say this?”  Vibhisana said, “Yes, he did.  I am also confused.”  So then they went to Laksmana, and asked him, “What is this?”  Laksmana said, “That’s what I am also wondering.  What is this?”  So then they all came back to Rama, and Vibhisana was leading the party.  “O Lord Ramacandra, can You please repeat what You have said?”  Ramacandra said, “Didn’t you hear Me?  Now our work is done.  You have killed the demons, so we will go back.  You can tell this lady to do whatever she wants.”  So then Hanuman came to Sita devi, and he was looking at her face.  Sita said, “Did you hear what He said?”  Hanuman said, “Yes, He said you can do whatever you like.”  Sita told Hanuman, “You tell this king, my husband, that in going anywhere I liked, I did not have to wait all this time.  I could have gone anywhere I liked.  I was only waiting for Him to come.  Now why is He rejecting me?”  Then she prayed to all the demigods, and they all appeared there.  Even Janaka and Dasaratha came.  They were all present, and they said, “Ramacandra, this is Your wife, Sita.  This whole program You did was to get her back.  Now You take her back.”  Ramacandra said, “No.  I don’t have to take her back.”  Dasaratha and Janaka came and said to Him, “No, no.  This will be too hard for her.  Please take her back.”  Ramacandra said, “How will I take her back?  She is not My wife.”  And then everyone became confused.  Brahma came there and said, “This is Your lila.  You just take an avatar to finish the demons and protect the devotees.  But You don’t do too much lila, because we will get confused.  Lila is all right, but not too much lila.  So here is Your wife, just take her.”  Rama said, “She is not My wife.”  Brahma said, “Why?”  “How can she be My wife?  She stayed in Ravana’s garden for so long, four months.  I may take her as my wife, but when I go back to Ayodhya, what will I say to My citizens?  They will say, “Rama, You went to the forest.  How was everything?”  “Everything was all right except that My wife stayed with Ravana for four months.”  What will they think?  Will I be able to keep this lady on the throne as my queen?  On the simhasana, the great seat of the Iksvaku dynasty, some woman who left her husband and stayed somewhere else for four months?  They will complain to Me.”  Hanuman asked Ramacandra, “Then what are You supposed to do?”  Rama said, “You ask Sita.”  So Hanuman came back with Sita and said, “You solve the problem.”  Sita said, “Ask Him.  If He wants I can go to the fire, and prove that I am pure.”  Vibhisana came and told Ramacandra, and Ramacandra said, “Yes, that’s a good idea.  Tell Laksmana to make a fire.”  So they made a fire and Hanuman was crying.  He couldn’t see Mother Sita would walk into the fire, after all that trouble.  So he left that place.  And Vibhisana also left that place.  They couldn’t tolerate.  Laksmana was a thankless person all the time.  He was always given the thankless jobs.  So he went to Mother Sita and told her, “Please come, and go into the fire.”  Sitadevi climbed into the fire.  She was sitting on the fire and the fire was glowing.  Nothing happened to her.  That’s all there in Ramayana.  But something did happen.  What happened was that Agni came there and brought the original Sita.  Sita was actually never in Sri Lanka.  This was a big scandal.  This scandal was arranged by Laksmana.  When Marica got the arrow of Ramacandra in his heart, he shouted, “Oh Laksmana!  Oh Sitadevi!”  Sitadevi told Laksmana, “Your brother is in trouble!  You must go and save Him!”  Laksmana was smiling.  Sita said, “What kind of a demoniac person are you?  How can you smile and laugh when your brother is getting killed by the demons?”  Laksmana said, “What problem is there?  When people get a problem they chant Rama’s name.  How can He have problem?  Anyone who is afraid of an enemy, they chant Rama’s name and they get protected.  How can He have any enemy?  He is protecting everyone in this world.  How can he have a problem?”  Sitadevi said, “Now I know your plan!  You always wanted to have me as your wife.  Now that Rama will be dead you will be happy.”  Laksmana closed his ears.  “Oh no!  What is this?”  Then she said, “If not, then you must go now.”  So he said, “All right, I will go.”  But then he thought, “I’m not just going to leave like this.”  So he took his Agni astra, the astra of fire, and he drew a line in front of the ashrama.  He said, “You be beyond this line.  Don’t cross this line.”  So then Ravana came as a sannyasi, and he was trying to first enter the house.  When he came, he touched the line and the fire came, and he couldn’t go in.  Then he called, “Is there anyone in the house?”  Sita devi came, and Ravana asked, “Whose house is this?”  Sita said, “This is the son of Dasaratha’s house.  He is in exile.  Nobody who comes to this house goes without getting something.  So I wll give you something.”  Then she brought some fruits.  Ravana said, “I don’t enter houses.  I am a naisthika sannyasa.  You have to come outside and bring it to me.”  She said, “I have been told by my protectors not to cross this line.”  He said, “All right, I won’t take.  I’m going, and I’m angry.”  She said, “No, no, don’t go angry.”  He said, “Yes, all these Dasaratha and Rama, they are all just misers.  They don’t give any charity.  I’m going, and I’ll tell everyone, `This is Rama’.”  So Sitadevi thought, “Oh, this is very bad.  I have to protect the name of my husband.”  So she crossed the line.  When she crossed the line, the fire came again and Agni took her to his palace.  He produced a Sita who was illusory, and that was the Sita Ravana took.  One may say, “If she is illusory then what is the whole problem with this scene?”  No, even that Sita belongs to the Lord only.  She’s not supposed to be in Ravana’s garden.  But then Ramacandra had a vow that He only married one Laksmi in that incarnation.  He was not going to take the other Laksmi.  He told her, “You can go wherever you like.”  He was not cruel, he just told her what she is supposed to be told.  But this happened in a very secret manner, not many people knew.  At least in the Ramayana, it is not stated.  In the Kurma Purana, the story is mentioned.  Agni brought the original Sita and handed her over to Ramacandra.

Sri Rama Chandra Bhagavan ki Jaya, Sri Rama Vijayotsav ki Jaya, Sri Vijaya Dasami Mahotsav ki Jaya.

VIJAY DASHMI – Give Tithes, Zakat, Daan

TITHES / ZAKAT / DAAN  by the Christain, Muslim and Hindu

Vijay Dashmi Message from Jyotishacharya Shastri Pundit Roshan Singh

Now that the glorious festival of Navarathri is over we rejoice in victory over our vices that have been concord. We vow to be pure in our attributes not to be blunt nor angry, to be bold yet as meek as a lamb in all circumstances, to be loving and kind to all beings. We vow to be kind and be generous, to give in silence and not seek name or fame. It does not matter weather we are Christain, Muslim or Hindu. Charity, love, care and kindness for those that are in need are considered as the prime tenets of religion. Let us jointly give and make the world a better place for all.

Your ever well wisher

Jyotishacharya Shastri Pundit Roshan Singh

CHRISTIANITY – TITHES

It is true that when we give, the Lord will give back to us a hundredfold in this lifetime (Mark 10:30), but giving only to get is the wrong motivation. 

God prospers us so we can establish His kingdom (Deut. 8:18),

Give to those in need (Eph. 4:28) and abound unto every good work (2 Cor. 9:8). We do need to expect to receive when we give, primarily so we will be resupplied and able to give more. However, the emphasis should be on giving, not receiving.

It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). We should live to give and not give to live.

Second, there has been a lot of misunderstanding about when we should give. Many Christians only give after all their needs have been met. But the Scriptures teach that our gifts are first fruits (Prov. 3:9). That means the first thing we do when we receive money is to honor the Lord by giving a portion of it to His work. Anything less is not honoring the Lord.

We need to be mindful of giving to churches who grow and become rich while they forget to do good for the poor and needy.  Lord Jesus did not mention in the bible that huge churches should be built for his glory.

ISLAM – ZAKAT

Zakat is based on income and the value of all of one’s possessions. It is customarily 2.5% (or 1/40) of a Muslim’s total savings and wealth above a minimum amount known as nisab, but Islamic scholars differ on how much nisab is and other aspects of zakat.

Why is Charity So Important in Islam

You know that zakat, or charity, is the Third Pillar of Islam, a major teaching. Being charitable and providing for the needy are important features of the Muslim character. Why is charity so important?

The existence of countless starving, poor, hungry and destitute Muslims and non-Muslims in the world points to the need for this essential teaching to be put into practice. Affluent Muslims may not realize how their wealth could strengthen whole communities. Giving charity correctly is crucial to both the well-being of the needy as well as the ultimate happiness of the wealthy. The Prophet emphasized this principle repeatedly.

The Forms of Charity

Several different categories of charity are defined in Islam, the two most important being zakat (obligatory charity) and sadaqa (voluntary charity). Zakat is a specific, standardized percentage of one’s extra wealth (over and above the necessities of life) that must be given to the poor and those in need. Sadaqa can be given to anyone in many forms including a smile, wise advice, or helping to build a home or masjid.

The Prophet said: 

  • “Your smile for your brother is a charity.
  • Your removal of stones, thorns or bones from the paths of people is a charity.
  • Your guidance of a person who is lost is a charity.” (Bukhari)

Another Hadith illustrates the importance of every part of a person’s body performing a charity:

“A charity is due for every joint in each person on every day the sun comes up: to act justly between two people is a charity; to help a man with his mount, lifting him onto it or hoisting up his belongings onto it, is a charity; a good word is a charity; and removing a harmful thing from the road is a charity.” (Al-Bukhari, Muslim)

Shade on the Day of Judgment

The Prophet said: “The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

On the day when all other shade will be gone, Allah will shade and shelter those who give charity and care for the poor. The Muslim’s sacrifice in this life will be their protection on the Day of Judgment.

A Protection From Calamity

By sacrificing part of one’s wealth and giving it in charity, the individual is guaranteeing protection for themselves from tragedy and misfortune.

The Prophet said: “Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

Better to Give Than To Take

It is considered better to give charity than receive it. One should be wary of repeatedly soliciting and taking from sadaqa and zakat funds. Those who refrain from taking these funds (so that more will be left for the other needy) will be provided for by Allah and be made self-reliant by Him.

The Prophet said: “The upper hand is better than the lower hand (he who gives is better than him who takes). One should start giving first to his dependents. And the best object of charity is that which is given by a wealthy person (from the money left after his expenses). And whoever abstains from asking others for some financial help, Allah will give him and save him from asking others, Allah will make him self-sufficient.” (Al-Bukhari)

Relieving a person in debt is charity

The Prophet said: “If anyone would like Allah to save him from the hardships of the Day of Resurrection, he should give more time to his debtor who is short of money, or remit his debt altogether.” (Muslim)

If someone owes you money, it is considered charity if you show mercy, give the debtor more time to pay back his loan, or even cancel out the person’s debt. If charity is a person’s shade on the Day of Judgment, canceling a person’s debt will also serve as a protection.

Helping Family in Need

It is acceptable to give one’s charity to those in need in one’s own family.

The Prophet said: “To give something to a poor man brings one reward, while giving the same to a needy relation brings two: one for charity and the other for respecting the family ties.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

The Pitfall of Greed

Be careful of greed. The longer one holds onto money and fails to share it as charity, the harder it may be later on to part with that hoarded wealth. Hiding away one’s wealth and depriving the needy of even a small kindness will not only come back to haunt the greedy, but their misfortune will be multiplied and they will be led down a misguided path.

The Prophet said: “Avoid doing injustice to others, for on the Day of Judgment, it will turn into manifold darkness, and safeguard yourself against miserliness, for it ruined those who were before you. It incited them to murder and treating the unlawful as lawful.” (Muslim)

Charity That Keeps On Giving

If a person performs a deed that continues to benefit others in a good way, the performer of the deed will continue to collect the rewards for her single act for as long as it benefits others (even after the person passes away). This is referred to as sadaqa jariyah, or perpetual charity.

The Prophet said: “When a person dies his works end, except for three: ongoing charity, knowledge that is benefited from, and a righteous child who prays for him.” (Muslim, Al-Tirmidhi, others)

The degree of the reward is dependent on the degree and significance of the benefit of the charitable act, and to what degree the charity was given for the sake of Allah.

Charity serves as a way to bring justice, balance and kindness to every society and community. It is our hope that the Muslim community fulfills their charitable duty correctly and does their part to eliminating poverty in communities everywhere.

HINDUISM – DAAN

Daan (in Hindi) or Charity is a Sanskrit word that is associated with an act of giving . In Hinduism, for Hindus, daan (giving) is an important part of one’s dharma (religious duty) . Every individual has a duty or dharma towards their family, friends, extended family and society.

Dāna (Sanskrit: दान) means giving, often in the context of donation and charity.  In other contexts, such as rituals, it can simply refer to the act of giving something.  Dāna is related to and mentioned in ancient texts with concepts of Paropakāra (परोपकार) which means benevolent deed, helping others;  Dakshina (दक्षिणा) which means gift or fee one can afford; and Bhiksha (भिक्षा), which means alms.

Dāna has been defined in traditional texts as any action of relinquishing the ownership of what one considered or identified as one’s own, and investing the same in a recipient without expecting anything in return.

While dāna is typically given to one person or family, Hinduism also discusses charity or giving aimed at public benefit, sometimes called utsarga. This aims at larger projects such as building a rest house, school, drinking water or irrigation well, planting trees, and building care facility among others.

Dāna in Hindu scriptures

The Rigveda  has the earliest discussion of dāna in the Vedas. The Rigveda relates it to satya “truth” and in another hymn points to the guilt one feels from not giving to those in need. It uses da, the root of word dāna, in its hymns to refer to the act of giving to those in distress. 

The Gods have not ordained hunger to be our death: even to the well-fed man comes death in varied shape, The riches of the liberal never waste away, while he who will not give finds none to comfort him. The man with food in store who, when the needy comes in miserable case begging for bread to eat hardens his heart against him, when of old finds not one to comfort him.

Bounteous is he who gives unto the beggar who comes to him in want of food, and the feeble,
Success attends him in the shout of battle. He makes a friend of him in future troubles,
No friend is he who to his friend and comrade who comes imploring food, will offer nothing.

Let the rich satisfy the poor implorer, and bend his eye upon a longer pathway.


Riches come now to one, now to another, and like the wheels of cars are ever rolling,
The foolish man wins food with fruitless labour: that food – I speak the truth – shall be his ruin,
He feeds no trusty friend, no man to love him. All guilt is he who eats with no partaker.

— Rigveda X.117

The Upanishads, composed before 500 BCE, present some of the earliest Upanishadic discussion of dāna. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad in verse 5.2.3, states that three characteristics of a good, developed person are self-restraint (damah), compassion or love for all sentient life (daya), and charity (dāna).

तदेतत्त्रयँ शिक्षेद् दमं दानं दयामिति
Learn three cardinal virtues – self restraint, charity and compassionn for all life.

— Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, V.ii.3 Chandogya Upanishad, Book III, similarly, states that a virtuous life requires: tapas  (asceticism), dāna (charity), arjava (straightforwardness), ahimsa a (non-injury to all sentinent beings) and satyavacana (truthfulness).

Bhagavad Gita describes the right and wrong forms of dāna in verses 17.20 through 17.22. It defines sāttvikam (good, enlightened, pure) charity, in verse 17.20, as one given without expectation of return, at the proper time and place, and to a worthy person. It defines rajas (passion, ego driven, active) charity, in verse 17.21, as one given with the expectation of some return, or with a desire for fruits and results, or grudgingly. It defines tamas (ignorant, dark, destructive) charity, in verse 17.22, as one given with contempt, to unworthy person(s), at a wrong place and time. In Book 17, Bhadwad Gita suggests steadiness in sattvikam dāna, or the good form of charity is better; and that tamas should be avoided. These three psychological categories are referred to as the gunas in Hindu philosophy.

The Adi Parva of the Hindu Epic Mahabharata, in Chapter 91, states that a person must first acquire wealth by honest means, then embark on charity; be hospitable to those who come to him; never inflict pain on any living being; and share a portion with others whatever he consumes. In Chapter 87 of Adi Parva, it calls sweet speech and refusal to use harsh words or wrong others even if you have been wronged, as a form of charity. In the  Vana Parva. Chapter 194, the Mahabharata recommends that one must, “conquer the mean by charity, the untruthful by truth, the wicked by forgiveness, and dishonesty by honesty”. Anushasana Parva in Chapter 58, recommends public projects as a form of dāna. It discusses the building of drinking water tanks for people and cattle as a noble form of giving, as well as giving of lamps for lighting dark public spaces. In later sections of Chapter 58, it describes planting public orchards, with trees that give fruits to strangers and shade to travelers, as meritorious acts of benevolent charity. In Chapter 59 of Book 13 of the Mahabharata, Yudhisthira and Bhishma discuss the best and lasting gifts between people:

An assurance unto all creatures with love and affection and abstention from every kind of injury, acts of kindness and favor done to a person in distress, whatever gifts are made without the giver’s ever thinking of them as gifts made by him, constitute, O chief of Bharata’s race, the highest and best of gifts (dāna).

— The Mahabharata, XIII.59

The Bhagavata Purana discusses when dāna is proper and when it is improper. In Book 8, Chapter 19, verse 36 it states that charity is inappropriate if it endangers and cripples modest livelihood of one’s biological dependents or of one’s own. Charity from surplus income above that required for modest living is recommended in the Puranas.

Hindu scriptures exist in many Indian languages. For example, the Tirukkural, written between 200 BCE and 400 CE, is one of the most cherished classics on Hinduism written in a South Indian language. It discusses charity, dedicating Chapter 23 of Book 1 on Virtues to it. Tirukkuṛaḷ suggests charity is necessary for an virtuous life and happiness. He states in Chapter 23: “Giving to the poor is true charity, all other giving expects some return”; “Great, indeed, is the power to endure hunger. Greater still is the power to relieve other’s hunger”; “Giving alms is a great reward in itself to one who gives”. In Chapter 101, he states: “Believing wealth is everything, yet giving away nothing, is a miserable state of mind”; “Vast wealth can be a curse to one who neither enjoys it nor gives to the worthy”.Like the Mahabharata, Tirukkuṛaḷ also extends the concept of charity to deeds (body), words (speech) and thoughts (mind). It states that a brightly beaming smile, the kindly light of loving eye, and saying pleasant words with sincere heart is a form of charity that every human being should strive to give.

Your ever well wisher

Pundit Roshan Singh

Planetary rulers of the days of the week

Jyotishacharya Shasti Pundit Roshan Singh

Planetary rulers of the days of the week

“Monday’s Child is fair of face, Tuesday’s Child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s Child is full of woe,
Thursday’s Child has far to go,
Friday’s Child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s Child works hard for a living,
But the child born on the Sabbath Day,
Is fair and wise and good and gay.”

The ancient Babylonians chose to organize their calendar around 7 days of the week, and each day corresponds to one of the seven “planets” visible to the naked eye. [Planets is in quotations because two–the Sun and the Moon–are technically not planets (they’re luminaries).]

Monday is ruled by the Moon. “Monday’s child is fair of face” might refer to the sensitivity and youthfulness associated with the Moon.

Tuesday is ruled by Mars. “Tuesday’s child is full of grace” might be more aptly interpreted as full of energy and movement.

Wednesday is ruled by Mercury. “Wednesday’s child is full of woe” might be interpreted as a person who worries or thinks too much.

Thursday is ruled by Jupiter. “Thursday’s child has far to go” might thus be interpreted as a person who will travel and learn.

Friday is ruled by Venus. “Friday’s child is loving and giving” might refer to the Venus nature, that is, a person who is loving and receptive to love.

Saturday is ruled by Saturn. “Saturday’s child works hard for a living” thus might refer to the Saturnine nature which is rather serious and responsible.

Sunday is ruled by the Sun. “But the child born on the Sabbath Day is fair and wise and good and gay” might refer to the magnanimous Sun nature.

Astrologers generally pay more attention to the ruling planets in a natal chart. That is, the planet that rules the sign on your Ascendant and the planet that rules the sign of your Sun. For example, if your Ascendant is Aries, Mars is the ruling planet of your Ascendant since Mars is the natural ruler of Aries. If your Sun is in Taurus, then Venus is your Sun’s ruling planet since Venus is the natural ruler of Taurus.

Do update your horoscope reading as this is a valuable document that will guide you into a better future. A perfect science that has worked for millions of years.

Love light and blessings

Your ever well wisher

Punditji

BLESSING OF A MOTOR CAR : VAHAN POOJA

Jyotishacharya Shastri Pundit Roshan Singh

What is a car puja? Simply put, it’s a ceremony to consecrate or bless a new car and keep it safe from bad influences.  This is carried out by Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Buddhists in different ways in most traditions.

This service is offer by us and done with a great deal of spirituality and will be an occasion that will be cherished and remembered forever.

Hindus bless all items and implements that are used in daily life—homes, cars, motorized vehicles of all types, home appliances, such as mixers, grinders, stoves, TVs, stereos, etc. A puja is done at the inception of your connection to the implement: just before using it or as soon as possible after purchase. When you buy a new car or a home, you do the puja before driving the car or moving into the new house.

Blessing of a car – Christian


Blessing of a car – Hindu

Blessing of Car – Buddhist

Hindus believe in seeking blessings for all the newly bought items ranging from home appliances to a new house. One such product is the vehicle they buy. Car puja is carried out by families to seek the blessings of the God and to protect the new vehicle from misfortune. Car puja is performed soon after the purchase of the car. Lord Ganesh Puja is observed whenever a new vehicle is bought.

The new car is washed and wiped clean before performing the car puja. The person who bought the car takes part in the puja with the priest, and the presence of other members of the family is also required. The possessor of the car takes the kalash of the sacred water from the Pundit into his/her right hand and washes his/her hands for the puja. This process is repeated three times. In Indian temples, it is an old ritual to acknowledge things into the right hand with the left hand placed under the right hand.

This is followed by a pooja and offerings to Lord Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and the Divine Mother seeking their blessings and protective energy.

For three reiterations, he/she acknowledges rice from the priest to sprinkle onto the front of the new car. The priest draws a swastika with the third finger of right hand, preferably on the hood of the car. The swastika is made with turmeric powder blended with water or sandalwood paste. The swastika -conceived in India over 5,000 years ago-is an image that means good fortune. After the swastika is drawn, the possessor of the vehicle is again given rice which he sprinkles on the swastika. For every sprinkle, the owner needs to chant a few mantras.

Meditating on Lord Ganesha and reciting holy mantras is a common practice. One set of mantras incorporates discussing 11 of the 108 names of Lord Ganesha.  The Pundit lights the incense sticks and loops them around the swastika symbol three times in a clockwise course. Usually, most pujaris install a small Lord Ganesha idol near the steering wheel. Sacred water is sprinkled on it before installing it inside the car.

The individual who claims the vehicle will break the coconut or pumpkin close to the right front tire and sprinkle coconut water on the tire. The coconut is kept as prasadam and consumed later. Squeezing lemons by keeping them under the wheels of the vehicle is a symbol to get rid of bad influence. The car is moved towards the right to complete the vehicle puja.

Requirements for the blessing of the car :

1 Coconut or Pumpkin

Camphor

Agarbathie

Red Sindhur / Hardi

Flowers and a flower garland

4 lime

Fruit / Milk / sweetmeats

Your ever well wisher

Punditji