A story someone told me in India. In the olden days, it was a common custom for shopkeepers to keep a small chair outside the shop as soon as they opened the shop in the morning.
As soon as the first customer would arrive, the shopkeeper would lift the chair from that place and take it inside the shop.
But when the next customer would come, the shopkeeper would look around the market. Pointing to a shop with a chair still placed outside, he would say to the customer – “You will get what you need from that shop.” I have already got my bohni (the day’s first business) in the morning.”
This was because having a chair outside the shop was a sign that the shopkeeper had not received any customers yet. This inspiring affection and care between competing businessmen was probably the reason for the growth in not only their profits, but also in the respect they earned.
In Vedic thought there are four goals of human life, not just relative the physical personality but to the Atman within.
First is DHARMA, which relates to our purpose in this physical incarnation, what our karma dictates and what develops our buddhi or inner intelligence.
Second is ARTHA, which relates to the resources and achievements necessary to fulfill that.
Third is KAMA, or the enjoyment in our dharmic activities.
Fourth is MOKSHA, or our liberation from body, mind and karma into our inner being, through the fulfillment of our dharmic purpose.
This isn’t in the main but sometimes is considered as fifth – AROGYA, or wellness of body and mind as the necessary instruments and vehicles to promote our dharma.
For those without awareness of their inner purpose, these four goals get externalized in the form of career, wealth, pleasure in general and personal freedom, but these get us caught in further karma and don’t align us with the Atman within.
Self-discipline is one of the most important and useful skills everyone should possess. This skill is essential in every area of life, and though most people acknowledge its importance, very few do something to strengthen it.
Self discipline does not mean being harsh with yourself, or living a limited, restrictive lifestyle. Building this skill means using common sense, making priorities, and thinking before acting.
Self discipline means self control, which is a sign of inner strength and control of yourself and your reactions. This skill gives you the power to stick to your decisions and follow them through, without changing your mind.
When you improve this ability it becomes easier to develop good habits and get rid of bad habits. It also becomes easier to overcome addictions, overeating, procrastination and laziness.
If you wish to possess more inner strength and stronger willpower, you need to start working on developing your discipline.
Self-discipline means self-control, the ability to avoid unhealthy excess of anything that could lead to negative consequences. It is the ability to reject instant gratification and pleasure, in favor of some greater gain, which requires spending effort and time to get it.
It means perseverance and not giving up. It is the strength not to give in to negative feelings. It means overcoming one’s weaknesses. It is the ability to pursue one plans despite temptations to abandon them. A disciplined person is more likely to take control and responsibility for his or her life.
Self discipline means Perseverance. The ability not to give up, despite failure and setbacks. The ability to resist distractions or temptations. Trying over and again, until you accomplish what you set out to do.
Life puts challenges and problems on the path to success and achievement, and in order to rise above them, you have to act with perseverance and persistence, and this of course, requires discipline. The possession of this skill leads to self esteem and confidence, and consequently, to happiness and satisfaction.
Welcome to mantra and aasana series for horoscopes. In the Olden days yoga was not just practiced by itself but it was practiced under a guru in the ancient system of Gurukul. Here the sadhak or the shishya was not just taught yoga but also Ayurveda, Vedic astrology, vastu shastra along with various other important topics which were related to the human mind, the society, country the universe and such other matters.
We wanted to share the mysticism of mantra, asana, the main element of that horoscope along with the planet having a direct impact on it and the polarity the specific horoscope bends towards…
Once there was a young yogi who lived by the river. There he spent most of his time practicing yoga and meditating. His life was simple and worry free. For not having other responsibilities, the yogi could spend long time sitting, contemplating with closed eyes the beautiful transcendental form of the Lord that is in our hearts. This was his daily routine and meditation.
One day, while on the banks of the river, the yogi washed his only clothing and only possession, the rag he used to cover his intimate parts. In India when it was so hot, little more was necessary. Even so while the yogi washed and dried the rag, I had to be naked and wait for it to dry. One day while waiting for his rag to dry he thought: ′′ If I had another rag I wouldn’t waste my time waiting for this rag to be dry I could get dressed right after my bath.”
Just at that moment a wise man was passing through there. A wise man with power to read the thought. He stood and headed to the yogi and said: ′′Dear son, I know what you have in mind. You want to buy time. But listen to me when I tell you that better than acquiring more possessions is better to settle for what one has. It’s better this way.”
Then the wise man offered the young man his blessings and went on his way.
The young yogi meditated deeply on what that wise man had said to him but in the end he thought that with one more rag, nothing would happen, it wasn’t too much to wish. So he went to the market and bought a dress rag.
The next day he bathed in the river as usual, did his clothes and lay it on a rock to dry. Then she dressed her new clothes and went to meditate. Later, the yogi went back to the rock to pick up his dry rag.
As he picked it up from the rock, the yogi realized that the rag was full of little holes, bites from a hungry mouse. Yogi was upset but thought:′′ I know, I’ll buy a cat to chase mice away while my clothes dry.” And so the young yogi went back to the market to buy a cat.
The next day the yogi spent the day happily meditating until the night fell. At this time the cat started meowing, bothering the yogi:′′ Oh, the cat wants milk, ′′ sighed the yogi.
So this time he went to the market and came back with a cow. Everything was going quietly until night fell again and the cow started mugging: ′′ I’m not going to milk the cow every day!”, he thought. ′′ It takes forever.”
So he went back to town and there he asked a young girl to be his wife. She could milk the cow and give it to the cat, who would keep the mouse away from the young yogi’s rag. And so the yogi was happy for a while.
Then the babies came… Until one day his wife said to him:′′ We need a house.” So the yogi built a house. While time went by, yogi was meditating less and less and more and more. He was constantly busy taking care of his home, his growing family, and his animals. Sometimes when he had a moment of peace, he used to remember those times when he had no worries and his only possession was just a rag.
Then one day, remembering those times of peace, again the old sadhu passing by showed up. The sadhu smiled and said: ′′ I see you’re thoughtful, so I’ll tell you once again that it’s better to be content with what one has Because when it comes to wanting or wanting things, there is no end.”
With acceptance and detachment nothing you lose because you want nothing.
Alexander was a brilliant warrior and military genius. He had a bright and subtle mind. His tutor was the great Greek philosopher Aristotle, whose thoughts and writings have had a huge influence on western thoughts concerning ethics, beauty, and politics.
Alexander created a huge army and invaded Persia, of which he conquered along with Egypt, Phoenicia, Palestine, Babylonia, Assyria, and Asia Minor. Alexander now commanded a vast empire but was not satisfied so went on to invade India. When he was making his way through India he came to the Indus Valley. Whilst there, he encountered a small group of yogi’s who were sitting in meditation on the banks of the river.
EPISODE 1 Alexander’s party of soldiers was trying to get through but the meditating yogis were blocking their way and were refusing to move. One of Alexander’s Lieutenants started shouting at one of the yogi’s, “This man has conquered the world! What have you accomplished?” The yogi looked up calmly and replied, “I have conquered the desire to conquer the world” and upon hearing these words Alexander laughed; he admired the wisdom of the yogi.
EPISODE 2 Plutarch further speaks of the wit and character of Indian Yogis in these terms:
“Alexander summoned ten of the wise men of the country, which men do all go naked, and are called philosophers of India. They had made the tribe of Sabbas to rebel and fight against Alexander and had thereby greatly hurt him. These philosophers were taken to be the sharpest and readiest of answer Alexander put them, as he thought many hard questions. He told them that he would put the first man to death that answer his question worst and likewise all others in this order. He made the eldest among them the judge of their answers.
“The question that he asked the first man was:
“Whether the dead or the living, were the greater number”. He answered, “the living…’For, the dead are no more man.’”
‘He asked the second man, “Whether the earth or the sea brought forth most creatures”.
‘The man answered, “The earth ‘for the sea is but a part of the earth.”
‘To the third man he asked, “Which of all beasts was the subtlest”.
‘The answered given was, “That which man hitherto never knew”.
‘To the fourth, question put was, “why did you make king of Sabbas rebel against him (Alexander)?”
‘The answered received was, “Because he should live honorably, or die vilely”.
‘To the fifth he asked, “Which you thought was the first- the day or the night?”
‘The answer given was, “the day, by a day”.
‘Alexander finding this strange answer said, “Strange questions must of necessity receive strange answers.”
‘Coming to the sixth he asked, “How a man should come to be beloved?”
‘He got this answer, “If he be a good man and not terrible”.
‘To the seventh he put the question, “how a man should be a god?”
“In doing a thing that is impossible for a man”, was the received answer.
“Which was stronger, life or death?” was the question put by him to the eighth.
‘And he received this answer, “life that suffers so many troubles.”
‘To the last ninth Yogi, he put this question, “How long a man should live?”
‘The answer was, “until the man thinks it better to die, than to live.”
‘After hearing these answers, Alexander turned to the tenth yogi and asked him to give his judgment upon them.
‘The judge said, “They had all answered one worse than another.”
‘Thereupon, Alexander said, “then you shall be made to die first, because you have given such a judgment.”
‘He replied promptly to Alexander, “It cannot be so, 0 king, unless you be a liar, because you said that you would kill him first, that answered the worst.”
‘Alexander gave them rewards and allowed them to go.”
EPISODE 3 “When Alexander the Great was busy conquering the world far and wide, he came at last to India.
When he was about to return to his country, he remembered that his people had asked him to bring to them an Indian yogi. They had heard a lot about yogis and were very desirous of seeing one, meeting him, hearing him speak and receiving his blessings. Alexander was told that the yogis dwelt in the forest.
In quest of a yogi he went to a forest. Sure enough, he found one sitting underneath a tree, in deep meditation. He waited patiently until the yogi opened his eyes. They shone with a strange, mystic light.
Reverently, Alexander requested the yogi to accompany him to Greece, saying.
“I will give you everything you need or ask for. But, pray, do come with me. My people would love to meet you!”
The yogi quietly answered, “I need nothing, I am happy where I am.”
This was the first time that anyone had turned down Alexander’s request. He could not control himself. He flew into a rage.
And unsheathing his sword, he thundered, “Do you know who is speaking to you? I am the great king Alexander. If you will not listen to me. I shall kill you- cut you into pieces!”
Unperturbed, the yogi answered. “You cannot kill me. You can only kill my body. And the body is but a garment I have worn. I am not the body. I am that which dwells within the body.”
The yogi continued, “You say you are a king. May I tell you, who you are? You are a slave of my slave!”
Stunned. Alexander asked. “How am I a slave of your slave?”
In a voice tender with compassion, the yogi explained. “I have mastered anger. Anger is my slave. See, how easily you gave way to anger. You are a slave of anger, and, therefore, a slave of my slave!”
EPISODE 4 (even though technically this is episode 3, I switched the order, wanted to save the best for the last) Aristotle the teacher and guide of Alexander had told him that, in India lived great mystical, intellectual, and spiritual super beings called Yogis. He told Alexander if he ever got the opportunity, to go and meet a Yogi SPECIFICALLY DANDAMIS, and if possible to even bring one back to Greece for Aristotle to meet.
Upon inquiry, whilst in India, Alexander learned about the great and wise Sanyasi, Yogi Dandamis, of Taxila who dwelled deep in a forest.
Alexander sent numerous summons to Dandamis, which he promptly ignored. Alexander who could strike fear in the hearts and minds of great armies and kings was intrigued. He became desperate to meet this being who assigned no importance to Alexander.
Alexander next sent messengers with lavish gifts and an invitation to Dandamis for discourse and discussion on philosophy. Dandamis politely declined both the gifts and the invitation.
Though angry Alexander, a pupil of the great philosopher and teacher Aristotle, knew very well that, great beings could rarely be lured or coerced.
Finally, Alexander sent a messenger, his helmsman, Onesicritus a disciple of the Hellenic school of Diogenes to invite Dandamis. When Onesicritus met Dandamis, he lavished praise and gifts on him. When Dandamis declined his invitation and gifts, Onesicritus threatened Dandamis. He said that Alexander had ordered the beheading of Dandamis should the orders of the emperor be disobeyed.
Dandamis remained unperturbed, stating, he had no fear of death. Onesicritus couldn’t muster the courage to kill Dandamis, and, instead, paid his respects to Dandamis and went back to report the incident to Alexander.
Livid at being rejected by a naked forest-dweller, Alexander decided to go to Dandamis himself. With his Marshal and a large entourage, Alexander made his way deep into the forest. Even though he experienced the powerful aura of Dandamis, Alexander grew furious when the sage did not get up to welcome him.
Dandamis Yogi ji
“How dared you refuse my gifts?” Alexander demanded. “They were smeared in blood,” replied Dandamis.
The chilling truth, and fearless conviction in Dandamis’s voice, rattled Alexander. Alexander could not let his men overhear the embarrassing exchange, so he ordered them to move some distance away.
Then, when he was alone with Dandamis, Alexander dismounted from his horse, walked towards the sitting sage, and menacingly stood over him.
“Do you know who I am?” Alexander roared. “I don’t think even you know, who you are,” replied Dandamis.
Alexander felt deeply insulted. He drew his sword and swung it at Dandamis, stopping just before it struck Dandamis’s neck.
“I am Alexander, the world conqueror,” he shouted. “You are sitting on my land. Submit or I’ll kill you … ”
“Your land?” Dandamis chuckled as he cut him off. “The land belongs to no one, O King!”
“Before you, there were others who claimed it as theirs,” he continued. “After you, there’ll be others who will say it’s theirs.
All creation belongs to the Creator alone, Alexander. And no one has any right to destroy what they haven’t created. You have blood on your hands, O Emperor! You may have a temporary claim on the land, but you have permanent scars on your soul.”
Clearing his throat, a flustered and uncomfortable Alexander lowered his sword and adjusted his posture.
“The whole world is mine, Dandamis,” Alexander exclaimed. “History will remember me as the mightiest king! My men will die for me!”
“What good is your ambition or their remembrance, O King? You drown yourself in alcohol every evening so you may forget about your crimes and sins. These men who surround you, they are tired of you. You will see it, they’ll give up on you one day, in fact very soon.”
“Besides,” Dandamis continued, “what will you do with the world? All you need is two yards. Two yards long and two yards deep. Ultimately that’s all that will belong to you.”
Alexander sheathed his sword and sat at the feet of Dandamis for a long while. After a rather long discourse, a humbled Alexander bowed his head before Dandamis and left.
Yoga means union with God. The state of yoga is impossible to attain without the blessings of Lord Shiva. It needs a concentrated and focussed mind. There are some specific spots in the human body concentrating upon which, enables a man to attain the state of yoga-spot between the eyebrows, lower part of the throat, Navel and six inches above it etc.
The state of yoga can never be attained until and unless a person has fully controlled the tendencies of sense organs. It can be achieved with the help of eight means-Yama (Penance), Niyam (discipline), Aasan (Posture), Pranayam (Breath-control), Pratyahar (restraint of passion), Dharan (retention), Dhyan (concentration) and Samadhi (deep meditation). Each of them holds an important position in the path of yoga.
Describing about the methods of performing yoga, in Linga Purana Sutji says – “A person should sit with his legs crossed in Padmasan and try to concentrate his mind by fixing his gaze between his eyebrows. He should keep his spine erect. He should meditate either on the form of Omkar or on the form of lord Shiva. Breath control is an important aspect of yogic exercise. A man should exhale deeply for 32 times and then breathe in deeply. He should then retain his breath as long as possible and visualize lord Shiva within his body. By constant practice he will achieve mastery over this art and a time will come when he will experience divine bliss. This divine bliss can not be experienced unless one has attained a deep state of meditation (Samadhi).”
Obstacles in the Path of Yoga – A man experiences numerous obstacles in the path of Yoga-laziness, restlessness confusion, a diseased body etc. The main reason for being lazy is a bulky physique and one’s inability to concentrate his mind. Lack of concentration results in restlessness, which is a major obstacle in the path of yoga. If a person in unsure about the results he becomes confused. It is impossible for a person suffering from any disease to concentrate his mind.
All the above mentioned hurdles can be overcome by firm resolution. A man who has successfully overcome all these obstacles might experience other obstacles in the form of siddhis (divine powers). There is a real danger of getting lured by these divine powers. As a result his mind may get distracted from his original goal and he may deviate from his path. The names of these siddhis or divine powers are-Pratibha (having knowledge of past present & future incident), Shravan (being capable of listening to abnormal sounds), Varta (whatever is said becomes true), Darshana (capable of seeing things which can mot be seen by the mortal eyes), Aaswada (being capable of experiencing divine (tastes), Vedana (being capable of relieving other’s pain by a mere touch). If a person successfully overcomes all these allurements then he becomes a siddha- or man of accomplishment and divine powers.!!
The best thing you can do is to keep going. Don’t be afraid to try again, to love again, to live again, and to dream again. Don’t let a hard lesson harden your heart. Life’s best lessons are often learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes.
There will be times when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong. And you might feel like you will be stuck in this rut forever, but you won’t. When you feel like quitting, remember that sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right. Sometimes you have to go through the worst, to arrive at your best.
Yes, life is tough, but you are tougher. Find the strength to laugh every day. Feel the courage to feel different , yet beautiful. Find it in your heart to make others smile too. The power is within, discover thyself! Don’t stress over things you can’t change. Live simply. Love generously. Speak truthfully. Work diligently. Love and it will come back to you! And even if you fall short, keep going. Keep growing.
Awake every morning and do your best to follow this daily TO-DO list: Think positively. Eat healthy. Do yoga. Worry less. Work hard. Laugh often. Sleep well. Do good and good will come back to you!!
He was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. We all have grown up listening to the stories from the Ramayana, which are a source of inspiration for all. Lord Rama is an embodiment of perfection for his devotees. Well, ever wondered why he is known as Maryada Purushottam? Today, we have brought to you the information about why Lord Rama is known as Maryada Purushottam. Let us begin.
The Meaning Of The Phrase Maryada Purushottam Maryada Purushottam is a Sanskrit phrase in which “Maryada” translates to “honour and righteousness”, and “Purushottam” translates to “the supreme man”. The phrase when combined refers to “the man who is supreme in honour”. It also means the best man who practised righteousness until he perfected it.
Why Is He Known As Maryada Purushottam? Lord Rama is the favourite of his devotees until today. They see him as an ideal man, whose ideals are worth following. Not just this, Lord Rama was the favourite of all those in his family as well as the people of his kingdom. The main reason behind this being, he performed every duty of his life to perfection. In every role that he had to play, he emerged as an ideal.
Lord Ram As A Son Lord Rama is the son of Dasharatha and is the prince of Ayodhya. In this world, where the focus of all the disputes amongst kins is the ancestral property, in most of the cases, Lord Rama decided to leave the throne of Ayodhya to his brother Bharath, when Kaikeyi, the second wife of Dasharatha and mother of Bharatha, asked Dasharatha to send Rama into exile.
Dasharatha, though unwilling to do so, could not deny Kaikeyi’s request. According to a promise made long back, he was bound to accept three wishes of his wife. Lord Rama, realising that the promise could not be taken back, diligently followed the orders of his father and prepared for fourteen years in the forest. He would never choose to disobey his parents in any situation.
Lord Rama As A Brother Lord Rama had three brothers, Bharatha, Shatrughna and Lakshman. All three of them respected him highly. They too saw him as the embodiment of perfection, as the Ramayana reveals. Though it was Bharatha to whom the throne was handed, Lord Rama always kept caring for him the same way. At times, Bharatha would come to see him in the ashrams, where Lord Rama used to guide him as an elder brother.
Lord Rama As A Husband Lord Rama used to remain busy attending the meetings with the sages and his own devotees. He killed a number of demons who give hurdles in the the holy yajnas that were often performed by the sages in the forest. Despite this, Lord Rama took a good care of Goddess Sita. He was so protective of her that he told her not to come out of the house in his absence. To fulfil her wish of getting the golden deer, he went out and that’s when Ravana, the demon king, came and abducted Sita when she crossed the line marked by Lakshman.
Lord Rama As A King More than everything else, he was an ideal king. It is said that in his kingdom, there was not even a single incident of theft, robbery, starvation, etc. when he had become the king of Ayodhya after completing his period of exile. Moreover, his decision-making abilities were wonderful. When some men from his kingdom started questioning the chastity of Sita and asked that she be sent into exile again, it was hard for him to do so, especially because he could not be there with her.
Real Reason Behind Ravana’s Destruction However, as an ideal king, he knew that the interest of his men should be the main priority of a king, much higher than the interest of his blood relations or his wife. He believed that his first responsibility was that of the kingdom. Therefore, he accepted the demands of the subjects in the kingdom.