Dada J P Vaswani
The spiritual head of Sadhu Vaswani Mission in Pune, Dada J P Vaswani was born on August 2, 1918, at Hyderabad-Sind. Being a brilliant student, he was given a number of double promotions and thus passed the the B.S. examination when just seventeen. A masters degree and fellowship at a leading college followed and Dada seemed poised at the threshold of a brilliant academic or civil services career. It was at this stage that he gave it all up and decided to follow his uncle and guru, Sadhu T.L. Vaswani, a mystic and philosopher on the spiritual path. Reaching out to people with a message of spirituality became his life mission. As editor of Excelsior magazine, he was initially met with opposition as not everyone related to the spiritual dimension. Still, he took it upon himself to write, proof read, print, get advertisements, package and post the magazine all by himself. The publications popularity grew to the extent that it surpassed the circulation of the leading daily newspaper, The Sind Observer.Ask Dada J P Vaswani
A prolific author, he has written over thirty books in English and several more in Sindhi. Committed to education, he is the honorary principal of St. Miras College in Pune that was established in 1962. The college which started out with just sixty two students has since grown to accommodate over five thousand students today.
A gifted orator, he has spoken on Universal Peace at the United Nations, a World without Wars at the House of Commons, London and was a keynote Speaker at the Centennial Celebrations of the World Parliament of Religions in New York.
He shall answer your queries and dilemmas in life.
Question 1. How do we train our minds? - Johan Carry
The mind is one of God’s most amazing gifts to man. Scientists tell us that we use only one-fiftieth of the brainpower available to us. Let us train our minds and ourselves to use this fabulous power in the right way. Therefore, let us take care of our thoughts.
Thoughts have power. So let us be careful of our thoughts and utilise all the power available to us in the service of suffering humanity. The brain has been called a ‘fabulous mechanism’. It is about the size of half a grapefruit but is truly a most wonderful tool. It is capable of recording eight hundred memories per second for 75 years without exhausting itself. It is a storehouse of between ten billion and one hundred billion pieces of information. Even the most powerful computers in the world have memories that hold only a few million items of accessible information. The human brain retains everything that it takes in and never forgets anything. Even though we don’t recall all the information received, everything is on a permanent file in our brain.
Question 2. I have read many spiritual books but I get confused. What should I do? - Ram Kumar
Don't read many books – it can be confusing! It is like going to a new place and studying guidebooks. They will take you nowhere. You must have a guide to take you to a place. Likewise, in spiritual life you must have a guide, who for want of a better word we call the guru – who can take you to the goal. For that, it is necessary to have longing of the heart. Pray to the Lord to put you in touch with such a person.
Question 3. What is Vedanta? - Mohan seth
Vedanta is the culmination of all Vedic knowledge. This knowledge can be summed up briefly in these words; there is the One-in-all. The vision of the One-in-all is Vedanta. When I behold the One-in-all, the One whom for want of a better word we call God that is true Vedanta. When I see God not only in the good, but also in those whom the world calls bad, evil, then I have attained to true knowledge.
Of Swami Vivekananda, it was asked, “Tell us what is Vedanta, in a few simple words.” He replied, “In a few simple words, Vedanta is the knowledge that I and my brother are one.” My brother – the beggar, the cripple, the blind man and the criminal – and I are one. That is Vedanta – beholding the One in all.
Question 4. Can we really understand God? - Naresh Malhotra
God is the goal of life, and God is to be realised, not merely understood or talked about. Long have we chanted hymns and recited from the scriptures and rung temple bells and offered unending prayers,
while our minds have strayed afar. For long we have kept God out of our lives. It is time to call him in.
There is a beautiful picture by a great artist, Holman Hunt. In the picture, Christ is seen standing in a garden holding a lantern in one hand and with the other, knocking on a door. A friend of the artist said to him, “Holman, you have made a mistake. The door you have painted does not have a handle.”
“It is not a mistake,” answered the artist, “for that is the door of the human heart and can only be opened from the inside.”
To move towards God, we need to get up and open the door to let God in. This happens only when man realises the need for God. Out of the depths of his heart there is a cry “I have a need of you, God, and I cannot live without you.”
This is now known as spiritual awakening. Something happens deep within you and your life becomes new. You are filled with light and warmth, joy and peace. You realise that the life you had lived till then, a life of creature comforts and of pride, self and power was not life at all. You then exclaim with Tolstoy, “to know God is to love.”
Question 5. Why do bad things happen only to good people, while so many that are evil, have the best of life? - Raj kumar
Bad things happen to good people that they may grow better, nobler, purer. Even as gold is burnt in the crucible to be cleansed of its dross, even so good people are chosen to burn in the fire of suffering, and so became pure as thrice-burnished gold.
Wealth and pleasures and power and honour are not as good as they seem to be. In many cases they degrade and make man corrupt. In our ancient books there is the suggestive story of Kunti. She had to ask for a boon of Lord Krishna. What she asked was that she might have some little suffering all the time. In suffering, she said, the Lord is remembered; in pleasures and enjoyment he is forgotten.
How true it is that suffering purifies! Not many know the value of suffering. It was an Indian saint who prayed, “Lord grant me starvation and sickness and suffering and ignominy!” These are the things that are of real value to those that know. This type of suffering is for our good. We do not understand this until we have cast all thought of self aside. When the self is forgotten, we behold the loving hand of God in every circumstance of life.
Everything that happens, works for our good. The seeming cruelty and injustice of men, their selfishness and ruthless disregard of values we hold dear, are seen to be the result of God’s infinite goodness and unfailing love.