Banyan Tree - Banyan Tree - Apr 2006
by Life Positive
"Whenever you see a form, let there be just SEEING.
Whenever you hear a sound, let there be just HEARING.
Whenever you smell an odor, let there be just SMELLING.
Whenever you taste a flavor, let there be just TASTING.
Whenever you experience any physical sensation, let there be just SENSING.
Whenever a thought or emotion arises, let it be just a natural occurrence.
Let it just rise and set.
When it is like this, there will be no self.
There will be neither restless moving nor any stopping.
That is the end of all suffering".
From Satipattana Sutra by the Buddha
Tell it to the Walls
A poor widow lived with her two sons and two daughters-in-law. All four of them scolded and ill-treated her all day. She had no one to whom she could turn and tell her woes. As she kept all her woes to herself, she grew fatter and fatter. Her sons and daughters-in-law now found that a matter for ridicule. They mocked at her for growing fatter by the day and asked her to eat less.
One day, when everyone in the house had gone out somewhere, she wandered away from home in sheer misery and found herself walking outside town. There she saw a deserted old house. It was in ruins and had no roof. She went in and suddenly felt lonelier and more miserable than ever; she found she couldn't bear to keep her miseries to herself any longer. She had to tell someone.
So she told all her tales of grievance against her first son to the wall in front of her. As she finished, the wall collapsed under the weight of her woes and crashed to the ground in a heap. Her body grew lighter as well.
Then she turned to the second wall and told it all her grievances against her first son's wife. Down came that wall, and she grew lighter still. She brought down the third wall with her tales against her second son, and the remaining fourth wall, too, with her complaints against her second daughter-in-law.
Standing in the ruins, with bricks and rubble all around her, she felt lighter in mood and lighter in body as well. She looked at herself and found she had actually lost all the weight she had gained in her wretchedness.
Then she went home.
From Folktales from India by A.K. Ramunajam
Braveheart to the Rescue
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Some in the form of matronly mothers. Young Sanjay Sharma (11) and his sister Rita (14) had come to Mumbai with their parents and family friends, the Chauhans, to attend the Nirankari Baba Hardev Singh's satsang in Airoli Knowledge Park in Navi Mumbai. While his mother and Mrs Krishnavati Chauhan went to the toilet, young Sanjay amused himself by throwing stones idly into a pond.
Unwittingly, he slipped and fell into the 25-ft deep pond. Her brother's screams alerted Rita who, despite not knowing swimming, dived in to save him. Both children thrashed around helplessly while over 5000 women looked on in horror. At that point Krishnavati Chauhan (38), who had returned to take a bar of soap, assessed the situation in a trice, dived in without a thought, and rescued them both.
"It was her quick thinking and action that saved my son and daughter. Another few seconds of delay and I would have lost them forever," said S. Sharma, the father of the children.
Krishnavati's heroic act earned her and the children a special audience with the Baba. She beams, "Baba's teachings helped me help the children. I am lucky to be blessed by Babaji."
No better proof of the effectiveness of his precepts can a spiritual teacher get than such brave and selfless action.
Krishnavati's act is creditable not just to her but to the Nirankari satsang too.
Tithe from Old English teogatha (a tenth) refers to the practice among Christians and Jews to give one-tenth of their income to their churches or synagogues. The practice has been frequently referred to in the Old Testament from where it gets its religious authority. In the old days, agricultural produce sufficed, while today cash is customary.
Many churches, such as those belonging to the Pentecostal order, insist on a strict adherence to this principle, while other more established churches are more liberal with the interpretation of the tithe.
Among New Agers, the tithe is gaining in popularity as a way of redistributing income between the rich and the poor and as an instrument of social justice. Here, people voluntarily distribute a tenth of their income to the charities and causes they hold dear.
For those of us who wish to contribute to society and to the underprivileged, the tithe is a useful way of dividing one's income.
Deepak Chopra, in an interview, once revealed that he sets aside a tithe for social causes. Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations with God, is also an enthusiastic supporter of the practice, though he chooses to focus on its returns to the donor: "Tithing is a very effective means of increasing your financial abundance, for that which you give to another, you give to yourself. If you demonstrate yourself to be abundant, you will experience yourself being abundant."
However, it ought to be made clear that the motivation cannot be to make money. It must be to serve if it is to create any good in your life.
Many spiritual organizations such as Swadhayaya, also adopt this practice of setting aside a portion of one's income as God's share to be given to the organisation or for social causes.
How shall I help the world?"
"By understanding it," said the Master
"And how shall I understand it?"
"By turning away from it."
" How then shall I serve humanity?"
"By understanding yourself."
Anthony de Mello
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