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Goal of Human Life?
Question: How are we to know that our aim is exclusively and only God (Self) Realization ? Since wealth is also worthy of being acquired, honour and status are also worth attaining, comforts and conveniences are also desirable, so many things are to be achieved, the question arises as to how to be sure that “God Realization” is the goal of our life?Swamiji: Is there anyone among you who wants such happiness that is not complete and perfect? Does anyone want happiness that is incomplete and transitory? Does anyone want a life that does not remain; that we live at times and other times we do not live? Does anyone here desire knowledge that is incomplete?We all desire happiness that never ends, a life that is eternal and knowledge that is perfect and complete in itself, knowledge that does not have the least bit of incompleteness in it, knowledge that is supreme and perfect. In fact, this longing within is the longing for the Supreme Truth of Life, God (Paramatma). Besides God, there is nothing which is eternal, perfect and absolute.We continue to suppress this desire to seek Truth by petty worldly desires and become happy and unhappy at times and intervals. Even a dog is pleased by happiness in small measures. A donkey too is pleased that way. That happiness should be achieved which is in no way incomplete, which is perfect in itself, that is not mixed with the least bit of sorrow or unhappiness. The world is incapable of offering happiness that has no deficiency or shortcoming. Thus worldly pleasures or happiness is not our goal. It is not our destiny. When we inquire on this deeply, we will realize that, that kind of happiness which is eternal, indivisible, without permitting any deficiency is only in one Supreme entity, the Lord-of-all ( Paramatma). In whatever measure the worldly things may be achieved, wealth, money, possessions, position, posts, name, fame, glories, kingdom, honour, respect, status etc., may fall to our lot, but that cannot give us contentment or full lasting satisfaction. On the contrary, let there be “more of it”, yes, still “more of it” such grows the greedy desire for them.We want to live, it means that we are dying or else why should there have been a longing to live? It is true that there is a desire to live. Having understood and known much in the world, there still lurks a desire to know ever more. Having obtained things in plenty, the desire to have more and more persists. Having done a lot in life, there is always a keenness to entertain the idea that though much has been done, yet this much has still to be accomplished. This sort of deficiency or incompleteness which is felt is knowing, gaining, doing etc., need to be recognized by man. It must be realized that this deficiency the world can never remove. This whole world may be achieved and yet this emptiness can never be filled, because the world is impermanent and ever changing. But think a little, what will happen once God is realized. In this regard, the Gita says - “yam labdhvaa chaaparam
laabham manyate naadhikam tatah.”
i.e. Having realised whom there is no gain higher than that.” Such is his experienced belief which none can shake. Having established himself in such a perfect state of God Realization, even the heaviest affliction born of stormy situations in life cannot in the least shake him from his solid rock like faith.
“yasminsthito na dukhena gurunaapi vichaalyate”
Even if he is sandwiched between the two conflicting mighty rocks and his body is crushed, then too even by that excruciating pain he is not dislodged or dissuaded from his unison with the Supreme Self. That pain has no access there. The pain cannot even touch that soulful state. Happiness is so much there that there can be no higher bliss than that. No sorrow can even cast its shadow on it. Tell, who wants such a blissful blessedness? People get contented even in small shares (alpa); that is a very big mistake.
The seekers do commit such a big error that while following the path, they get pleased or contented with elementary success midway. There is a Marawari saying; “adhe kutte kholana hi kheera hai.” i.e. for a blind dog even the “Kholana” (water from strained vegetables etc) is as good as rice cooked in milk (kheer). Similarly there are people that become highly pleased even with the acquisition of a little wealth, wisdom, honour, and fame in the world. What is truly achieved? The worldly achievements whatever it is, is indeed a deception. We need to realize the Supreme and the superior most truth! Even if we need wealth, it must be of the best and highest nature. Whatever we want, whether wisdom, riches, honour, status, praise, life, we want it to be of the noblest, purest and highest order. None can uproot this fundamental desire of man’s heart! And, nothing short of God Realization can satiate this deep-seated longing, because the supreme Tattva is no other than God Himself.
Arjuna says -
Na tvatsamo’styabhyadhikah kuto’nyo
lokatraye’ pyarpratimaprabhaava (gita 11/43)
i.e. Thou are of illimitable power and effect”; there is none like You; how can then anybody be more higher than what you are! Achievement of such a supreme thing should thus be the goal of our life.
That Tattva which was realized in ancient times by the earlier great ones, that sages and seers, saints and Sadhus, Sanakaadika and Devarshi Narada, Brahmaa, Shankara etc., - that very truth is realizable and can be realized even now in this Kaliyuga today. The worldly goods can not be obtained by one and all, but God can be realized by everybody. There is not a single man for whom God is inaccessible! Realization of that supreme truth, God alone, is the goal of human life.
My aim is God realization - only man is capable enough to realize this thing; not any other living being! Amongst living beings, cow is very holy animal, but we cannot make her understand this truth. Ponder a little, please, on the point. You come to Satsanga so early in the morning from very far distances and that too daily. Do you get any money here? Or any sensual enjoyments? Or any honour? Or any gains? Or any profits that you earn over here? If none of these then tell me what brings you here for satsanga so early in the pre-dawn hours?
Listener: We get peace and solace to our soul!
Swamiji: Peace perfect and full is what we need. If you get some or little amount of peace here and then you go away; and if your peace does not stay for long thereafter, then what is the use or value of such incomplete or transitory peace? We need the highest kind of peace which never comes to an end. But the mistake occurs when we get pleased with only petty peace of worldly nature!
One man was going to his village on a camel. He reached a mid-way village at the fall of night. There at one place a marriage ceremony was taking place. Drums and trumpets were being beaten and blown. That man was a Brahmin. Having reached the spot he came to know that “Bhoora” was about to be disbursed. “Bhoora” in Sanskrit is known as a special gift given to Brahmins on wedding occasions. That Brahmin fastened the camel outside the house and went inside to obtain the “Bhoora”. The thieves who happened to be there, saw the camel and they rode off with it. The Brahmin receive four annas for his “bhoora”, but when he came outside and saw the missing camel, he realized that his loss was significant – Rs 500, the cost of the camel.
The purport of the illustration is that in the petty achievements of transitory worldly things, some honour, some wealth, some pleasure, some status, some exotic foods – the camel of God Realization is forgotten and lost sight of. Such is the plight! The great Bliss is forsaken in favour of temporary glitter of worldly pettinesses, and small pleasures!
Eternal happiness is being lost in ephemeral happiness! People become happy in small doses of honours. One saint was told by some people that he was highly honoured and respected by them. The saint said : “What honour you can confer! Dust? All of you people can hardly pay any honour. We are honoured by God! What power have you to honour us? Truly, indeed, God alone decks His devotees, the saints, with the honour of immortality! How does a worldly person know what the real honour is?
The supreme gain which you crave for is in reality, the deep longing for God Realization. You may call, if you so desire, this longing “the urge to know”, “the urge to love” or “the urge to be happy for ever”. “the urge to see God face to face” “the urge for God Realization”. All mean one and the same thing. Only this is our goal. Be firm and fixed on this objective. Do not be pleased with the incomplete. If you do not get stuck up in the half incomplete, you will realize, the full.
This human body is the best of all the living forms. So, its ultimate goal should also be the best. There should be no higher goal than that ever thinkable. It is thus self-evident that God-Realization is the highest and the noblest goal of human life. Human life is meant only for this supreme purpose. Listener: Where is the guarantee, Holy Sir, that by giving up worldly pleasures, the highest truth of life will be attained? If we give up one and do not gain the other higher one, then shall we not remain empty altogether?
Swamiji: Arjuna also posed a similar question that if a seeker of yoga dies midway on the path of Yoga without realizing the Supreme, what plight would be of the poor one? Does he become “ubhaya-bhrasta” or fall from both the ends (Gita 6/37-38)? The world was renounced and God was not realized before he left his mortal coil – then will he only hang in between them? The Lord answered: “No Partha! He suffers no fall: neither in this world, nor in the next world; because O’ dear he who walks even little on the path of spiritual well-being never slips into any wretchedness or plight “durgati” (Gita 6/40).
If you happen to come across any traveller on the noble way of Welfare Supreme, you will yourself realize this truth. His gaiety, his bliss, his God intoxicatedness will have a peculiar halo, a specifically distinctive ring. The seekers of truth do register spiritual progress and they certainly enjoy extraordinary and ecstatic joy of life whereby they can never give up their search or Sadhana. That which is Supreme Bliss is obtainable by all, there is no doubt about it. Why is there no doubt? Because when we undertake spiritual practices, the peculiarities of divine life reveal themselves to us. Let you go in for soulfulness of divine discipline and then, the mysteries will be unfurled unto you too. There is an immense gain or joy in the association of the holy persons (satsang). We have not seen any other “upaaya” or means of realizing the highest goal of life. Countless are the means and people do follow one or the other of them, but the gain we obtain through Satsanga, we cannot acquire through any other means which we may adopt even for years.
From book "Be Good" by Swami Ramsukhdasji
नारायण ! नारायण ! नारायण !
What are crazy things people still believe in all over the earth?
Cannibalistic gum chewing in Turkey
In some parts of Turkey you may want to think twice before whipping out a piece of chewing gum. There is a belief that if you are chewing gum at night it’s bad luck. This is because at night instead of chewing gum, you’d actually be chewing rotting dead flesh (Eew).
Groaning cheese for a newborn
You’ve probably heard of Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, or pepper jack cheese but have you heard of Groaning Cheese? In Medieval England, expectant mothers made what they called a ‘Groaning Cheese’ which was a large wheel of cheese that matured for nine months as the unborn baby grew. When the ‘groaning time’ or time of birth came, the whole family would celebrate by eating this cheese until nothing but the outer rind was left. The newborn would then be passed through the rind on Christening day to be blessed with a long and prosperous life. What a cheesy superstition!
Good luck horseshoe
Some people believe hanging a horseshoe in the bedroom or on a door knob with its ends pointing upwards will bring good luck and keep nightmares away. This belief comes from the fact that a horse shoe has seven holes, which is considered to be a lucky number. Also the fact that is made of iron can supposedly ward off evil spirits that may haunt you in your dreams.
Friday the 13th
Friday the 13th has been a source of superstition ever since the 19th century. Though it’s origin is shrouded in speculations and theories, it’s impact is quite evident. Many people will purposely avoid doing anything significant (like business meetings, socials, banquets, etc) due to the belief that the day is cursed and its a source of ill fortune.
Curse of the Opal stone
If your favorite stone is the Opal, you’re out of luck…literally since this stone is said to bring bad luck to whoever wears it. This superstition comes from the 1829 best selling novel ‘Anne of Geierstein’ by Sir Walter Scott. In the novel, Lady Hermione was falsely accused of being a demon due to her sudden death after a drop of holy water accidentally falls on her opal jewelry and changes its color. This book had such an effect on the image of the Opal that shortly after its publication, the Opal market crashed and Opal prices dropped by 50%.
Ringing of the Bells
Have you ever wondered why bells are always associated with weddings and special occasions? As it turns out, the association stems from the widely held belief that bells frighten evil spirits away. This belief originated during Queen Elizabeth’s reign for two reasons; to ask for prayers for the departed soul and to drive away the evil spirits who stood at the foot of the bed.
Bird poop equals riches
Don’t worry, you read the title right. In Russia, there is a belief that if a bird defecates on you, your car, or your property it’s a sign of good luck and may bring you riches. The more birds involved, the richer you’ll be! So next time a bird poops on you, count it all joy.
Old, new, borrowed, blue
This popular wedding tradition is said to have originated during the Victorian era and involves giving the bride various gifts. One of the gifts is something old and represents continuity; another is new and represents hope and the future; the third is borrowed and symbolizes borrowed happiness while the last is blue and is supposed to bring purity, love, and fidelity.
Black cats, bad luck
Most people have heard the saying that if a black cat crosses your path its bad luck (if you haven’t well now you have). This interesting superstition finds it’s origin in the middles ages. Single women (usually elderly) who associated themselves with many cats where believed to be witches who could become cats themselves. Thus a black cat crossing your path could actually be a witch.
Unlucky smoking triad
From the Crimean War through World War I, it was considered bad luck among soldiers to light three cigarettes with one match. It was theorized that by the time the third cigarette was lit, a sniper would have had the time to have the soldier in his sight, ready to make the kill. However, some believe that the superstition may have been invented by match tycoon Ivar Krueger to drum up more business.
No, im not referring to the 90′s band. It’s believed that the amount of crows in a murder has the ability to predict your fortune as exemplified by the popular phrase: “One’s bad / Two’s luck / Three’s health / Four’s wealth / Five’s sickness / Six is death.” More than six however seems to be up to the person whose counting.
The Wryneck or Jinxtorquilla are a breed of birds that can twist their heads very liberally. A superstitious belief among the locals is that if this bird twists its head towards you, death is on the horizon.
Soul capturing mirrors
Most people use mirrors daily which means, according to this superstition, most people are soulless. There is a superstition that states that looking into a mirror steals your soul. This helps explain why the evil queen uses a mirror to harm Snow White, why Narcissus was ensnared by his own reflection, and why soulless vampires have no reflection. Think twice before you look into the bathroom mirror…you have been warned.
Fingers crossed for good luck
To cross one’s fingers is a hand gesture commonly used for good luck. Which makes sense since it was used during ancient Christian persecution by believers to identify other believers as a sign of peace. Today however, this has evolved to excuse the telling of white lies which may have its roots in the belief that the power of the Christian cross may save a person from being sent to hell for telling a lie.
Photographic soul cage
When photography was first invented in the early 19th century, people all over the world held the unfounded belief that taking someone’s picture was akin to taking his/her soul. Thus if an enemy was able to obtain a photograph of you, he/she not only held your soul but also held a spiritual power over you. Thank goodness this is just a superstition, I can only imagine how many people would have power over me…(Facebook).
Not to be confused with Friday the 13th (which is a superstition of the actual day) but similar in nature, this superstition simply states that the number 13 is associated with bad luck. That’s why many architects refused (some still do) to design stairs that ended with 13 steps or buildings that ended with a 13th floor. The fear of the number 13 is so real to many people, that an actual phobia has been created to describe it; its called Triskaidekaphobia. (try to say that 13 times fast).
When you wish upon a star
The superstition involving wishing on the first star you see in the evening is somewhat uncertain. Some Europeans believed that the gods would occasionally peer down, and when they moved the sky, a star would escape and fall down. The Greeks also believed that the stars where falling human souls, and it was lucky to make a wish on them.
Opening an umbrella indoors
According to superstition, if you open an umbrella indoors you are literally asking for bad luck to “rain on you”. One explanation comes from the days when umbrellas were used as protection from the sun; opening one inside was an insult to the sun god who would then curse you with bad luck. Another theory states that an umbrella protects you against the storms of life, so opening one inside your house insults the guardian spirits of your home (whom also protects you from the storms of life), causing them to leave you unprotected.
New broom, new house, bad luck
There are many superstitions associated with brooms (heck, that could be a list all in itself) but there is one very curious and particular superstition that we want to caution you on. As the lore goes, you cannot sweep dirt out of a new house (or apartment) with a new broom unless you sweep something in first. If you don’t sweep something in first, then you will be sweeping out your good luck. Do not sweep out your good luck!
Lucky rabbit’s foot
To have this token is an unfortunate thing for the rabbit but a magnet of fortune for the wearer. According to superstition (which can be traced as far back as the seventh century BC) the rabbit’s supernatural luck could be exploited by taking the left hind foot of a rabbit that was shot (or captured) in a creepy cemetery on a full moon.(I still fail to see how this is lucky for the rabbit).
Knock on wood
The superstition of Knocking on wood, or simply saying “knock on wood” after making a hopeful statement, is a consequence of the idea that you’re tempting fate by acknowledging your good fortune. It’s possible that the expression comes from an ancient belief that good spirits lived in trees, so by knocking on something wooden, a person was calling on the spirits for protection. Another reason why we should all be tree huggers.
Breaking a mirror
We’ve already mentioned how mirrors are believed to be soul sucking mystical items (which is bad enough) but what happens when you break these devices? Why, seven years of bad luck of course! Some superstitious sources state that the trapped souls adversely influences your luck. And here you thought you were doing them a favor! Nope. Make sure those suckers stay inside that mirror!
“God bless you”
For many; saying “God Bless You” after someone sneezes is a gesture of politeness. However, the origin of this interesting superstition is somewhat two fold. On the one hand, it’s believed that the phrase originated with Pope Gregory the Great. He would say “God Bless You” to people who sneezed during the bubonic plague in hopes that the prayer would keep them safe. However another possible origin comes from the ancient belief that the soul escapes the body during a sneeze unless God prevented this by blessing them.
Though the origin of wishing over a four-leaf clover is lost to antiquity it has long been a symbol of good luck and fortune. It has also been used in some traditions for finding a husband or a wife. The way this works (for you single people) is by first finding a four leaf clover (good luck with that one), if you happen to find one, you must then eat it (or put it inside your shoe…but eating it is more fun). After this, the luck powers activate and the first person you come in contact after the activation will be your future mate…(Word of warning, stay clear of anyone you don’t want as a future mate).
There seems to be a lot of variations on this superstition, but the idea of having an itchy palm generally refers to someone who is greedy or has an insatiable desire for money. Some people believe that if the right palm itches, you will lose money, while an itchy left palm means that money is coming your way. If both palm itches…you may want to go to a doctor for that.
Usually grumbled by an expert who just lost a game to a novice, "beginner's luck" is the idea that newbies are unusually likely to win when they try out a sport, game or activity for the first time.
Beginners might come out ahead in some cases because the novice is less stressed out about winning. Too much anxiety, after all, can hamper performance. Or it could just be a statistical fluke, especially in chance-based gambling games.
Or, like many superstitions, a belief in beginner's luck might arise because of confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is a psychological phenomenon in which people are more likely to remember events that fit their worldview. If you believe you're going to win because you're a beginner, you're more likely to remember all the times you were right — and forget the times you ended up in last place.
Find a penny, pick it up,,,
And all day long, you'll have good luck. This little ditty may arise because finding money is lucky in and of itself. But it might also be a spin-off of another old rhyme, "See a pin, pick it up/ and all day long you'll have good luck/ See a pin, let it lay/ and your luck will pass away."
Don't walk under that ladder!
Frankly, this superstition is pretty practical. Who wants to be responsible for stumbling and knocking a carpenter off his perch? But one theory holds that this superstition arises from a Christian belief in the Holy Trinity: Since a ladder leaning against a wall forms a triangle, "breaking" that triangle was blasphemous.
Then again, another popular theory is that a fear of walking under a ladder has to do with its resemblance to a medieval gallows. We're sticking with the safety-first explanation for this one.
Bad luck comes in threes
Remember confirmation bias? The belief that bad luck comes in threes is a classic example. A couple of things go wrong, and believers may start to look for the next bit of bad luck. A lost shoe might be forgotten one day, but seen as the third in a series of bad breaks the next.
Three sixes in a row give some people the chills. It's a superstition that harks back to the Bible. In the Book of Revelation, 666 is given as the number of the "beast," and is often interpreted as the mark of Satan and a sign of the end times.
According to State University of New York at Buffalo anthropologist Philips Stevens, the writer of Revelation was writing to persecuted Christians in code, so the numbers and names in the book are contemporary references. Three sixes in a row is probably the numeric equivalent of the Hebrew letters for the first-century Roman Emperor Nero. [End of the World? Top Doomsday Fears]
Make a wish on a wishbone
The tradition of turkey bone tug-of-war goes back a long way. Legend has it that first-century Romans used to fight over dried wishbones — which they believed were good luck — and would accidentally break them, ushering in the idea that whoever has the largest bit of bone gets their wish. Bird bones have also been used in divination throughout history, with a supposed soothsayer throwing the bones and reading their patterns to predict the future.
Most common one
1. A bird in the house is a sign of a death
2. A loaf of bread should never be turned upside down after a slice has been cut from it.
3. Never take a broom along when you move. Throw it out and buy a new one.
4. If the first butterfly you see in the year is white, you will have good luck all year.
5. If a black cat walks towards you, it brings good fortune, but if it walks away, it takes the good luck with it.
6. An acorn at the window will keep lightning out
7. A dog howling at night when someone in the house is sick is a bad omen.
8. It’s bad luck to leave a house through a different door than the one used to come into it.
9. A horseshoe hung in the bedroom will keep nightmares away.
10. If you catch a falling leaf on the first day of autumn you will not catch a cold all winter.
11. If a mirror in the house falls and breaks by itself, someone in the house will die soon.
12. Dropping an umbrella on the floor means that there will be a murder in the house.
13. All windows should be opened at the moment of death so that the soul can leave.
14. If the groom drops the wedding band during the ceremony, the marriage is doomed.
15. To dream of a lizard is a sign that you have a secret enemy.
16. If a friend gives you a knife, you should give him a coin, or your friendship will soon be broken.
17. You should never start a trip on Friday or you will meet misfortune.
18. Dream of running: a sign of a big change in your life.
19. If a clock which has not been working suddenly chimes, there will be a death in the family.
20. It is bad luck to light three cigarettes with the same match