This blog post is in response to Questions asked by the blog readers. Checkout, ask questions and Questions and Answers List.Posting from Shatabdi Express, somewhere between Agra and Delhi
Q: Please can you tell me why are songs sung in the name of Devi and Durga? Shiva is the Destructive energy within us i believe..wht abt Durga and Devi? Songs are awesome, which u sing in their name.
A: Let’s start with a simple song, one of my all-time favourites : Parameshwari Jaya Durga, Jagadeeshwari Jaya Amba. Shiva represents Consciousness; all-pervading knowledge, the deepest part of us, the silent source from whence all springs. Shakti, the Divine Mother, represents Energy, which complements consciousness and evokes action. Hers, then, is the energy that runs the entire universe, whose basis is Shiva. This beautiful complementarity of knowledge and energy, of repose and action, of still and dynamic, is what causes the marvellous ebb and flow of life as we know it. Rather than worry about limited labels and concepts, these are opportunities for us to examine our lives in a deeper context. The rishis gave us these different representations not just to denote the varied aspects of our own existence, but to live a set of spiritual values which are hinted at by these apparently differing forms of the One Divinity.
Parameshwari — the supreme energy, is also Jagadeeshwari — the one who rules the world. Shiva — the deepest silence within us, manifests into action through the movement of Shakti.
Each bhajan can be experienced fruitfully at several levels: the surface level — simply treating it as different names of the Lord and singing it with devotion; the implied or inferred meaning — understanding what each of the mantras means or represents (this gives us a deeper appreciation and allows us to enjoy it in a richer way); and the vibration, or essence — experiencing the subtle energy that is evoked within and around us as we chant a particular name, which gives us an insight into consciousness itself.
Q: What is the use of Marathons? People do Marathon on Child Labour or some social event. Does running and showing the Posters regarding Child Labour solve the problem?
What do you suggest to solve Child Labour ?
A: I guess you have a point there, as many such events become an excuse for people to massage their own ego and convince themselves that they do have a social conscience! However, the good side is that when celebrities talk about social issues, people tend to pay more attention, and it also helps raise funds for genuine causes that may otherwise be neglected.
For instance, the day I realised that my singing could help underprivileged children, I started doing paid concerts, where 75% of the funds raised are used to educate rural kids; this has helped me be a lot more passionate about my music, as I feel I have not just a cause to support, but a responsibility to be good, so that these kids get ongoing support 🙂
Education is a huge need; educating adults so that they learn not to exploit kids as well as to earn enough on their own; and to educate the kids so that they can grow to a better life. I know many families which would starve if their children weren’t earning; and at the same time I know many families who not only employ kids, but educate them and bring them up, often with the same love and care that they give their own children!
Q: We have learnt about
How do we achieve a balance in this?
There are somethings in which we work towards results and goals – eg if we are running a business, we need to get certain amount to keep it going. Or if we are running a Not-for-profit (like I am) we need some money to keep it afloat. On the other hand, I also want to do my maximum without expecting returns.
Is there any easier way to understand how to balance both – achieving goals and not-expecting returns?
A: It always helps not to confuse lifestyle with livelihood; lifestyle you can live by your choice, but livelihood may require you to be very businesslike and curt in your dealings. Life requires different things of us at different times, and spiritual knowledge helps develop the skills which allow us to play each role perfectly. Regarding balance, I have but one mantra — practice, practice, practice!
Q: I have been wondering over this Question for Long. I hope you will reply this on your Blog.
Guruji talks about different karmas – Prarabdha (one cannot Change), Sanchita (Can be changed through Spiritual Practices) and Agami (Which one actually makes in the Future).
Where Does Marriage Fall Into? It is said that the Marriages are made in Heaven; do they refer to Prarabdha? Which Karma type this falls into?
A: Good question Navneet! The honest answer is — I have absolutely no idea; perhaps if your marriage is happy you could claim its Sanchita Karma, and if terrible, regard it as your Prarabdha which you have to live through. Personally, both Tina and I feel that it has only been Guruji’s boundless grace which brought us together, and His knowledge and compassionate guidance that ensures we grow on our chosen paths and support each other constantly. I remember asking Him once to tell me if I needed to marry because of some leftover karma with anyone; and He was like — You have no karma either way, whether you do or whether you don’t! So I just left it to Him to reveal what was best for me at the appropriate time, and He did 🙂 In another close friend’s case it was different: He had told her she had to marry; marry anyone, or take another birth just to complete that one thing! The Master is the only one who knows, and usually will not tell, unless you are the kind of sadhak who will definitely honour His word by following it to the letter!
That said, Karma is a topic I rarely discuss; I feel it is such a complex and subtle thing, to attempt to “know” it and cram it into a 2+2=4 logic is either the height of foolishness or the height of ego. Its important for us to acknowledge that each of our actions must necessarily have a consequence, and that if we have chosen to act (or not act), then we must graciously choose to bear the consequences, whatever they may be.