Dialogue with Guru

FPJ Bureau | Updated on: Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 04:40 AM IST

  • It is a misconception that tying old shoes behind truck or other vehicles will save one from accident, because accidents can be avoided only by remaining vigilant, attentive, following the traffic-rules and maintaining foresight while driving.
  • Hanging lemon or chilli in front of the house or shop will not prevent disasters.
  • No amount of charms, witchcraft or sorcery can preclude adversities or problems.
  • The original astrology does not mention seeing palms and making predictions. Astrological text deals only with the knowledge of position of surya-grahana (solar eclipse) and candra-grahana (lunar eclipse); speed and position of various other celestial planets and satellites.
  • The belief that the retrograde and therefore angry planets like Sani (Saturn) and Mangala (Mars) cause misery to an individual is absolutely unfounded. These two planets are not some sentient gods, who get angry or pleased. Therefore, the various rituals and ceremonies to please them is against the spirit of the scriptures and based on pure ignorance.
  • Predicting the future by seeing a horoscope is only an imagination. No vedic scripture mentions predicting the future or talks about the future by seeing the horoscope of an individual. The belief that pilgrimage to the four holy places destroy all kind of sins, is untrue and contrary to the Vedas. It only enhances the geographical and topographical and the sort of knowledge of that place.
  • It is not compulsory to partake the holy prasadam (offerings to the deity) distributed at temples after the ceremonial worship and recitation. That, God gets annoyed if the prasadam is not taken, is a total misconception.
  • Merely burning incense sticks or performing arati (swirling lighted lamps) do not make God happy, rather, following the orders of God and behaving according to the wisdom ofRsis, makes Him happy.
  • The notion that by conducting rituals through the brahmanas beget peace to the wandering, departed souls, is completely untrue, because first of all it is very much necessary to know that no soul wanders after death, rather it attains another body as per God’s system.
  • As far as the Vedas and vedic literature are concerned, there are no provision for gambling on festivals such as dashara, Deepavali and Janmashtami and so on; gambling and betting are strictly prohibited in these scriptures.
  • The notion of not observing any acts of yajna, prayer, worship or any other such activities for twelve days after the death of a person is completely wrong, rather, yajna must be performed in such houses to clean them of any germs; acts of worship and prayer to God should also be conducted in order to get back the strength to face the pain of death.
  • If worshipping the idol of goddess Laksmi on the day of dipavali make one prosperous and wealthy then there would not have been a single proverty-stricken person in the entire world. Wealth can only be attained by honest hard work. There is no greater inheritance than honesty in this world.
  • Prefixing ‘Sri, Sri 108 Sri’ before one’s name does not bring one closer to God, but, the more one inculcates the divine qualities, the closer does one get to God and needs no such prefixes or adjectives before his name.
  • Our scriptures do not support the view that one should chant the name of deities in the face of fear. It is completely improper. It is wrong to think that a man lives, eats and resides due to the will of God. Man is absolutely independent to choose them.
  • Throwing coins in sacred rivers, like the Ganga, does not fulfill one’s wishes.
  • Performing acts of sorcery and tying thread, charms or amulet do not keep problems at bay.
  • One should definitely make a Guru (master) for spiritual progress and upliftment, but only after proper scrutiny. He should select such a Yogi or any great personality as his guru who himself is pranasiddha (having complete control over his breath), exemplary in conduct, has attained control over his senses, honest, benevolent, knower and preacher of the true God. However, a true guru accepts those as his true disciples, only after testing them thoroughly in a series of challenges. Selecting a guru who has the vices, such as dishonesty, deception, lewdness and hypocrisy, without his proper examination will eventually lead to the ruin of one’s life.
  • Sacrificing (killing) animals before the so-called gods and goddesses do not fulfil one’s wishes. Sacrificing (killing) animals is always an unreligious and punishable offence. Isvara (God) is the mother of all living beings. No mother would ever wish to inflict loss, pain, sorrow, and kill or get killed her child by others. 0 Performance of noble actions such as donation and yajiia, are always considered auspicious; they can never be unauspicious. Hence, there in no restriction in observing these practices even on the full moon days.
  • Shattering of glass is not auspicious but broken glass pieces in the house is inauspicious and dangerous; because these may come in contact with someone’s hands or legs and consequently lead to injury; the simple reason why keeping broken pieces of mirror or glass in the house is considered inauspicious.
  • There is no scriptural constraint on cleaning the house at night. The logic behind this is that as illumination is limited during the night, it is advisable not to sweep and throw the trash away as something valuable might get thrown away.

(Excerpted from the book Divine Transformation: Building Blocks for Enlightened Life, Ideal Nation & Peaceful World by
Acharya Balakrishna)

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Published on: Sunday, November 18, 2018, 07:14 AM IST