Around the World with Love ๐Ÿ’•

It all started on that beautiful Sunday morning, the 14th of January 2018. Looking back, our meeting was divinely ordained.
I shouldnโ€™t have been in Mumbai that day. And if yes, certainly not in Gordon House Hotel in South Mumbai.
And Clau and Blanca told me, when I met them in Guatemala a year later, that they too had made the change of the hotel at the last moment.
And again it was a coincidence, that we were at the same long table at the same time for our breakfast.

Clau is a shy young lady, not like the extrovert Blanca! And when we met, a year after our first contact in that boutique hotel in Mumbai, Clau told me that she had heard a voice in her head telling her to talk to me!! She had said hello and told me that I had very peaceful aura about me! And then she asked me what do I do? And I told her about our YSS (Yogoda Satsanga Society of India) cruise the previous evening, my Guru – Paramahansa Yogananda, and the Autobiography of a Yogi. And that was the beginning of a beautiful and loving friendship, which eventually led to my visiting Guatemala a year later.

First and last I had heard of Guatemala, before this, was in my childhood when I used to collect stamps, about 55 years ago!! I love traveling but visiting this country wasnโ€™t even at the bottom of my wish list. It just wasnโ€™t there! But it happened. And I am so glad that it did.

It was such a beautiful and enriching trip around the world. Pune->Mumbai->Los Angeles->Guatemala->Los Angeles-Brisbane->Mumbai->Pune. Three very long flights and a very long stop over in Auckland. Every place I visited and every person I met was so different from the other. Australia and Guatemala are poles apart! 180 degrees!! And Los Angeles another story of divine love and friendship altogether!! But this trip strengthened the world view I have had for many years now. And that is:

People, at the core of their hearts, are same all over the world. Everyone wants some love, some respect, some appreciation…..every one wants to be happy …..they have similar fears, worries and insecurities…… However different people may look and whatever language they may speak; and whatever may be their food habits and lifestyles; essentially they are all same.

 

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Life is: Like a Train Journey

Well a journey by train is not exactly like a Hand of Playing Cards randomly dealt to us! But once we decide the starting station and the destination in a way it is like a hand of cards!

We donโ€™t have any control over our fellow passengers and how they would behave! We have no control over the stations at which the train would stop and the duration of the stops! We have no control over the outside scenery. We have no control over the cleanliness of the train and so on! The quality of our journey, the way we experience our journey depends entirely on how we respond to all that is happening around us!

 

Thousands of people travel on the same routes and trains regularly and all would have different experiences and learning!

Am digressing a little! Writing about train journeys has reminded me of an interesting personal experience! When I had just started to learn English in school we had to write an essay on a subject given by the teacher. And we used to know which were the favorite or common subjects for these essays. During one such exam I had prepared and mugged up the essay on: A Village Fair! And the topic given to us that day was: A Train Journey. I did a smart thing! I started to describe the train journey and then came to a point where the train had to stop for a couple of hours for some failure and repair! Passengers got down to stretch their legs and found a fair going on in a village nearby. And I described that fair (because I had prepared that well!) in big detail ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜‡

When I received the answer sheets back after our teacher had gone through these: He had given me 2/10 and written: Ashok donโ€™t act so smart! And I had a hearty laugh ๐Ÿ˜‚ And I had also fought with the teacher for more marks ๐Ÿ˜Š

One angle to this train journey we call life is this: That what happens is not in our control; but how we respond is very much in our control. Another angle is this: In a train journey between two stations the stops are fixed or we can say pre-decided. Not only are the stations on which the train would stop fixed, the duration of the stops too is fixed!

And that is what happens in our lives! Not only are our dates of birth and death already fixed; all the major life events: marriage, children, jobs, major health and relationships issues etc all are prefixed based on our past karma or soul agenda or randomly whatever your thoughts about life and its meaning!

 You may like to read my earlier posts on life:

Life is a Cocktail

Life is a Reality Show

Some passengers sleep through the entire journey! And some read all the time! Some like to see the scenery outside and some are busy with their mobiles and laptops! Some passengers love talking and chatting and make friends easily! Some are introverts. Some enjoy the journey and its experiences and some are always restless; wondering when would they reach their destination! They are so focused on the destination that they donโ€™t see the beauty and joy all around in that moment.

So it is not in our hands where the train would stop; but it is very much in our hand what we do in between these two stops! It is not in our hands who would be our co passengers but it is very much in our hands how we relate to them. Let us not wait for a perfect journey. Let us make the best of the phase of the journey we are in.

 

None of us is perfect. No life is perfect. But all lives can be peaceful. All lives can be happy. All lives can be meaningful.

Wishing you all the best for the Journey of your life ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿค—

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Life is: Like A Hand of Playing Cards โ™ฆ๏ธ โ™ฅ๏ธ

Life is surely like a Hand of Playing Cards. We have no control over what is dealt to us; but our lives depend on how we play the hand.

All of life is about joy and suffering. Pain and pleasure walk hand in hand.

They are two sides of the same coin.

Inseparable twins.

Off spring of duality.

Composed of light and shadow.

https://ashokwahi.wordpress.com/2019/05/30/you-are-responsible-%f0%9f%92%af/

 In my post: You are Responsible ๐Ÿ’ฏ Percent I had said, It is you who are responsible for everything happening anywhere in the world. Yes. you are responsible for what president Trump and PM Modi said and did, you are responsible for the earthquake and the hurricanes and the floods, and the riots and the bombings … you are responsible for everything!! You are responsible for the job that you lost, you responsible for the lover who cheated you. You are responsible for your mother’s sickness and your father’s death. You are also responsible for the love and the beauty and the joy everywhere in the world. You are responsible for the sunrise and the sunset, for the clouds and the breeze.

All this because Responsibility is The Ability to Respond

It is not the events of our life that determine the outcome.

It is how we live through them.

It is how was respond to all those external stimuli, which are not and never were in our control.

Pause.

Reflect

Respond

 

 

This concept of – I am Responsible, can also be explained by a Hand of Playing Cards. We have no control over what is dealt to us. But it is in our hand how to play, with the hand that is dealt to us! It is true in all games of cards but most so in bridge! If you know this game you would know that you could win even with the worst of hands! The outcome depends on your bidding and how you play!

And even in the games, which are not so clearly dependent on how you play, but more on what is dealt to you; your winning, ultimately depends on how you play! Because over a period of time (when enough games have been played) everyone gets some good hands and some bad hands! And of course, at another level, one could say: Life is never about winning or losing; it is about how you play it, how you live! How you respond!

When we got married Anita, my dear and beautiful wife, didnโ€™t know the ABC of cards! I taught her how to play cards as I was very fond of cards and used to play bridge and rummy regularly in our club! She was a good learner and she became good at rummy in no time! Sometimes just the two of us would play and at times a neighbor, who was a good friend, would join too! Anita used to love it!

But that wasnโ€™t the story about bridge! After a game I would analyze it and explain where we went wrong or what could have been done better and she didnโ€™t like it! She told me that she is not going to play bridge because I start fighting in the end ๐Ÿ˜Š I tried to explain that analyzing the game was a standard thing but couldnโ€™t succeed ๐Ÿ˜‚ Eventually she won! I stopped playing bridge! Another game that I loved but stopped playing after our marriage was billiards!

The thing is: I loved her much more than I loved a game of bridge or billiards!

https://ashokwahi.wordpress.com/2019/05/25/time-heals-nothing/

In my post: Time Heals Nothing I have talked so much about how talented and beautiful and loving she was; let me share another thing she wasnโ€™t good at, when we got married! It was cooking!

In India it used to be so important for a girl to know cooking (even now it so in most cases). But Anita had spent all her time in pursuing fine arts and music that she had no time to learn cooking! And we had got married immediately after she had done her masters in music!

The very first time she made a cup of tea for me, it turned out to be half a cup! And ever so sweetly she said that she had kept one full cup for boiling! But like everything else in her life, eventually she became a great cook too! She could do Indian, Continental, Chinese; you name it!

What happened to me was not in my control, but how I responded was! And that decided the quality of my life!

The hand that is dealt to us in life is not in our control, but how we play; how we live our life is very much in our hands!!

Dealing with people, especially close relations and friends, is always very hard and it is the hardest with our spouses! They often misunderstand us. Or we think that they donโ€™t understand us! And it hurts us the most when people whom we love the most, they misunderstand us. Rather than letting our hearts become bitter with all this, if we try and give them our understanding and peace, our life would become more enriched. Love is a one-way street!! We donโ€™t have to wait for others understanding! We need to understand them!

May God give you wisdom to play well the hand which is dealt to you my friend. Enjoy this Life, which is nothing more than a Hand of Playing Cards โ™ฅ๏ธ ๐Ÿ˜‚

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Life is: A Tug of War

He is the center

And He is the core

And He is in

Our hearts.

The more we are away

From Him

More is our suffering

And more is the pain

But even this suffering

And also the pain

Are His gifts only

To bring us

Back home

Life is a Tug of War

A 24/7 struggle is always going on in our lives! We are tossed around like a wave in the sea or a straw in the wind! And looks like there is no escape! 

All of us are subjected to this tossing around because two opposing forces are continuously at work in our lives โ€” one is Centrifugal and the other Centripetal. One is throwing us out and the other is pulling us in!

One is Maya, the Delusion, Satan, or Worldly Attractions and Temptations: which are pulling us away from God, from Love, which is at the center, the core of our being! Maya is a tenacious foe because for lifetimes we have identified ourselves with the mortal body and mind. So long as we remain engrossed in their ceaseless reactivity to the drama of daily life, our energy and attention are kept hostage to outward circumstances โ€“ to the demanding pressures, the constant sensory stimulation, and the peace-disrupting information overload prevalent in this modern world. 

The other, His love and His magnetism are pulling us towards Him, towards the center. The further away we are from the center more is our suffering and restlessness. And the nearer we are to the center more is our joy and peace. All of us are His prodigal children and will eventually return to Him, to the center. 

Even if you arenโ€™t a believer or are an agnostic; you might be aware of the Big Bang theory, which says – that the universe began approximately 14 billion years ago as an unimaginably small, hot, and dense point (The Singularity) and rapidly expanded. The expansion of the Universe occurred at a very fast rate of speed; which was referred as a huge explosion.

That Singularity can be called God, Spirit, Universal Consciousness, Brahma, Allah or any name we choose to give it! 

(When I say God the reader is welcome to think of it with any name comfortable to him!)

It is humanly impossible to imagine the Force and the Power of this Big Bang, and its Intelligence! It is this Force, this Power which created the manifest universe; and it is this unimaginable force that created and sustains the unimaginable Infinitude of Creation! At the same time if it didnโ€™t have supreme intelligence the cosmos would have been extremely chaotic. But it is perfectly balanced, organized and harmonious! One can just look nature with awe, amazement and wonder!

So both these forces are working on us all the time. His love, our innate nature, is pulling us back to Him; and the worldly attractions, the Satan, is pulling us away from the center, away from God. 

The negative emotions, feelings and actions, which take us away from the center, are:

  • Anger
  • Greed 
  • Lust
  • Hate and
  • Envy

And the emotions, feelings and actions; that pull us towards the center are: 

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Compassion
  • Kindness and 
  • Selflessness

The closer we are to the center, more at peace we shall be; and further away we are from the center, more restless we shall be! 

This tug of war is constantly working in our lives! At times we are running towards the center and at times crawling. At times we are inching away from the center or running away. That is the cyclicity of life! That is His play! But the good thing is that His Love is all-powerful and shall always win in the end! In the mean time we keep enacting the karmic play in the Reality Show, in the Cocktail we call Life!

It is the cohesive power of God that keeps the earth together. It is the attraction and pull of His love that we exist. But for His grace we would have disintegrated long back!

Paramahansa Yogananda had said that if we could see God, His love and joy; all will run back to Him! But then the play, the show will lose meaning! Therefore He has veiled Himself with all the worldly attractions and sensuous pleasures. At the same time He has given us the intelligence and reason, and the power to tear away this veil and find our way back home!

God wants that we use our will power, initiative, and soul-inspired discrimination to banish from our consciousness the limiting thoughts, desires, and behaviors that eclipse our innate divinity and bliss.

Even a touch of that God-bliss can spiritualize us and enlarge our awareness of possibilities in whatever circumstances confront us. We can assess daily situations more even-mindedly, and be guided by calm reason and soul intuition rather than impulses of the ego and emotions. We are able to express more understanding and compassion to others, based not just on moral imperatives but on the deeper empathy one feels for oneโ€™s own.  

Bee and its Love!

There is a popular verse in ‘Sanskrit literatureโ€™, which relates a beeโ€™s story. The bee was sitting on a lotus flower, drinking its nectar. As the sun began setting, the petals of the flower began shutting. But the bee was so attached to enjoying the object of its senses that it refused to fly off. It thought, โ€œThere is still time for the flower to close. Let me suck some more nectar while I can.โ€ 

In the meantime, it became dark and the lotus flower closed, trapping the bee. It thought, โ€œNever mind! Let me remain inside my beloved flower for tonight. Tomorrow morning when its petals open again, I will fly away.โ€ 

โ€œA bee has the power to cut through wood. But look at the attachment to the sense objects that the bee which can cut through wood is stuck inside the soft petals of the lotus.โ€ In the meantime, an elephant came, broke the lotus from the stem, and swallowed it. The bee along with the lotus went into the stomach of the elephant. The bee was thinking, โ€œMy beloved lotus is going somewhere, and I am happily going along with it.โ€ It died shortly thereafter.

In the same way, we humans too remain engrossed in the gratification of the senses, and do not pay heed to the messages of the saints and sages. We can see old age coming as a sure sign of death, but like the bee, we remain engrossed in enjoying worldly pleasures.

Material desires are like an itching eczema, and the more we indulge in them, the worse they become. How can we be truly happy in this state of material indulgence? 

A person who has not learnt to discipline the mind and senses can neither meditate upon God nor experience his divine bliss. Without the higher taste, it becomes impossible to renounce the lower taste, and such a person keeps hankering for material happiness, like the bee finds it impossible to renounce the nectar of the flower. 

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You may like to read my earlier posts :

Life is a Cocktail

Life is a Reality Show

 

What is Your Religion??

 I am a Hindu by birth. But if someone asks me what is my religion, I would say:

  • It is KINDNESS
  • It is COMPASSION

And my God is: LOVE

 My God is not sitting in a temple or a church or a mosque or any other place of worship. There is no god sitting on any mount or in any heaven!!

The love in our hearts is God! If we are kind, if we are compassionate; we are godly; we are spiritual!

 There is no God outside of you. There is no God outside of me.

There is no God who can ever be explained or defined! 

Love doesnโ€™t need any language. Love is a feeling and it can only be experienced. Love only needs loving! And God Being Love needs only loving. God too can only be experienced.

 Hindu scriptures describe God as: Satchitananda — Sat Chit Ananda

Sat: Ever Existent

Chit: Ever Conscious

Ananda: Ever new Bliss

 That is my God. That is the God I worship. That is the God I love. And that is the God I see and feel in the places of worship of all faiths and religions. Once we are filled with love we shall always be blissful. 

And ultimately my Father and I are One.  Indian rishis and scriptures had said that too, millenniums ago: I am He. My soul, my love is a vital and inseparable part of the Great Spirit, of Divine Love.

I have made friends and love bloggers from all religions and all countries! (And that is so in my personal non blogging friends too!!) To name just a few: Saba is a Muslim from Pakistan; Jyot is a Sikh – An Indian living in the US; Yeka is a Catholic (believe in a personal God) and lives in Philippines; Huguette lives in Lebanon and doesn’t believe in an orthodox God; Dawn lives in USA and loves Jesus Christ; Betul is from Turkey; Vee is from Canada; Helen (Eilidh) is from England/Belgium, Kamal is from Mumbai and so on ….. I love them all because they are filled with love and kindness.

 The Holy Geeta, Bible and Quran sit side by side on the shelves of the bookstores and they never fight! Those who fight are the ones who have never read them or have not imbibed their message of love, universal peace and brotherhood!

There is not and there canโ€™t be any difference in: Christ Consciousness or Krishna Consciousness or the Consciousness of Prophet Muhammad and Buddha; or any self realised being.

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There is no God of vengeance and there is no God we should be fearful of.

 God is Love

God is Peace

God is Joy

God is Bliss

God is Patience

God is Compassion

God is Light

God is Purity

God is Beauty

Unselfishness is God

Nature is God

God is in the fragrance of the flowers. 

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God is manifest in every sunrise and every sunset.

God is manifest in the smile of the child and in the hug of a friend.

God is there in every pure emotion and thought.

 We are going through very turbulent times. There is so much unrest and uncertainty in the young as well as old. The only way we can help the world is by changing our consciousness; and by not getting sucked into the negativity being spewed by media, the politicians and their allies. Once we raise our consciousness, once we become love; once we tear the veil of separation; we help whole of humanity. 

I will love till my last breath ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

************

PS: For more on Love and God you may like to read:

Love is a One Way Street and

Infinitude of God

In fact my blog is filled with Love and God and Life posts ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™

copyright ยฉ Ashok Wahi

WP Glitch

Yesterday all of a sudden my mobile WP app stopped working. Reinstalled today with the help of support but when went to the reader most of the blogs I have following are missing, only about 1/5 are there ๐Ÿค”

Afraid to die…

They are afraid to die

Because they never

Really lived.

And one day

They will be buried

Under the debris

Of their very own selves.

They would be gone

Unsung

Unfulfilled

As if

They never came.

Who are these people

But the ignorant ones,

Of their own beauty

And their light.

Oh unhappy fate

That makes them love

Their ways dark.

Guide me my Lord

How to help them,

I know not what to do

In this — Your play divine!

Pic credit Stefen Stassov

It is Beauty I Love ๐Ÿ’• ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’—

I See Thee Painting

“O Cosmic Light, every day I see Thee painting the sky in bright colors. I watch Thee clothe the bare soil with green grass. Thou art in the warmth of the sunshine. Oh, Thou art so plainly present everywhere!”

Paramahansa Yogananda

“Whenever you see a beautiful sunset, think to yourself: “It is God’s painting on the sky.” As you look into the face of each person you meet, think within: “It is God who has become that form.” Apply this trend of thought to all experiences: “The blood in my body is God; the reason in my mind is God; the love in my heart is God; everything that exists is God.”

Whatever I am today is a gift of my Guru, Paramahansa Yogananda. One of these gifts is my love for nature and travel. Nature is God ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™

Some of my earlier posts which might interest you are:

Monsoon Love ๐Ÿ’•

The Red Rose ๐ŸŒน

Mornings are mine ๐Ÿ˜Šโค๏ธ

Paramahansa Yogananda had composed so many divine chants, like:

Oh Thou Blue Sky

Frozen Sky

I will be a gypsy

It is beauty I love. In love and with love I seek the Maker of the beautiful”

Swami Paramananda

This quote of Swamiji has been a favourite of mine for years. Read it first in 1998 ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™

How can one see a flower, a sunrise, a sunset, a sky filled with different coloured clouds, the smile of a child, a beautiful face and not think of God ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™

Beauty in motion ๐Ÿ’•

Saw her today morning

In her beauty pristine

Changing every second

Teasing me

Enticing me

Alluring me

With Her beauty divine

At times She was so close

Caressing me

Covering Her beauty

With veils of clouds

Grey and dark

And then

Opening up a little

With a mischievous bright smile

To give me another glimpse

Of Her beauty divine

I know You live

In my heart

But how shall I appease

This longing

For your touch?

When shall this

Hide and seek end?

It was a glorious morning with clouds playing hide and seek with the rising sun and the blue sky. Neither do I have the words to describe the feelings which were evoked, nor can my mobile ever capture this beauty in motion ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

Alien in the Web

I had visited Brisbane earlier this year. Everyday Uma, my niece, and I used to walk to the nearby Metro Station. One day we saw a passion fruit tree in the kitchen garden of a house on our way. It was such fun to be able to see the bud, the flower and the fruit on the same tree!! There is no end to the beauty and the wonders of nature! Another day we saw a small mango tree with rather big mangoes for its size!!

But the best experience was watching a spider web just outside our house. Both of us were admiring the spider and realized we were not looking at the same spider!! There was one at the top of the web and it was beautiful! Nothing like the spiders I have seen in India! But most amazing was the one, almost at the bottom of the web. It was a small thing (I still refuse to call it a spider!); not more than 1 cm tall! It had 4 limbs and a face and eyes!! I asked Uma couldnโ€™t it be an alien? Some life form from some other dimension, from the outer space? She laughed it out ๐Ÿ˜‚ Naturally ๐Ÿ˜‡ But I still wonder?? I tried my best to take pictures of the web with the alien and the beautiful spider but couldnโ€™t succeed. Was it due to insufficient light and limitation of my mobile camera or the alien web of secrecy?

Passion fruit pics on my iPhone

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