Divine Soul Qualities

Lord Krishna has given mankind 26 soul qualities in the chapter XVI of Holy Geeta. I thought International Yoga Day is the right day to share the following with you! These have been taken from Gurudeva Paramahansa Yoganandaโ€™s commentary on Holy Geeta, called – God Talks With Arjuna! That is such a soul uplifting and divine work. Sri Paramahansa Yogananda has also written a commentary on Holy Bible – Second Coming of Christ. He had concluded that in their essence both these holy books give the same message!! Both these books are available online at the book store of : Yogananda.org outside India and yssofindia.org in India. You may also like to pick up a copy of Autobiography of a Yogi, which has been hailed as one of the most influential spiritual books of the last century.

Yoga means union – Union of soul with Spirit, with God! Yoga is not merely about body fitness, it is more about creating harmony and peace in body, mind and soul. I sincerely believe that absorbing these soul qualities in our hearts and minds would give us the peace, harmony, and God realisation we are seeking!!

SQ1: Fearlessness: The foundation of spiritual life: having faith in God’s protection, justice, wisdom, mercy, love and omnipresence.

SQ2: Purity of Heart: Transparency to truth. Freedom from attachment and repulsion to sense objects. “Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God”

SQ3: Steadfastness: in seeking wisdom and practicing raj yoga. Applying scriptural wisdom and immersing oneself in the growing peace born of regular meditation.

SQ4: ALMSGIVING: Unselfishness and generosity to those in need and worthy

SQ5: SELF RESTRAINT: Repetition of unwise sense experiences creates strong and destructive bad habits.

SQ6: Religious Rites: One’s whole life should be a sacred rite, with every thought and act purified by reverence and offered to the divine.

SQ7: Right Study of Scriptures: Redemption comes not from intellectual knowledge but from what one becomes by integrating that knowledge.

SQ8: Self Discipline – Restraint of appetite, including celibacy; training the body to withstand bodily discomfort. Transmuting material desires into spiritual aspirations.

SQ9: Straightforwardness – A quality of honorable men. Striving to be sincere, free from deceit and guile, and open and candid.

SQ10: Non Injury – The avoidance of harm to any living creature in thought or deed, except when obstructing evil or upholding righteousness.

SQ11: Truth – Honesty: is the foundation stone of the universe. Honoring truth in thought, speech and action. Words should always be sweet, healing and beneficial to others.

SQ12: Absence of Wrath – The quickest way to peace of mind: being free from rage, animosity and resentment.

SQ13: Renunciation – Willingly give up passing sense pleasures for the sake of eternal joys. Living for truth without being emotionally attached in the drama of creation.

SQ14: Peace – is a divine quality. Tranquility is the nature of God and each soul.

SQ15: Non-Condemnation (Absence of Fault Finding) Not concentrating on the weakness of others and focusing on bettering oneself.

SQ16: Compassion Towards all Beings – The Divine Mother aspect of God is overflowing with this quality – Feeling the suffering of others and trying to alleviate it.

SQ17: Absence of Greed and Envy– Non-covetousness. Mastery of one’s senses, without desire for gross pleasures. Turning the mind to inner joys.

SQ18: Gentleness – Kind, forbearing, patient. Without ill will towards anyone. The Universal Spirit is ever gentle with Her erring children.

SQ19: Modesty – Feeling shame at wrong doing and correcting oneself. The purity of modesty attracts its own virtuous kinds.

SQ20: Absence of Restlessness– enables one to avoid physical and mental roamings and useless activities.

SQ21: Radiance of Character– comes from the cosmic fire of Godโ€™s supreme consciousness, the flame of awareness, within man and other sentient creatures.

SQ 22: FORGIVENESS (kshama) – in the man of God is not inflicting, or wishing to inflict, punishment on those who harm or wrong him.

SQ 23: PATIENCE, or fortitude (dhriti) – enables the devotee to bear misfortunes and insults with equilibrium.

SQ 24: CLEANNESS OF BODY AND PURITY OF MIND – is respect for the indwelling Taintless Spirit. It has been said that cleanliness is next to godliness.

SQ25: NONHATRED – should be practiced by everyone. A devotee who feels malice towards others loses the power to see God in all.

SQ26: LACK OF CONCEIT – signifies absence of excessive pride. The Lord doesnโ€™t harbour pride, though His cosmic possession and powers are infinite.

Three years back I had worked on these 26 soul qualities for one whole year – two weeks on each quality. I had realised that even if we pick up one of these qualities and become that quality, the rest would fall in place easily and on their own!!

But Maya, Delusion, Satan too is very strong and tempts us away from our holy aspirations! I think it is time for me to revisit these and the Notes to Myself, I had written about a week or so ago! It is time to go within!!

So I intend taking a break from WordPress for sometime. If you start to miss me ๐Ÿ˜Š do get in touch with an email at ashokwahi2@gmail.com

Love, hugs and blessings ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—

Ashok

CovidTimes โ€” Notes to Myself

1. God first. God always. God alone!

2. Pray. Reflect. Act

3. Own your mornings!

4. Meditate on your mortality everyday!

5. Live as if you have died and come back – every minute is a bonus.

6. Read a little. Write more. Think most. Meditate all the time!

7. Look for something good in every person.

8. You are eternally protected. Know this and be fearless.

9. Focus on what you can control!

10. Value โ€˜Timeโ€™ more than money and possessions!

11. Do it now.

12. Faith. Family. Friends

13. Remember – you have the power to have โ€˜NO Opinionโ€™

14. Listen more. Speak less!

15. Introspect!

16. Find a way to love everything that happens!

17. Donโ€™t follow the mob!

18. Say โ€˜NOโ€™ more often!

19. Forgive. Forgive. Forgive.

20. Look for beauty in ordinary things!

21. Always choose โ€˜Alive Timeโ€™!

22. If someone offends you, realise you are complicit in taking offence.

23. Possessions are your, only in trust.

24. I owe nothing. I own nothing.

25. Accept success without arrogance, handle failure with indifference!

26. Donโ€™t explain your philosophy. Live it!

27. You bind and free yourself with your thoughts!

28. Donโ€™t take life too seriously!

29. This too shall pass!

30. Live with delight!

31. Be a smile millionaire!

32. Be honest.

33. What is the rush? What is the hurry? You have to reach no where!

34. Just Be!

35. Judge nothing!

36. Think only good. Share only good!

37. God is LOVE!

38. Become LOVE!!

38. Ego is the Enemy!

40. Stillness is the Key!

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Thank you so much my dear friend, for your time and your love โค๏ธ You are a blessing!

Live with delight ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’–

โ€œDivine Mother, teach me to live with delight. May I enjoy my earthly duties and the countless beauties of creation. Help me to train my senses to observe and appreciate Thy wondrous world of Nature. Let me savour with Thy zest all innocent pleasures. Save me from negation and unwarranted kill-joy attitudes.โ€ โ€” Paramahansa Yogananda

Am truly blessed that I have two traits of my Gurudeva, Paramahansa Yogananda โ€” Love of Nature and travel ๐Ÿ˜Š Infinite gratitude for this blessing and grace of Divine Mother ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™

Yesterday, 12th of June, was one such blessed day. Am pleased to share some pics and video clips โ€” glorious sunrise and sunset!! How I love monsoon ๐Ÿ’–

All pics on my iPhone. Morning pics credit to my son. He gets up late usually but he hadnโ€™t slept yesterday night – was busy watching Rafa – Djokovic semi final! An epic match!! But the dawn was more majestic!!

Related post : My First Love โค๏ธ

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Why do I Write/Blog?

Last week Joyce nominated me for the vincent-ehindero-blogger-award. Thank you so much Joyce๐Ÿ‘ One of the questions she had asked was: What gives you an inspiration to write or take pictures? Whatโ€™s your muse?

It was this question which made me think and retrace my blogging journey of last two years.

When I had returned from my trip around the world in end January 2019, I wanted to write a book about my experiences, especially in Guatemala. My son told me that my book hadnโ€™t happened for 15 years ๐Ÿ˜› He suggested I start to blog first and then look at the book. Luckily I took his advice ๐Ÿ˜Š In the past 2+ years I have published 200+ posts and have also published my first book – 4 Pillars of Abundant Life!

I started with posts on my travel around the world. When I was not traveling I wrote about life, that is my understanding of life and itโ€™s processes. The first year of blogging was amazing! I traveled and wrote nonstop. I visited 5 continents (All except Africa) and 4 new countries! I traveled a lot within the country too! And when I was in the midst of planning my next trip to the only continent I havenโ€™t visited, Covid announced its arrival๐Ÿ˜… Ashok proposes, God disposes๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ™

Many of my friends and family thought lockdown would be tough for me as I was so fond of travel. Yes, I love people and new places! But I love myself equally or more ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’– So 2020 or my second year of blogging was all about travel within, thinking and writing about life, and my books! And it is continuing in 2021 too!

During this period I thought so often of quitting blogging. Musings of a Wanderer was growing pretty well but I wasnโ€™t sure why I was continuing! I knew without me the world and WP would go on! My thoughts at those times were to focus on God/Meditation and my books! My first priority has been God for years and to experience God first hand takes effort! Blogging does take time and time is our most precious possession!

But then I would get one comment which would touch my heart. I would make one relationship which makes all the effort worth it. And I have been truly blessed: I have got one daughter and three grand daughters (Muslim, Hindu and Christian!!) and a bunch of nieces from the blog! And I have picked up some amazing friends from all over the world – black, white, brown, yellow, male, female, young and old!! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you ๐Ÿ‘ All of you have a special place in my heart.

Last week I was pleasantly surprised when I got the notification from WP that I had crossed 100,000 views! My blog is all about love and joy and peace and nature. I was happy that our community and my blogging family does appreciate it! And my thought now is that even if I can touch one or two lives and bring more peace, love and joy in their lives, my effort would have been worth it. And I enjoy this effort of love โค๏ธ Though my initial intent and motive was to help others lead abundant lives, I have ended up learning so much from so many versatile and loving and kind bloggers. Am grateful and blessed๐Ÿ‘

This dilemma of mine: To write or not to write, to share or not was not only limited to the blog; it was equally true for my WhatsApp messages! I am more regular on Whatsapp than WP!

I know I am a drop of the ocean. But together we make this amazing ocean – of love, joy, and peace; and universal brotherhood! I am grateful from the core of my heart for your love and friendship ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿค—

Dawn Meditation ๐Ÿ’–

Tuesday dawn was mesmerising. I wanted to sit for my morning meditation, but my eyes were glued to the changing colours of the sky and my feet were riveted to the floor in the balcony and my heart had stopped to beat!! Sometimes when we face nature at its breathtaking best, everything stands still. There is utter peace. It was that kind of dawn. 45 minutes of sheer bliss. Isnโ€™t meditation all about loving God and merging in Him?

Godโ€™s grace is new every morning
God is love
God is peace
God is joy
God is beauty
God is bliss
Oh God beautiful at Thy feet oh I do bow

All pics on my iPhone between 5.25am and 6.10am on the 18th of May.

If you too love the sky do check out: My First Love and November Sky

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Oh my Mother Divine

Hindus worship the Divine as a Mother too. That is so befitting. A mother is the closest human being to God. Her love is unconditional. I have seen that in my mother – she was pure love! And so was my dear wife ๐Ÿ’–

To all mothers out there:

I salute you

I respect you

I appreciate you

I honour you

I love you

Happy Mothers Day ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’–

Paramahansa Yogananda has written and composed so many chants too on God as Divine Mother
Divine Mother as the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer. Picture courtesy SRF

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Thank you so much for your love and support.

We are One ๐Ÿ’–

We have different mountains and rivers

But we share the same sun, moon, sky and the stars!

We speak different languages

But we share the same love in our hearts!

We have different religions

But we share the same God, who is Love

And the same One Love is enshrined in all our hearts!

So let us pray together whatever colour, creed or cast:

Forgive us our Lord, we are your children

However ignorant and however lost!

We promise we shall love each other more

And shall take better care of Mother Earth

With all the love in our hearts!

Forgive us our Lord, we are your children

However ignorant and however lost!

Pics are on my iPhone from my trip around the world in 2019 – Istanbul, Guatemala, Kathmandu, Pokhara, Brisbane, Montreal, Toronto and Niagara Falls.

One thing I have learned from my travels around the world over years is that โ€” people are same all over the world. Everyone wants some love, some respect, some appreciation; irrespective of the clothes they wear, languages they speak and the gods they worship. We are all same โ€” ONLY LOVE โค๏ธ

Thank you so much for your love, your likes and comments ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿค— Please keep praying for India and the whole world ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™

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Dada Vaswani – Only Love โค๏ธ

When I had moved to Pune in 1993 I had the good fortune to pick up a mini book from Manneyโ€™s Book store – 108 quotes of Dada Vaswani (like so many other book stores all over the world, this iconic book store is now closed โ˜บ๏ธ). I used to carry this mini book in my pocket all the time – traveling in a chauffeur driven car or a public bus!

Dada J P Vaswani

This was the time I had started to seek spiritual wisdom and guidance. I used to love listening to Dadaโ€™s discourses in the early morning TV telecasts. Then I came in touch with my Gurudeva, Paramahansa Yogananda, and got immersed in his teachings, and lost touch with Dada.

I had left Pune in 1996 and came back to this city in 2015. My relationship manager at HSBC knew of my spiritual inclination and in August 2017 gave me a VIP pass for the 99th birthday celebration of Dada, at the Vaswani Mission in Pune (Thank you so much Jogen).

I was so thrilled to receive this invite as I used to be so fond of Dada. I used to love him but didnโ€™t know that he was Love. That day in August of 2017 I heard him live from close quarters. And had the immense pleasure and privilege of meeting him after the discourse.

He was so humble and childlike. He was pure love. I have been so lucky and blessed that in our line of Gurus we have Paramahansa Yogananda, who was love incarnate, and Mahavatar Babaji whose nature itself was love. But the only such saint I have had the privilege of meeting on the physical plane is Dada.

I have met a few other popular gurus too, but none of them have the humility and loving heart of Dada.

The likes of Paramahansa Yogananda, Sadhu Vaswani and Dada come on the earth plane rarely. It is such a blessing to be in their presence.

Dada left his earthly existence a few weeks short of his 100th birthday (2nd August 1918- 12th July 2018) I have no doubt he is showering his love and blessings on mankind from whichever dimension he is in now.

A few quotes of Dada:

  • Happiness, true happiness, is an inner quality.
  • True success, true happiness lies in freedom and fulfillment.
  • People need to know that they are not alone, that they have not been abandoned; but that there is One Who loves them for what they are, Who cares about them.
  • True love bears all, endures all and triumphs!

God is Love. Love is God. Love is all there is!

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Thank you so much for your continued love and support ๐Ÿ‘

There is no God

A few days back I had read a post by Sara, of Life is not an Immune, in which she was saying there is no God. If He was there He would have seen her pain, her suffering. I do understand from where she is coming, and my heart goes out to her. May God ease her pain and give her peace and understanding. And there are so many like her in pain all around. And I keep praying for all.

In my post – My First Love, I had talked of my love for the stars and the sky, and my awe and wonder at the humongous bigness of the universe. I was even more awed or completely bowled when, still in my youth, I learned that ours is an ever expanding universe. My question was : expanding into what? What was there before the universe occupied that space? Nobody could give me any satisfactory answer for decades.

As I matured and started to delve into metaphysics I began to get glimpses of truth. Our rational, thinking mind is too small to understand the infinitude of creation, of God. We can understand it intuitively only. No one can explain God. God can only be experienced.

I believe two opposing forces are continually at work in our universe. One is the attractive power of God, which is Love; and the other is Satan or Maya/Illusion or Iblis. Both these forces came into being at the same time, when creation happened. When the Big Bang happened about 15 billion years ago the outgoing force, the centrifugal force started to pull creation away from the center. That outgoing force is nothing but Satan and is the creation of the Creator only.

The other force is Love, which is pulling us back towards the center, God. And this is a centripetal force. All of creation is subjected to these two opposing forces. And all of us are at different radii from the center, the nucleus; which is nothing but pure love. The further we are from the center that much more restless and unhappy and unfulfilled we are. The closer we are to the center that much happier, peaceful and fulfilled we are.

Love is the cohesive power which is holding the universe together ๐Ÿ’•

Though God is Love, He runs His creation with Law, which is unerring. That is His play, His Lila or drama. And this Law is nothing but karma, cause-effect! Our own karma brings us pain at times and we start to disbelieve in His love. But He knows our pain and cries for us but canโ€™t help us till we help ourselves. That is the whole game of creation. Every pure act, every act of kindness and compassion brings us closer to the center, to peace and joy. Every impure act, every act of anger, jealousy, greed and hatred takes us away from the center. And we experience pain and restlessness and unhappiness. It is true, but most of the times it is difficult to understand from our limited perception of one limited life span.

And ultimately the whole of our life, happy or sad, is but a mere dream, a story ๐Ÿ˜‡ God is the only reality.

Whole of life is a dream, all of us are actors in the movie of our Creator. As real as any sculpture, any painting, any story; real in their own rights, but never as real as their creator!

God is Love. Love is God. Love is all there is ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’•

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Thank you so much for your continued love and support. I am indebted ๐Ÿ‘

My first Love ๐Ÿ’•

If you have been following my blog you would know that I loved my wife the most. She was so lovable ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’• But she wasnโ€™t my first love.

My first love was sky ๐ŸŒŒ ๐Ÿ’–

I remember one night, just after our marriage, we were strolling hand in hand, after dinner. It was a clear, beautiful night and I started to point out various constellations to Anita. And ever so sweetly she said, โ€œ You are supposed to be seeing the stars and the moon in my eyes and not in the sky.โ€ ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿฅฐ

If there was a time machine and I could go back in time, I would love to go back to the time when we were newly married. Or the first few years of our married life. God willing some day or in some other life time, or in some other dimension ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ™

Our 20th anniversary-1995 (I still have this shirt๐Ÿ’–)

My love affair with the sky started when I was still a student. There were no computers and not even calculators at that time. And I used to calculate the distances between stars and the constellations and galaxies with my own hand in my note books! I used to get so awed with the humongous bigness of the universe. It was incomprehensible, the infinitude of creation, of God.

This was also the beginning of my love affair with spirituality! I used to wonder about the infinitude of creation and my nothingness. I am still awed by the infinitude of creation, itโ€™s beauty and freshness. And I wonder why is bulk of humanity running after money and power? Are they blind or what!!

It is not only that I am insignificant or nothing. If the entire solar system of ours got sucked into a black hole, it wouldnโ€™t even cause a ripple in the scheme of things. Our solar system is so small and insignificant. And I think, so is our Milky Way galaxy ๐Ÿ˜…

I love the play of clouds in the sky. I love the games clouds play with the moon and the sun. I love dawn. The beauty and the stillness. I love starry nights. I can spend hours and days looking at the sky.

Thank you so much for taking out your time to view, read and comment on my posts. It means a lot to me and that is what keeps me going – the love of the blogging family and friends ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ‘

All pics on my mobile in last 12 months from our home in Pune, India. Copyright ยฉ Ashok Wahi

Happy Easter ๐Ÿฃ

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