To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child , a garden patch, or a redeemed condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Geeta, 'bhakti' & psalms

A dear friend shared some psalms she listened to at a Sunday sermon (Scientology church?).  As she rightly remarked, it's amazing how all religions lead to the same theology and God.  Read on...

There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter.  All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all.  Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error.  Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is unreal and temporary.  Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness.  Therefore man is not material, he is spiritual.
- Shades of the essence of Bhagvad Gita, and of the ancient Indian concept that this world is but a dream (Maya) of God.

Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; yea, I will help thee.

And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not; for I came not to judge the world, but to save the World.
- Striking resonance with the chapter in Geeta where Arjun asks about the fate of those who, having started on the spiritual journey, 'fall' from their belief and are not able to carry on; and Krishna replies that even they are not 'doomed', since anyone who has an iota of spiritual yearning will 'get there', sooner or later.  This view of the cyclical interplay of good and evil resonates throughout Indian epics, like Ramayana and Mahabharata.

I have glorified thee on earth: I have finished the work thou gavest me to do.
- The ultimate purpose of our life.  There may be quite a few different approaches to this purpose of the soul than traditionally thought.  While on the road towards this objective, improving one's 'soul characteristics' (for want of a better term) may be one of the 'purposes', possibly by exposure (serendipiteously or intentionally) to hardships - physical, mental and emotional.

It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.  They are brought down and fallen; but we are risen, and stand upright.
- Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.  Also resonates with the 'bhakti' (devotion) tradition, which holds that everything moves as per His desires, and man is only an instrument of His will.

The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.  And be not conformed to his world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is good, and acceptable, and pefect, will of God.
- Obviously the 'temple' referred to here is the human mind-body, as frequently talked of in spiritual literature all across including Jesus's life episodes.

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust; His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.  For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
- The idea of guardian angels is quite common among various readings.

Just goes to show the essential spiritual unity among different faiths.

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