Uddhava Gita- Beautiful conversation between Krishna and Uddhava

Value- Faith, Right conduct

Sub value- Surrender, Trust

Uddhava had done a number of services to Bhagawan Krishna from his childhood. He used to drive Krishna’s chariot also.  He never asked for any benefit or boon from Krishna.

At the point of his work coming to an end in Dwapara Yuga, Krishna said to Uddhava, “In this incarnation of mine, several people have sought and obtained benefits and boons. But, you have never asked for any. Ask now. I want to complete my work by doing you also some good.”

Though Uddhava did not desire anything for himself, the conduct of Krishna, whom he had observed from childhood, appeared to be a riddle, with word and deed being divergent. He wished to get an explanation from him for this. “Lord, your advice how to live was one thing, and how you lived was another. In the play of Mahabharata, in the role you took, in the deeds you performed, there are things that I do not understand. I am curious to know the explanation for them. Will you be kind enough to clarify?”

krishna

“Uddhava, what I spoke to arjuna in the battle-field then is Bhagavd Gita. What I will now speak to you is Uddhava Gita. I have created this opportunity just for that. Ask without any hesitation.”

Uddhava started, “First I need one clarification. You were an intimate friend of the Pandavas. They trusted you implicitly as a friend in need. Being aware of not only the present but also the future, should you not have prevented Dharma from engaging in the dice play as an illustration of the definition of a good friend that you have preached? Why have you not done so?

Let it be. Once the play started, you could have made Dharma win and taught a lesson to the cunning ones. You did not do that either. Dharma lost his wealth, his kingdom and himself. He could have been spared with that as a punishment for having gambled. You could have entered the assembly when he wagered his brothers. You did not do even that.

Duryodhana challenged, ‘Draupadi is lucky. Play with her as the stake. I will return all that you had lost.’ At least then, you could have swung the fortune by making the bogus dice turn in Dharma’s favour. You did not do that also. On the contrary, only when Draupadi was disrobed and she was about to lose her honour, you saved her and boasted that you had saved her honour.

When a third person seized her tresses, dragged her to the court of cunning people and touched her clothes, what honour was left? What is your pride about? Is not the one who rescues a friend at peril the friend in need? Are you a friend in need, having failed to do so? Is your action righteous?” Uddhava was in tears.

This is not merely the mental upheaval of Uddhava; they are the issues all of us raise after reading Mahabharata. Uddhava has raised them with Krishna for us close on the heels of the war.

Bhagawan smiled.

“Uddhava, the rule of nature is that the one who is circumspect should win. Dharma did not have the wisdom which Duryodhana had. That is why Dharma lost.”

Uddhava looked nonplussed.

Krishna continued, “Duryodhana was not adept in dice play. But he had abundance of wealth to offer at stake. He said, ‘I will offer the stake, my uncle will roll the dice.’ That was a master stroke. Dharma could have said, ‘I will offer the stake. My brother-in-law, Krishna, will roll the dice.’

If Sakuni and I had played, who would have won? Could Sakuni have been able to roll the numbers I called? Or, would I not have been able to roll the ones he called?

Let it be. It might be forgiven that Dharma forgot to include me in the play. But, he made another unwise thing. He prayed, ‘Alas, I have committed to play dice by destiny. Krishna should not come to know of this. He must not by chance come into the gambling house.’ He bound me out of that place. He prayed to me that I should not go there. I stood outside waiting for someone to call me.

When Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva were staked and lost, they also indulged in berating Duryodhana and cursing their fate; they did not appeal to me.

When Dusshasana went to Draupadi and seized her tresses to comply with Duryodhana, did she

at least think of me? No. She went to the assembly and argued relying on her own strength; she did

not call me. Good luck, she did not fight when she was disrobed and raised her voice saying, ‘Hari, Hari, surrender to you, Krishna.’

I got a chance to save her honor only then. I went immediately when called.what fault is there

on me in this episode?”

“Wonderful explanation, Krishna. I am awe-struck, but not deceived.  May I ask you a further question?”

“Ask.”

“Will you come only if called? Will you not come to rescue your friends and establish dharma?”

Krishna smiled.

“Uddhava, human life takes shape based on one’s own actions. I do not conduct it, nor interfere in it.

I am just a witness watching from close quarters all that transpires. That is the dharma of God.”

“Beautiful! You will be watching from near all our sinful deeds. We have to persist with such deeds,

accumulate sins and suffer.  Is it so?” cried Uddhava.

“Uddhava, reflect on the import of what I have said carefully.

When you realize that I am watching as a witness, you cannot do wrong things or sinful deeds. Only

when you forget it, you slip into thinking that you can act unknown to me. It is only then that events with

adverse consequences take place.

That Dharma thought that he could gamble unknown to me was his blind spot. If he had realized that

I watch everything as witness, this dice play could have ended in a different result, is it not so?”

Uddhava was dumbstruck and absorbed in bhakti. What profound philosophy! What lofty truth!

Learning

The puja to God and prayer are a mental craving for his help, is it not? When the faith overwhelms that

nothing can move but under His will, how is it possible not to sense his palpable presence as witness?

How is it possible to act oblivious of that?  Bhagawan preached this tenet only throughout Bhagavad Gita.

Though he drove the chariot for Arjuna, he did not take the place of Arjuna and fight. HE is the eternal witness.

If one realises that God is in us, around us, below us and all knowing and all pervading we will never do anything wrong.

http://patriotsforum.org/uddhav-gita-illuminative-dialogue-between-uddhav-and-shri-krishna-why-he-did-not-protect-pandavs/

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The neglected temple

templeValue- Right conduct

Sub value-Harmony

 

Once three monks, who had  gathered  by a deserted lonely temple wondered aloud, “Why is this temple so  deserted and has no attendance?”Nobody knew who started the conversation. “It could  be because the monks did not have the sincerity in doing the prayers and rituals, hence the deities did not show them their miraculous powers and people slowly stopped coming.”, answered the first monk. “  Or It could be that the monks at the temple were not hard-working enough, so the temple in  due time had  a dwindling attendance,” explained second monk. “ It could also be that the monks who lived here, did not respect one another so  the followers grew few, ” added the third monk.

Three of them argued…they  then decided to live in that temple to see whose argument  was the closer to the truth. The first monk did  prayers, ceremonies, rituals sincerely, the second monk fixed and renovated the temple, and the third monk went preaching out to the public. Time passed and the temple became a very popular and well known temple.

“This all happened because of my sincerity in prayers that the deities decided to help and grant me miracles,” said the first monk. “No, because of my hard work on renovating  the temple that it looked so magnificent and beautiful and people started coming,” replied the second monk. “ Oh no, its because of me.! I was the one who went out teaching truths and preaching ,  that’s the reason our followers grew steady, quipped the third monk.”

Day and night they kept arguing and bickering, and cared less about the upkeep of the temple. They did not realize, in all this squabbling,  that they  had began to neglect the temple, as they were preoccupied with their egoistic pride. Soon in due time,  the temple returned to its former condition, there was no attendance from followers.

As the  three monks left the temple, realization hit them and  they concluded that the  poor attendance in the temple was  because there was lack of harmony within the people inside.

Learning

Ego brings lack of harmony in any activity we do. Relationships are ruined due to this. When one values ego over the relationship, he/she loses all the real people and also the cause for which he/she is working for as seen in the story above. Let us raise ourselves from ego to love spreading harmony and be happy and make others happy as well

https://amritham99.wordpress.com/page/6/

Worst Day Ever?

worst day

One of the students Kimaya, 9 year old in my class enthusiastically brought this to share with me and other students for our regular sessions on Value class. She has always been a very positive and participative kid who inspires others through her various service activities she does in her school and outside as well. Her parents play a very key role in her spirit of ‘making a difference’. They had cut out this poem and the related article which was published some months ago in the Straits Times paper here.

Worst day ever- by Chanie Gorkin

Today was the absolute worst day ever
And don’t try to convince me that
There’s something good in every day
Because, when you take a closer look,
This world is a pretty evil place.
Even if
Some goodness does shine through once in a while
Satisfaction and happiness don’t last.
And it’s not true that
It’s all in the mind and heart
Because
True happiness can be attained
Only if one’s surroundings are good
It’s not true that good exists
I’m sure you can agree that
The reality
Creates
My attitude
It’s all beyond my control
And you’ll never in a million years hear me say
Today was a very good day

Now read it from bottom to top, the other way,
And see what I really feel about my day.

Taken from the article- ‘Upside-down poem by US teen a social media hit’- by Jalelah Abu Baker in Strait Times- Singaore newspaper

Thinking “out of the box”

pebble

Value- Right attitude

Sub value- Presence of mind

Many hundreds of years ago in a small Italian town, a merchant had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to the moneylender. The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the merchant’s beautiful daughter so he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the merchant’s debt if he could marry the daughter. Both the merchant and his daughter were horrified by the proposal.

The moneylender told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty bag. The girl would then have to pick one pebble from the bag. If she picked the black pebble, she would become the moneylender’s wife and her father’s debt would be forgiven. If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father’s debt would still be forgiven. But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail.

pebble 2

They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the merchant’s garden. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick her pebble from the bag.

What would you have done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you have told her? Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:

  1. The girl should refuse to take a pebble.
  2. The girl should show that there were twoblack pebblesin the bag and expose the moneylender as a cheat.
  3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order to save her father from his debt and imprisonment.

The above story is used with the hope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral and logical thinking.The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.

“Oh, how clumsy of me,” she said. “But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked.” Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that she had picked the white one. And since the moneylender dared not admit his dishonesty, the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into an advantageous one.

Learning

Most complex problems do have a solution, sometimes we have to think about them in a different way. One should have presence of mind to handle any situation. Instead of getting disturbed and vexed by a situation one must have the right attitude and a calm mind which can allow one to handle the situation cleverly and wisely.

http://quintessentiallysq.blogspot.sg/2011/02/story-of-two-pebbles.html

Siddharth and Puja- A small story

children marbleValue- Truth

Sub value- Honesty/Trust/Faith
Siddharth and Puja were once playing together. Siddharth had a collection of marbles while Puja had some sweets with her. Siddharth told Puja that he would give her all his marbles in exchange for all her sweets. Puja readily agreed.
Siddharth kept the biggest and the most beautiful marble aside for himself and gave the rest to Puja; whereas Puja gave him all her sweets as she had promised.

That night, Puja slept peacefully, but  Siddharth couldn’t sleep, as he kept wondering if Puja had hidden some sweets from him, the way he had hidden his best marble.

Learning-

One must be honest in one’s relationships. If we don’t give our hundred percent in a relationship, we will always keep doubting if the other person has given his/her hundred percent.. This is applicable for any relationship like love, employer-employee relationship etc., So we must give our hundred percent to everything we do to be peaceful.

http://www.funzug.com/index.php/stories/love-is-complete-trust-and-faithfulness-story

Education with a difference- Sharing session on 19th September 2015 in Singapore- Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini

IMG_8395

It is possible to make an impact through the technology combined with value education in the secular system of education. This is what the SSSVV program has shown and succeeded in 90 villages of India.

The sharing session on Sai Vidya Vahini by Bro Satyajit on 19th Sept was an eye opener for me regarding the fantastic Education Seva carried out by the Vidya Vahini team and how much each one of us can contribute towards this great seva.

http://www.srisathyasaividyavahini.org/index.php

IMG_8397

The Salient points- (all taken from the above link)

  1. The Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini Programme was launched by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on His 85th Birthday, 23rd November 2010. Its fundamental focus is in making schools, a place that facilitates holistic and integrated learning to enable transformation and character building as envisioned by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
  2. Teachers and other professionals, volunteer in creating content which is made available totally free of cost. Human values integrated content is created for the subjects of Mathematics, Science and Social Science for the middle and high school levels currently.
  3. The programme leverages technology and calls upon the altruistic attitude of enthusiastic volunteers to achieve the dream of ‘Education For All, Education by All’
  4. It is structured to elicit participation from the society to support the development and growth of the teaching community and schools, particularly in the rural India. It believes in the power of a self-learning, self-sustaining network of schools that would facilitate the growth and expansion of the programme.
  5. The vision of the program is ‘To be a seamless, synergistic, safe medium for nurturing and sharing knowledge by harnessing the power of collaborative ideas, people and technology for the welfare of humanity.’
  6. A systematic and progressive intervention is made to empower the teachers with the needed skill sets, content and motivation to bring about gradual and sustainable changes in the school atmosphere and facilitate learning across all domains of interaction – classroom, corridor, campus and community (4C’s).
  7. As per the guidance given by Bhagawan from time to time, the project aims at delivering education that is Insightful, Inspiring, Enjoyable and Participative.
  8. The objectives of the program-Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini is an open-ended project to harness technology as the key enabler to replicate on a national scale, the success of the model of Integral Education – combining value based education with academic excellence – followed at the university and schools founded by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba; and create a generation of well-qualified young men and women, who are filled with a burning desire to serve the motherland, a keen sense of integrity, empathy for their brethren and a serene spiritual discipline. Keeping this overarching objective in mind, the project intends: (IIEP)
  1. To ignite the minds of rural children with Insightful ideas
  2. To Inspire education with human values
  3. To make the teaching – learning process Enjoyable
  4. To channelize the Participation of youth towards self – rewarding service.

IMG_8396

Seva Opportunities

  1. Content– Powerpoint creation, Photoshop, Info graphics, creativity, Translation
  2. Club activities– Activity creation, review, and publishing activity kits, video simulation
  3. Training /Phone Your Friend– Courseware creation, Phone Your Friend- Mission English, Volunteer Onboarding
  4. Technology- Google API, Automation using google, Developing Test Scripts and Java developers.

Please visit http://www.srisathyasaividyavahini.org/ for more information

Lord Ganesh And Karthikeya

shiva parvati

Value- Right Conduct

Sub value- Respect

murugaOne day Ganesha and his younger brother Karthikeya were playing. They received a special fruit from the gods. Being kids, they were not ready to share the fruit. Their parents, Lord Shiva and Parvati said that the first one who circled thrice  around the universe, would get receive  the reward of this special fruit , which bestowed immortality and supreme knowledge.

Karthikeya climbed on his vehicle, a peacock, at once and flew off to circle the universe, in order to win the fruit. Ganesha was worried about winning the race as he had a stout appearance and his vehicle the Mouse does not have wings!

Later, he took a decision based on his wisdom and asked the permission of his parents to circle around them thrice, as he felt that his parents were his universe.

Ganesha won the race and the fruit.ganesha mouse

Learning

One must use of wisdom at the right time and right place. One must respect our parents; there can be no one as important as them in our lives.

http://www.momjunction.com/articles/lord-ganesha-stories-kids_00101242/

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