2017 Winter-Spring: Transitions

Issue 71 Transition: When the In-Charge Passes — A meditation by Swami Yogeshananda Swami Vivekananda and Adhikarawada — An explanation by Mangesh Buwa Pray, Let Us Play — An invitation by Anna Monday Old Age and the Grumpy Old Man Syndrome — Advice from William Page...

Mahatma-to-be and the Mahatma-maker: Gandhi and Rajchandra

By Uma Majmudar

Mahatma Gandhi, a world revered spiritual-political leader, is known to have positively influenced countless men and women around the globe. Yet, not many people know the key figure who influenced Gandhi in the most profound ways before he became known as ‘’Mahatma,” or Great soul (Maha: great, and atma: soul). If Mohandas Gandhi metamorphosed into Mahatma, who was the Mahatma-maker?

Khudiram and Chandra Devi Are Chosen

By Bill Davis

Host: Khudiram and Chandra Devi Are Chosen. A one-act play in six scenes. Prologue. Sister Nivedita speaks.

Sister Nivedita: An occasion came during Swami Vivekananda’s London classes of 1896 when the call of renunciation was uttered with great force. “What the world wants today,” said the Swami, — the determination to quote “throw a bomb,” as it were as he called it, evidently taking sudden possession of him.

Swami Vivekananda: What the world wants today, is twenty men and women who can dare to stand in the street yonder and say that they possess nothing but God. Who will go?

Pray, Let Us Play

By Anna Monday

We seek God for many reasons, not all noble. We focus on God’s power to protect us, guard our health, give us the stuff on our cosmic gift registry, and also love us when nobody else will take our calls. When we’re reasonably comfortable, many of us want our curiosity about the nature of God/Life satisfied. But how many seek God because they want the wittiest, most subtle playmate in the entire Universe?

Contemplating the Yama Loka

By Bahut Pagal

Being an old geezer, it’s high time for me to start thinking seriously about death. I reached deep into the diseased magma of my brain and came up with the following scenario, which I hope the pious reader will find edifying:

Scene: The front yard of my home, Pagal Ashram, in scenic Samut Prakan, Thailand. Along comes King Yama on his Yamaha. He is a portly old fellow with twinkling eyes, a magnificent white beard, and a hearty manner, carrying a little noose. He is riding a 50-cc Yamaha motor scooter.

The Grand Experiment

By Viswanathan Rajagopalan.

Crave to see That which is beyond lenses!
Crave to taste That which is beyond linguae!
Crave to see that Light beyond elementary photons!
Crave to experience that Bliss beyond Higgs bosons!

Old Age and the Grumpy Old Man Syndrome

By William Page

One of the less pleasant transitions that we have to make in this life is the passage to old age.  There’s a line in the movie “Elegy” that goes something like this:  “The biggest surprise in a man’s life is old age.”  The Mahabharata  anticipates this insight in the incident where the god Dharma asks King Yudhisthira what the most surprising fact of life is.  The king replies, “People see other people dying around them all the time, but nobody truly believes that he himself will die.”

Transition: When the In-Charge Passes

By Swami Yogeshananda

When the Head of one of our monastic institutions, a monastery or convent, passes on, the event can cause turbulent and stressful reactions in the residents. Then again it may not. If the event is unexpected, of course, it is more likely to be upsetting. Decisions may be much delayed, while we want them to be resolved at once. Sometimes our “world” can almost seem to fall apart.

Swami Vivekananda and Adhikarawada

By Mangesh Buwa

Swami Vivekananda came among us to put the ancient message of Vedanta in simple language so that vast number of people can apply it to their lives; ‘his life’s work’, as he famously said, was: ‘… to put the Hindu ideas into English and then make out of dry philosophy and intricate mythology and queer startling psychology, a religion which shall be easy, simple, popular, and at the same time meet the requirements of the highest minds – is a task only those can understand who have attempted it. The dry, abstract Advaita must become living — poetic — in everyday life; out of hopelessly intricate mythology must come concrete moral forms; and out of bewildering Yogi-ism must come the most scientific and practical psychology — and all this must be put in a form so that a child may grasp it. That is my life’s work.’

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