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The Secret of Life

An eight-year old boy approached an old man sitting in a garden, looked up into his eyes, and said,
“I understand you’re a very wise man. I’d like to know the secret of life.”
The old man looked down at the youngster and replied,
“I’ve thought a lot in my lifetime, and the secret can be summed up in four words:
“The first is THINK. Think about the values by which you wish to live your life.”
“The second is BELIEVE. Believe in yourself based on the thinking you’ve done about the values by which you’re going to live your life.”
“The third is DREAM. Dream about the things that can be, based on your belief in yourself and the values by which you’re going to live your life.”
“The last is DARE. Dare to make your dreams become reality, based on your belief in yourself and your values.”And with that, Walt E. Disney said to the boy, “Think, Believe, Dream and Dare.”
“The secret of life” is locked up in a safe with a four-step lock. The keys to that lock are:
‘Think,’ ‘Believe,’ ‘Dream’ and ‘Dare’. “Dream is not what you see in sleep, but what does not allow you to sleep.” (Abdul Kalam, Former President of India)

By Admin on 17-11-2017
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Pain and Suffering

The day was very tiring for the Ashram community. There was a great deal of work that had to be done for the forthcoming annual Satsangh. ‘Why does God allow suffering?’ asked Dayanand to their guru.

“Creation is God’s Self-expression bound with time and space. God expresses Himself through His creation. God is Love Infinite. Love by its very nature is also creative energy. Hence creativity is an attribute of God. He cannot but be creative at all times. “Pain and suffering are essential parts of creativity that leads to greater joy. The greatest creativity is giving birth to a child. The mother goes through very many difficulties from the time of conception. She also has to go through a great pain and suffering to give birth to the child and to nurture it, and to bring it up. ‘No pain, no gain’ and ‘No resurrection without crucifixion’ are adages with great divine wisdom in them.

“God does not give us pain and suffering. Some of them are part of the reality of life, like the pain associated with child birth. It leads to greater joy. Some are caused by our own ignorance, lust, anger, jealousy, sloth, pride, selfishness, greed etc.  Some are reactions to our evil thoughts, words and deeds. Some of them are caused by natural calamities. Once we understand this truth, we can also use our pain and suffering creatively for our individual and collective growth and development. That is what Gandhiji, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela and such other great men and women all over the world demonstrated to us. They suffered willingly and consciously for the good of others. This is what every good mother does. Love motivates us to suffer for the beloved. True love, divine love, is forgiving, enduring and self-sacrificing”, explained the master to his beloved disciple.

By Acharya Sachidananda on 13-11-2017

Social Responsibility

World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific.
One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank. He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship.
His flight leader told him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation and headed back to the fleet. As he was returning to the mother ship, he saw something that turned his blood cold; a squadron of Japanese aircraft was speeding its way toward the American fleet.
The American fighters were gone on a sortie, and the fleet was all but defenceless. He couldn’t reach his squadron and bring them back in time to save the fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of the approaching danger. There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert them from the fleet.
Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes. Wing-mounted 50 caliber’s blazed as he charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another. Butch wove in and out of the now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible until all his ammunition was finally spent.
Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dove at the planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible, rendering them unfit to fly. Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction. Deeply relieved, Butch O’Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier.
Upon arrival, he reported in and related the event surrounding his return. The film from the gun-camera mounted on his plane told the tale. It showed the extent of Butch’s daring attempt to protect his fleet. He had, in fact, destroyed five enemy aircraft.
This took place on February 20, 1942, and for that action Butch became the Navy’s first Ace of W.W.II, and the first Naval Aviator to win the Medal of Honor.
A year later Butch was killed in an aerial combat at the age of 29. But his home town would not allow the memory of this WW II hero to fade, and today, O’Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man.

By indian-admin on 07-11-2017
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Insensitivity

Two little boys and their father got into the train. The two children were weeping but the father did nothing to stop them weeping louder and louder. The gentleman sitting next felt disturbed and asked the father to tell his sons stop crying. But the father did not say a word. The gentleman was visibly angry. He asked the father why he did not stop his sons being such a nuisance to the fellow passengers.
‘Let them cry. It is good for them’ said the father.
‘How could you be so insensitive to the comfort of the fellow passengers?’ Asked the gentleman.
‘We are returning from their mother’s funeral’ said the father. The gentleman felt ashamed of himself for being so insensitive to the pain and agony of the children who lost their mother.

Note: It is very rarely that our assumptions match the spirit of any situation. Always leave a space for a different possibility.

By Acharya Sachidananda on 30-10-2017
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Love Undefined

It was a busy morning, approximately 8.30 AM, when an elderly gentleman in his 80s arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said that he is in a hurry as he has an appointment at 9.00 AM.

The doctor took his vital signs and asked him to take his seat. Knowing that it would be almost another hour before the first patient might check in, he decided to evaluate his wound. The doctor found that it is almost cured.
While the doctor was removing the sutures and redressing the wound, he asked the man if he had another doctor’s appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman replied that he is going to another nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. The doctor then inquired about her health. The man replied that she is there since some time and she is a victim of Alzheimer’s disease. The doctor asked him if she would be upset if he is a bit late. The doctor was surprised to hear the man saying that it was almost five years since she had recognized him.

“And still you go there every morning?” The doctor asked. He smiled as he patted the doctor’s hands and then said, “She doesn’t know me. But I still know who she is.”
The doctor had to hold back tears as the man walked out of the clinic. ‘This is the kind of love I want in my life’, the doctor whispered in private. He also said to himself, ‘True love is neither physical nor romantic.’

By Admin on 24-10-2017
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Warts and All

This story is told about Oliver Cromwell. He was sitting for an artist who was painting a full-length picture of him.

When the painting was complete, Cromwell looked at it, and saw that the painter had gone out of his way to make Cromwell more handsome than he actually was. For example, Cromwell had warts on his face, but the painter had opted to omit these. Cromwell would not accept the finished product. He insisted that the painter do one more portrait, only this time, he was ordered to paint Cromwell with “warts and all.” Though we don’t like the “warts and all” part of us, they are as much part of us – good as well as not so good.

Seeing and accepting oneself as he/she is would ward of resentment for ourselves and would provide the healthy outlook to better oneself.We could easily prefer the painter who can make us look better than we really are.

By Admin on 08-09-2017

Be a Believer to be an Achiever

A professor stood before his class of 30 senior molecular biology students, about to pass out the final exam. ‘I have been privileged to be your instructor this semester, and I know how hard you have all worked to prepare for this test. I also know most of you are off to medical school or grad school next fall,’ he said to them.

‘I am well aware of how much pressure you are under to keep your GPAs up, and because I know you are all capable of understanding this material, I am prepared to offer an automatic ‘B’ to anyone who would prefer not to take the final.’

The relief was audible as a number of students jumped up to thank the professor and departed from class. The professor looked at the handful of students who remained, and offered again, ‘Any other takers? This is your last opportunity.’ One more student decided to go.

Seven students remained. The professor closed the door and took attendance. Then he handed out the final exam. There were two sentences typed on the paper:

‘Congratulations, you have just received an ‘A’ in this class. Keep believing in yourself.’

Comment: It’s the kind of test that any teacher in any discipline could and should give. Students who don’t have confidence in what they’ve learned are ‘B’ students at best. The same is true for students of real life. The ‘A’ students are those who believe in what they’re doing because they’ve learned from both successes and failures. They’ve absorbed life’s lessons, whether from formal education or the school of hard knocks, and become better people. Without faith in yourself and others, success is impossible.  Believe in yourself, even when no one else does.

By indian-admin on 28-07-2017
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For Sale

The owner of a small business, a friend of the poet, Olavo Bilac, met him one day and asked him: “Mr. Bilac, I need to sell my farm, the one you know so well. Could you please write an announcement for me for the paper?”

 Bilac wrote: “For Sale, a beautiful property, where birds sing at dawn in the extensive woodland, bisected by the brilliant and sparkling waters of a large stream. The house is bathed by the rising sun. It offers tranquil shade in the evening on the veranda.

Sometime later, the poet met his friend and asked him if he had sold the property? To which he replied; “I changed my mind. When I read what you had written, I realized the value of the treasure I was trying to get rid off.”

Often we underestimate the good things we have – children, family, spouse, friends, profession, etc. – chasing after the mirages of false treasures.

By Admin on 26-07-2017
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To Calm a Disturbed Mind

Once Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers. This was in the initial days. While they were traveling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha told one of his disciples, “I am thirsty. Please get me some water from that lake there.”The disciple walked up to the lake. When he reached it, he noticed that right at that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy, very turbid. The disciple thought, “How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink!”So he came back and told Buddha, “The water in there is very muddy. I don't think it is fit to drink.” After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake and get him some water to drink. The disciple obediently went back to the lake. This time too he found that the lake was muddy. He returned and informed Buddha about the same. After sometime, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back. The disciple reached the lake to find the lake absolutely clean and clear with pure water in it. The mud had settled down and the water above it looked fit to be had. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said, “See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be…. and the mud settled down on its own – and you got clear water. Your mind is also like that! When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don't have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.
Don’t act or react when your mind is agitated. Give it some time to settle down before you do anything about the matter; and you will have no regrets later.

By Admin on 01-06-2017
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The Janitor

Bill Holbrook, the janitor at the wealthiest church in town, ordered some cleaning supplies from the hardware store. When they arrived, the driver asked Bill to sign for them.  Bill went into the pastor's office and asked the pastor to sign for them. Puzzled, the pastor told Bill to sign for them. “I can't,” said Bill.  “I can't read or write.””Well,” replied the pastor, “I'm going to have to let you go, Bill. I'm sorry but we can't have a janitor that can't read or write.”Bill started walking home, wondering how he was going to tell his wife the bad news, when he reached for his pipe and found he had run out of tobacco.  He searched the neighbourhood looking for a tobacco shop but could find none. And then he got an idea.  When he got home, he told his wife he was going to open a tobacco shop.The venture was so successful that Bill soon opened another, and then another until in ten years he was opening his one hundredth tobacco shop.  A feature writer from USA Today came to interview Bill on this great occasion.  When she had finished the interview she asked Bill if he'd like to read over her notes. “Yes, I would like to”, said Bill “but I can't read or write.” “My Gosh”, said the young lady.  “You've accomplished so much.  Just imagine what you'd be if you could read and write!” “Yes,” smiled Bill.  “I'd be the janitor in a church.” When a person is determined and enterprising, nothing can block him, not even the apparent drawbacks.

By Admin on 03-05-2017