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Everything posted by bhaktajoy

  1. I have learned this lesson hard way.Often times I criticise others and I instantly get results also,in the form of depression and anxiety disorder.It all comes back--bad karma. [This message has been edited by bhaktajoy (edited 05-25-2002).]
  2. bhaktajoy


    Also living inside creates artificial conditions for cats and dogs.They are outdoor creatures. That's why in the US pets are having so many diseases like cancer and diabetes. Thank you Jndas Prabhuji for clearing this up.Dogs and cats should be shown mercy and fed prasadam.Ever since real knowledge in India degraded people say why feed prasadam to dogs?Usually in Lucknow Dogs sit and wait for prasadam outside temples.Some give,others kick them away.It has become day to day occurance...cows and dogs are often thrown stone upon.People break their legs.
  3. bhaktajoy


    In one lecture I remember Srila Prabhupada saying dogs which associate with devotees are fortunate having performed good deeds in previous births. Ram Prabhuji I know it dosent seems right to follow one vedic injunction and ignore another but I think no creature should be left out of God's mercy.Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was distributing Krsna's mercy for free. I would say go ahead! [This message has been edited by bhaktajoy (edited 05-23-2002).] [This message has been edited by bhaktajoy (edited 05-23-2002).]
  4. Yes Abhi Prabhuji.I guess there are problems in every religion.Why did Manu wrote such and such in the first place?
  5. Mr.Ramendra Nath wasting his valuable human life,misused intelligence... [This message has been edited by bhaktajoy (edited 05-23-2002).]
  6. bhaktajoy


    5000 yrs ago caste system was in perfect order.Society was peaceful and there were no problems. Lord Chaitanya fed Maha Prasadam to a street dog.The dog went to the spiritual world.
  7. According to Vaisnava philosophy, being silent means to engage the tongue in speaking only about topics related to Lord Krsna. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura used to encourage this type of silence among his disciples, telling them, "Nonsense talk breeds nonsense thought breeds nonsense action breeds birth, death, old age and disease." Srila Prabhupada, being the foremost disciple of his spiritual master, was also the chief exponent of the above adage in the modern age, as he single-handedly spread Krsna-katha throughout the entire world with his lectures, discussions and translating work. His words were like a river of nectar flowing mercifully into the hearts of all men, and in due course of time, all forms of material sound will be washed away by this mighty river.
  8. Theist Prabhuji, Glad you came to Krsna.As for me I am coming from India living here in the US for past 3 yrs.I was always searching for absolute truth but indirectly.In 1994 when my Dad got his job in the US he met some devotees in ISKCON Miami,they handed him down one Bhagavad Gita as it is.It was gathering dust until I came to the US.Quite suprising,I lived in Lucknow/UP whole of my life yet never heard of Srila Prabhupada or his society.Of course I was familiar with cocepts and the language.It didn't took me long to realize how great knowledge of Krsna is. I grew up watching Tv serials like Mahabharata and Ramayana.It's so unfortunate everybody knows Krsna but nobody bothers to surrender unto him.People in India say it's 21st century Mankind has went to the moon so better leave all this old stuff.Money is the only thing that is valued.Maya is very relative. By Srila Prabhupada's mercy I came to know Krsna.I will continue on my journey. After death the mystery of love begins... God bless u. [This message has been edited by bhaktajoy (edited 05-21-2002).]
  9. Interesting... Theist Prabhuji may I ask how did you come to Vedic teachings?Please don't mind it's in my nature to ask questions Yes blessed are the humble and meek for they shall inherit the kingdom of God! God bless u.
  10. Lord Jesus Christ is another sweet personality of Godhead.He has a great sense of humor as many near-death experiencers have testified.The mission of Jesus in this world was to teach love. We are gonna meet them someday!
  11. Dear Theist Prabhuji, Yes you are right.The Bible is true, but it has to be read spiritually in order to understand it. If we read it prayerfully, it talks to us and it reveals itself to us. I have wondered many times why don't they allow westerners into Jaganattha mandir?I am so unfortunate I never had the fortune to visit the Lord. Are you in an American body?No offense just curious Hari Bol! [This message has been edited by bhaktajoy (edited 05-21-2002).] [This message has been edited by bhaktajoy (edited 05-21-2002).]
  12. Well...after the age of 60 one can easily transcend sex life.A lifetime of pure bhakti is enough.That's why God made old age
  13. Accept Sannyasa Ramananda suggested that we give up practicing the rules of varnasrama-dharma and take sannyasa. Acceptance of sannyasa means to renounce materialistic life, and in doing so one has to engage fully in the devotional service of Godhead. In support of this idea, Ramananda quoted the above sloka from the Srimad-Bhagavatam. He also supported his suggestion with another sloka from the Bhagavad-gita (18.66): sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah Here, the Personality of Godhead desires that everyone give up all other religious considerations and engage wholly and solely in following Him exclusively. "I will protect you from all difficulties arising out of renouncing all other engagements. You have nothing to fear." Go Higher An improved consciousness for the materialists is a desire to either retire from material activities or stay at a place that is undisturbed by the uproar of the modes of nature. The river Viraja is outside the boundary of the material world where there is no disturbance from the three modes of nature. The material world is the creation of the external energy of Godhead, and Vaikuntha, the spiritual world, is the creation of the internal energy of Godhead. Viraja is situated between the material world and the spiritual world. It is outside the boundary of both the material and the spiritual world. However, renunciation without any positive engagement is imperfect and cannot give the candidate the desired result of love of God. The aim of Lord Caitanya is to bring people to the spiritual world. Therefore, this suggestion of Ramananda, which does not take one within the boundary of Vaikuntha, was also rejected by the Lord. Negating the material activities or becoming disinterested in material activities does not suggest accepting positive spiritual activities. Spiritual activities completely depend on spiritual understanding. People having no realization of the spiritual world cannot sustain themselves by giving up all other activities. One must have a positive transcendental engagement. Otherwise, simply negating the material activities of religiosity will not help one the slightest bit in spiritual realization. By such renunciation, one will simply feed a void in his life and will again be attracted by the material activities for want of actual spiritual engagements. This sort of spiritual realization is another type of impersonal conception and is therefore not ultimately suitable for the prospective devotee. http://www.gosai.com/chaitanya/saranagati/html/guardians_fs.html
  14. Q: Where do persons go who aspire after liberation or sense enjoyment respectively? A: The first person attains a body that is immovable (such as a stone or mountain), and the other attains a celestial body.
  15. Srila Prabhupada has cleared all our doubts in his books. [This message has been edited by bhaktajoy (edited 05-16-2002).]
  16. There is no difference between Krsna's body and soul so everything he experiences is completely spiritual not tainted by material modes and desires.
  17. <font color=blue size=4 face=verdana>Sex--The Highest Pleasure in a Rascal Culture</font> They do not even know what knowledge is. To these fools and rascals, knowledge means sex. That is their knowledge. Advancement of knowledge means how to enjoy sex. How to take shelter of abortion--child killing. And how to perfect their contraceptive method. The whole thing is on the basis of sex. That's all. They do not know anything except these things. They know that after sex, there is so much botheration. But they cannot give sex up. Therefore, they make all these arrangements: take contraceptives, or kill the child. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (05-14-02) This exchange between His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and some of his disciples took place on October 18, 1975, during a morning walk in Johannesburg, South Africa. Disciple: Srila Prabhupada, people sometimes criticize, "Your Vedic culture was most solidly established in India. And India is now considered relatively poor and unfortunate. So why should we respect the Vedic culture?" Srila Prabhupada: The thing is, when you Westerners went to India, you curbed the original Vedic culture down. The people in India could not take to your rascal Western culture, and thanks to you, they have lost their own culture. This is India's bad luck. The Britishers did not teach them how to actually take up the Western culture, but they killed the Eastern culture. You understand? Disciple: Yes. Srila Prabhupada: Now India has no position. She cannot take to the Western culture fully, and she has lost her own culture. This is India's bad luck. The Britishers never taught Indians how to become actually Westernized. No. They were not giving them sufficient education. Especially in the beginning, they were very much against giving the Indians higher education. They wanted some clerks to conduct their affairs‑some third-class, fourth-class men for their mercantile and government bureaucracies. "Educated" meant ABCD. That's all. "Let the Indian people know ABCD and take fifty, sixty rupees' salary, and then go home to their little neighborhoods outside the city and return the next day on the train. Let them work hard here in our city and get just enough money to maintain themselves." Nothing more. No money, no education, no real knowledge of industry. The Indian people were not taught properly. In America, for instance, I see the factories, and the arrangement is so nice. But go to those Indian factories‑it is hell. Hell. Simply hell. The Britishers exploited the Indians, and the mercantile class of India‑they have learned simply how to exploit. Disciple: Exploit their own people. Srila Prabhupada: That's all. Formerly, the Manchester people were exploiting the Indians. And now the Ahmedabad people‑‑they have learned how to exploit. That's all. And the government is satisfied, because the exploiters pay taxes: "Never mind. The workers may go on suffering." This is going on. And the Indian people have lost their own culture. They have been taught how to drink alcohol, how to eat flesh. Aside from all this, the Indian people cannot work as hard as the Western people can work. The hot climate does not allow. India's climate is good for living peacefully, not working so hard, and instead, engaging the brain in spiritual advancement. That is India's gift. Her people are not meant for hard work. Actually, hard work is not required for anyone. This is animal civilization‑simply to work very hard. If a man simply works hard like an animal, then what is the difference between the man and an animal? If a man has to work hard like an animal, then what is the difference? Here in the Western countries, their climate is more suitable for heavy industry, and as one would expect, they are being taught to work very hard like animals, and they do that. Therefore, materially they have become so‑called advanced, to the point that spiritually, they are committing suicide. Is it not? Disciple: This is true. Srila Prabhupada: Materially advanced; spiritually suicidal. Am I right or wrong? Disciple: Right, Srila Prabhupada. Another dimension also comes to mind. In your commentary on Srimad‑Bhagavatam, you write that if people want to increase their material advancement, then they should also increase their sex lives. Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Without sex one cannot be materially enthusiastic. And if you stop sex, then you become spiritually advanced. This is the secret. If you stop sex, then you will become spiritually advanced, and if you indulge in sex, then you will become materially enthusiastic. That is the difference between Western and Eastern culture. The whole Eastern culture is based on how to stop sex, and here in the Western countries‑‑how to increase sex. They are eating meat, eggs, drinking wine. These things will increase sex desire. And as soon as you get a very satisfactory sex life, you become enthusiastic to work hard. Therefore for karmis, or those seeking material advancement, marriage is necessary, because without sex they cannot work. And for those seeking spiritual advancement, sex is prohibited. Actually, in this Western culture, people do not know the science of life. For them, "life" means this body. Their life is this body. That means they donot know what life is. After all, when the living person has gone, the body that they thought he was‑‑it is lying there. They are very proud of their scientific advancement, but in reality, do they know who the person was? They cannot explain. This is their ignorance. And yet they are very proud of their advancement. But once this person's life span has come to an end, can they bring him back to life? That they cannot do. That means the whole basic principle of their so‑called culture is ignorance. Mudho yam nabhijanati: Krsna says, "Fools and rascals can never understand the soul or the Supreme Soul." And moghasa mogha-karmano mogha-jnana vicetasah: "Their material cleverness‑their so-called knowledge‑leaves them spiritually baffled and bewildered." Why? Raksasim asurim caiva prakrtim mohinim sritah: "Those who take the shelter not of My divine nature but of prakrti, the material nature, become so bewildered that they do not know life's real aim." Moghasa: "They are utterly baffled." And therefore, mogha‑karmano: "Whatever they are doing‑‑that will be useless." Again, mogha‑jnana: in this so‑called advanced culture, there is no spiritual knowledge. So actually there is no knowledge. Disciple: So with their advancement of knowledge... Srila Prabhupada: What advancement of knowledge? Disciple: ... they are increasing their sex lives, but if they were really advanced in knowledge, they would be decreasing their sex lives. Srila Prabhupada: Yes. They do not even know what knowledge is. To these fools and rascals, knowledge means sex. That is their knowledge. Advancement of knowledge means how to enjoy sex. How to take shelter of abortion‑child killing. And how to perfect their contraceptive method. The whole thing is on the basis of sex. That's all. They do not know anything except these things. They know that after sex, there is so much botheration. But they cannot give sex up. Therefore, they make all these arrangements: take contraceptives, or kill the child. That means their whole so‑called civilization, their whole culture, is based on sex. That's all. But yan maithunadi grhamedhi sukham hi tuccham kanduyanena karayor iva duhkha duhkham: "Sex is like the rubbing of two hands to relieve an itch. Those with no spiritual knowledge consider this itching the greatest happiness, although actually, from start to finish, the whole business is distress‑‑and it is most abominable." Is that pleasure? These supposedly advanced rascals think it is pleasure to unite the urine-passing parts. [Laughter.] And we have to believe this is pleasure‑a standard of pleasure utterly third‑class, fourth‑class. Yan maithunadi grhamedhi sukham hi tuccham. Very abominable. Tuccham: the Vedic literature says, "Sex is mostabominable." And yet these fools take it as the highest goal, and they make all sorts of elaborate arrangements for this abominable pleasure. When dogs have sex, everyone knows their whole "enjoyment" is abominable and insignificant. Therefore, dogs are allowed to do it on the street. And people can see it. Is that a very nice scene? Yet when the same abominable and insignificant thing is done by the human beings, they are taking it that"This is the highest." This is the basic principle of their happiness. That's all. Mohini. Mohini. Captivation by the opposite sex. And this is real captivation. For instance, nature has already made women's faces, breasts, and hips beautiful, their singing and talking and walking all very attractive. And now, thanks to this rascal culture, the women are walking around virtually naked. This is going on. The whole thing is based on sex, and that is tuccham, most abominable. Prakrtim mohinim sritah: people areare being taught to take shelter of the material nature's potency for bewilderment. So it will take them three hundred births to understand that this sex pleasure is actually abominable. Therefore, in Bhagavad‑gita Krsna says, bahunam janmanam ante: "A rascal gains the wisdom to surrender to Me only after many, many births." Not that immediately, simply by hearing our Bhagavad-gita lecture, people will give this abominable pleasure up. It will take many, many births to understand. If you stop sex, then you become spiritually advanced. This is the secret. If you stop sex, then you will become spiritually advanced, and if you indulge in sex, then you will become materially enthusiastic. That is the difference between Western and Eastern culture. The whole Eastern culture is based on how to stop sex, and here in the Western countries‑how to increase sex. In the Vedic system, sex is allowed only for begetting children. In other words, restriction. Sex is allowed, but with great restriction--under religious rules and regulations. There are so many things, such as the garbhadana or seed-giving ceremony. The first principle is, even when sex is employed properly, for begetting a child; it is not undertaken secretly, without anyone else's knowledge. Garbhadana-samskara. There should be a ceremonial function. All the brahmanas and relatives come, and everyone knows, "Very soon this man is going to have sex for begetting a child." There is a public heralding--not that the sexual activity is done secretly, like cats and dogs. Actually, even cats and dogs do not have sex secretly. Human beings do it secretly because they do not want the botheration of having a child. Therefore, their "scientific advancement" especially means how to kill the child: how to take and distribute contraceptive pills, how to arrange for abortions, and how to allow the young people, "Yes, you go on having sex, but take these pills so that you may not be bothered." Why not stop all the botheration of sex altogether? That they cannot, because they are animals. Because they have created an animal civilization, they cannot escape all this botheration. Kandutive manivasi visaheta dhirah. Why don't they teach people to become dhirah, sober‑‑"Let me tolerate this itching sensation"‑brahmacari? Their teaching is not good: "You should have sex repeatedly"--and then suffer the consequences. And to avoid suffering the consequences, people become implicated in more and more suffering. Bahu‑duhkha bhajah: after sex--licit or illicit--the consequence is suffering. Even when the sex is licit, then you still have to take care of your wife, and you also have to take care of the children, always in anxiety about their food and clothing, their education, their upliftment, and so on and so forth--always undergoing suffering. And if the sex is illicit, then you have to undergo these sufferings: because you commit the sin of killing the child by contraceptives or abortion, as a result, in your next life you must be killed. And in the mean time, you have to go to the doctor and pay his exorbitant fees, and so on. So where is the relief from suffering? Whether illicit or licit, sex means you have to suffer. But trpyanti neha krpana bahu‑duhkha bhajah. These rascals--once they have had sex, they cannot be done with it: "That's all right. I have already got one child to take care of.No. I must have sex again and again." You would think that once someone had committed sinful activities such as killing the child in the womb, then he would say, "All right. Stop it now.No. Again." Trpyanti neha krpana: such a miserly person is never satisfied. He knows that following his sinful activity, there will be suffering. Still, he'll not stop this sinfulness. Therefore, a man should be educated to become sober: "Let me tolerate this itching. That's all. I'll save so much trouble." This is knowledge. To become a rascal and then more and more of a rascal and then suffer--is that civilization? Does civilization mean simply making people rascals, so that they can suffer and commit spiritual suicide? Just tell people that they have created this civilization of "Become a rascal and then suffer." And all their sufferings are nature's arrangement. She says, "You living entity--you have forgotten Krsna. All right, now you must come under my control. You have become a rascal. Now suffer." Daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya. Krsna says, "My material nature is very severe, very punishing." Why she is doing that? She is teaching us, "Surrender to Krsna. Otherwise, you will go on suffering like this." This is nature's way. But the rascal--because he is a rascal--does not know that prakrteh kriya-manani gunaih karmani: "I am under the full control of prakrti, material nature, and her business is to keep me a rascal and make me suffer." And yet these rascals are thinking themselves advanced in education. Disciple: But they will say that this so‑called suffering is actually pleasure. Srila Prabhupada: That's all right. Go on with your "pleasure." Who is stopping you? Enjoy this "pleasure." But if everything is pleasure, then why are you taking up a countermeasure? Why do you want to kill the child? Pleasure? Why do you take up the contraceptive method--if this whole business is pleasure? That is the proof of what rascals they are. Mudha nabhijanati: Krsna says, "Rascals can never understand what is what." Try to understand why Krsna has said so many times, mudha ... mayayapahrta‑jnana: "These people are rascals, whose so-called knowledge is stolen by illusion." Krsna, the Supreme Lord, is speaking like that, so there must be some meaning. Human civilization means giving relief to the human being. Comfortable life--not repeating the business of the animals. That is human civilization. Disciple: Srila Prabhupada, in everyday life we see that only the devotees are somewhat free from anxiety. Srila Prabhupada: Yes. That's a fact. We have little anxieties, simply because we have to deal with this rascal world. Otherwise, we have no anxiety. But we have taken this mission, to go and approach people and tell them the truth. Therefore, we have got a little anxiety. Otherwise, there is no question of anxiety. Because we are mixing with these rascals‑‑and we have to do that, we who have taken up this mission‑‑therefore, we have some little anxiety. That is also not very much. But in any case, you must know, the whole world is full of rascals and fools. That is not an exaggeration. Eh? Or have you got a different opinion? Disciple: No. Srila Prabhupada: Hm? What do you think? Do you agree? Disciple: They are mudhas. Srila Prabhupada (laughing): Our verdict is final: "All rascals and fools." Therefore, when I ask these rascals, "Any question?", they are stopped. (Laughter.) "Come on. Any question?" What they will question? I challenge them, "Any question?" They know that "We have been proved rascals." During my lecture last night, I quoted Krsna's chastising words in Bhagavad-gita. Asocyan anvasocas tvam prajna‑vadams: "While speaking supposedly learned words, you are dwelling upon the temporary material body, which does not deserve so much attention." And I said, "This is the position of everyone. Everyone is a fool, a rascal, ignoring the real problem of life." And nobody challenged--"Why are you calling everyone a rascal?" In Montreal one Bengali gentleman did inquire, "Swamiji, you are using very strong words.`Fools and rascals.' Can it be explained otherwise?" And I replied, "No. This is the only word--that you are all rascals and fools. This is the only word that can be used." (Laughter.) Disciple: Srila Prabhupada, you once said that anyone who has a material body is a rascal. Srila Prabhupada: A rascal--that's all. And yet these rascals are trying to make this body permanent, even though they know they cannot make it permanent. You cannot make this material body permanent. You are not allowed to keep it, nor will you ever be allowed. Still, punah punas carvita‑carvananam: repeatedly, these fools go on trying. What is impossible, what cannot be allowed--they are trying for it. After all, how can this material body be made permanent? But these fools say, "Yes, we are trying. Now disease has been reduced. Now we are living a few more years." These are their foolish words. They will never say, "No, it is impossible." They will go on heralding their rascal endeavors. Disciple: Srila Prabhupada, it appears these people just can't accept that all their endeavors to make the body permanent will be defeated. Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Of course, they are seeing, they are experiencing thattheir endeavors are doomed. History never says that any man has become immortal. Even a great demon like Hiranyakasipu could not become immortal. A great demon like Hiranyakasipu--he could not become immortal. And what to speak of these tiny demons? One kick is sufficient to kill them. (To be continued.)
  18. www.near-death.com/experiences/research9.html Afterlife: If you want to know what life after death is like, pay close attention to your dreams. The realm of your dreams is the realm of the NDE; that is, it is the realm of the mind. In the realm of the mind, all things are possible. Life after death means freeing yourself from all physical limitations and fully inhabiting the realm of the mind. In the realms of the afterlife, it is what one thinks that is most important. This is because thoughts are deeds in the afterlife. Here, in the physical world, we are what we do. But in the world of the NDE, we are what we think. The following are insights from many NDEs dealing with the afterlife. Once our transition after death is complete, we can choose to go to other afterlife levels when we are ready. When we die, we are given the choice to remain on this earth until our bodies are buried or to move on to the level to which our spirits had grown while on earth. After death, if our ties to earth are not let go, we could become a "restless spirit" and we would be permitted to return to earth. When we die, we will find many levels of development. We will always go to that level where we are most comfortable. In the afterlife, our thoughts are no longer private, but become known to all around us. People of the same kind of thoughts are drawn to each other because it is too threatening to be with others with whom we disagree when they know it. Communication in the spirit world is by thought - a direct mind-to-mind transfer of thought. In the spirit realm, our thoughts and feelings cannot be hidden from others. This reality can be heaven for some but hell for others, depending on their thoughts and feelings. In the afterlife, people with very negative thoughts go to a plane of lower vibration where their kind of thoughts can live. If they entered the higher realms, the "Master-Vibration" of God would annihilate these thoughts. This "Master-Vibration" is often referred to as "the Holy Spirit". After death, people gravitate into homogenous groups according to the rate of their soul's vibrations. If the percentage of discord in a person is small, it can be eliminated by the Master-Vibration of God; then the remaining good can live there. However, if there is more discord within a soul's vibrations than good, this cannot be done and the person must gravitate to a lower afterlife level and live with people of their kind. In the afterlife, each person lives in the kind of a heaven or hell which they prepared for themselves while on earth. Nobody sends us anywhere. We are sorted by the high or low vibrations of our soul. Everyone goes where they fit in. There are no negative thoughts in the higher spirit realms, only positive affirmations. In the afterlife, no one is made to feel uncomfortable by being forced to do or accept things for which they are not prepared. At death, the dimension of the afterlife we travel to is determined by the level of spiritual development we have attained while on earth. When we die, our ability to accept truth and to live by it, governs our progress in the spirit. It determines the degree of light we possess. Nobody forces light and truth upon us, and nobody takes it away unless we let them. People are self-governed and self-judged in the spirit realm. People have total free will. In the afterlife, everyone is free to experience the various afterlife dimensions and nothing is restricted. The only governor is the state of the conscious mind. Deeply held beliefs come into visible expression there. Not everyone has the same experience because everyone creates his or her own experience. Subtle energies slowly open restrictive, closed minds in order to accept greater understanding. Every soul shines the light of love in various degrees. The light of souls who love very little are dim. On earth we have an inner nature (our subconscious) and an outer nature (our personality). At death, our outer nature dies and our inner nature becomes our new outer nature in the afterlife. Our higher self (our superconscious) remains one with God. However, this level of consciousness must be "reawakened" while on earth. In the afterlife, no one is ever lost or left behind. Everyone is of equal importance and each can never cease to exist. Our earth experience determines our afterlife destiny, but no one is locked there, and each can progress to higher and higher levels of being. Things change little in the afterlife. If a person has the fixed belief that they will sleep until the resurrection of the body, they may sleep for a very long time. If a person keeps an open mind, they will be free to adapt to the new surroundings and fit in where they belong with no unusual difficulty. This is why having fixed beliefs limit an open mind. Time passes over there the same as here, that is, one event follows another. But looking at it another way, time doesn't pass at all because there is not enough change to make the passage of time evident. From another viewpoint, time in the afterlife stands still because it is always now. The past and future are of equal length because there never was a beginning and never can be an end. In the earthly rat race, events follow each other so rapidly that it gives us the illusion that time flies. On the other hand, in prison with absolutely no change, the days would stretch into seeming eternities. How does a person get ahead of others in the afterlife? They don't. There is no place in heaven for discontent or personal ambition. Some people may not be able to change at all after they arrive in the afterlife. On earth, we can change ourselves quite easily and should use this life to make ourselves into the kind of people we want to be in the afterlife. In the afterlife, we do not stop learning or progressing in knowledge. Death is merely the doorway to the next level of soul growth and evolution. In the afterlife, death on earth is considered a graduation. Only those who believe they can leave their bodies and progress further after death actually do. "Libraries" exist in the afterlife. In these libraries, when one reflects on a topic, all the knowledge on that topic enters the mind. In the afterlife, one can create things with the powers of the mind. In the afterlife, as we adjust and understand how to work with our mind, we will automatically know what is needed as the desire arises. In the afterlife, auras are what we use to evaluate a person's spiritual condition. The lighter and more brilliant the color, the more advanced the person is. The aura is also useful to determine how much a person needs to work on spiritual development. In the afterlife, the eyes of the spirit see in more dimensions than the eyes of the body. In the afterlife, we have 360-degree vision. The experience is like having eyes all around your head. In the afterlife, we see things from every angle like a cubist painting by Picasso. In the afterlife, our soul is our consciousness and our spirit is our transparent, glowing body. In the afterlife, we see others as they see themselves. Others can appear the way they do because it is the way they perceive we need them to appear. Much communication in the afterlife is silent, although sound is sometimes used in communication because it is pleasant. To travel from one point to another in the afterlife, all one has to do is think about it. In the afterlife, we can remember and feel different times and events in our lives as if they were happening right now. In the afterlife, we can observe what is happening on earth whenever we choose to do so. The tremendous love experienced in the afterlife is like having the love of every mother in the universe pour into us for all eternity. Deceased loved ones appear in the afterlife as they looked like at their best during their lives. In the afterlife, people wear what they want to wear. They wear what they are most comfortable in. A spiritual "receiving station" exists to receive people after death who arrive in a hypnotic sleep due to a faulty belief they have that they must sleep until Jesus comes. Here, others try to arouse them from their sleep. There is an invisible dimension in the clouds above the earth where animals and human spirits go to become replenished for further evolution on earth. Since there is no need for reproduction in the afterlife, sex plays a different role. Without physical bodies to act as buffers, the sexes can get immeasurably closer to each other, and become more intimate. Without inhibitions to frustrate them, they can receive and express love more freely and completely.
  19. theist prabhuji, if this may interest you. www.near-death.com/resurrection.html
  20. It is always better to accept 100% authority and still keep an open mind,of course!This saves one from great dangers. I will quote from near death experiences. Christian: "As I was getting ready to ask him another question, I looked up and saw my nephew floating above the others he was not on the right or left he was just floating around. I asked him, "Richard what are you doing up there?" He said, "IT WAS NOT MY TIME, I HAVE TO STAY HERE UNTIL IT IS MY TIME." My nephew Richard committed suicide in September,1989. I felt the hurt in my heart to know he was not able to be at peace. At that time I felt that I wanted to be in the warmth and comfort of these family members and I decided I was going to cross over when my grandfather put hand up and said NO you can't come yet. I asked, why not? He did not say a word, only looked up and I looked up to see what he was seeing. I can't even describe what it was, but I guess in order to put it into words I would have to say in the Sky above all this multitude of people/spirits was THE FATHER THE SON AND THE HOLY GHOST. I have been a Catholic all my life and didn't really understand what the three in one meant but I do now. The most peaceful feeling came over me and I realized it was our Dear Lord. I told him I wanted to stay he said I could not I asked why not. His reply was You need to go back and finish what I need you to do. I started crying because I did not want to leave this beautiful peaceful place that I had found. He said don't cry you will see me again one more time before you see me for the final time." Hindu: "Vasudev Pandey was interviewed in 1975 and again in 1976. He was born in 1921 and had nearly died in his home, of what he described as "paratyphoid disease," when he was about 10 years old. Vasudev had been considered dead and his body had actually been taken to the cremation ground. However, some indications of life aroused attention, and Vasudev was removed to the hospital where doctors tried to revive him, using "injections," with eventual success. He remained unconscious for 3 days and then became able to describe the following experience (as narrated to us in 1975): "Two persons caught me and took me with them. I felt tired after walking some distance; they started to drag me. My feet became useless. There there was a man sitting up. He looked dreadful and was all black. He was not wearing any clothes. He said in a rage [to the attendants who had brought Vasudev] ' I had asked you to bring Vasudev the gardener. Our garden is drying up. You have brought Vasudev the student.' When I regained consciousness, Vasudev the gardener was standing in front of me [apparently in the crowd of family and servants who had gathered around the bed of the ostensibly dead Vasudev]. He was hale and hearty. People started teasing him saying, ' Now it is your turn.' He seemed to sleep well in the night, but the next morning he was dead." In reply to questions about details, Vasudev said that the "black man" had a club and used foul language. Vasudev identified him with Yamraj, the Hindu god of the dead. He said that he was "brought back" by the same two men who had taken him to Yamraj in the first place. Vasudev's mother (who had died before the time of the interview) had been a pious woman who read scriptures that included descriptions of Yamraj. Vasudev, even as a boy before his NDE, was quite familiar with Yamraj." The only thing that has any meaning in the after life is what you think. just my 2 cents worth God bless. [This message has been edited by bhaktajoy (edited 05-15-2002).]
  21. Yes they really motivate.You can read all of them at www.near-death.com We find that truth is universal.Only close observation is required [This message has been edited by bhaktajoy (edited 05-13-2002).]
  22. Crossing over & coming home Dr. Liz Dale's gay near-death research Dr. Liz Dale is a clinical psychologist who was motivated to work on a near-death experience study in the gay and lesbian community. Her motivation came to her upon learning that no such studies existed. After putting together a questionnaire she contacted the gay community through a popular San Francisco newspaper. Over a two year period, more than 30 people responded to study. Her findings are documented in her excellent book Crossing Over and Coming Home. The following is the near-death experience of one of the respondents in her study. Immediately after the impact from falling forward onto the metal grating, I felt myself floating up, out of my body, and hovering above my body and all the people who were watching it, and who seemed paralyzed by shock and horror at what had happened. I think they pretty much assumed that I was dead. I remember looking down and seeing my body three-dimensionally for the first time. And it was such a shock, because we never see ourselves except in a one-dimensional mirror reflection, or a photograph. But I felt no pain at all; I felt completely whole and free, and I thought, "This is who I really am." I saw my physical body, all crumpled and bloody and lifeless; and this enormous wave of compassion washed over me and I wanted to tell all of the bystanders that everything was going to be OK and not to be sad or alarmed. Then suddenly I felt myself being pulled, literally at the speed of light, farther from the physical earth, and I saw all of the people on the planet simultaneously in that one moment. I saw people in China and Sweden and Uruguay; I saw people sleeping and dreaming; I saw people preparing food in their homes and in restaurants; people traveling in all manner of transportation, to and from work and school and appointments; I saw children playing together, and bankers and teachers and factory workers at their jobs. I saw mothers giving birth to children, which was especially beautiful and moving to me. I saw people in hospitals and prisons, mental institutions and nursing homes and orphanages who felt desperately alone and abandoned and afraid. And I saw people painting pictures and planting gardens; writing stories and composing music, and people dancing. I saw people praying in mosques and temples, synagogues, and churches; and people individually expressing their own silent prayers. I saw indigenous tribes in all different parts of the world drumming and chanting. And God was sending multitudes of angels to the earth, to assist in answering all of the countless, millions of prayers being offered up at that single moment. As I seemed to move further into the light, I saw the earth as though from outer space. It was like a beautiful, shimmering blue and green jewel floating in the cosmos. As I moved closer I saw that the earth was vibrating and pulsating, as though it was a living, breathing entity and not just some physical mass. And I thought, "This is Mother Earth; this is our Divine Mother." But as I looked even closer, I saw that there were terrible wounds and sores on different parts of her body, and that she was gasping for breath, and calling out to God and to her children to stop the killing and destruction and hatefulness - that she was dying and praying for all of us to help her to heal and regenerate. Again I felt overwhelmed by feelings of sadness and compassion, and I desired to hold Mother Earth in my arms - to whisper words of love and hope. I remember that a part of me felt frustrated and powerless to actually do anything of value - just as I have often felt in my physical body. Yet another part of me felt completely powerful, as though there was nothing that I couldn't accomplish. At that moment I asked God, "What do you want me to do?" And the answer that came to me was that I had to go back into my physical body in order to complete certain goals that had already been set into motion. And I thought, "But I can't go back because my body is too far gone, it's beyond repair." And I was also afraid that I could never accomplish, with all of my physical limitations, all that I could do as a spirit form, which felt so free and unencumbered. I remember feeling angry and fearful about going back, after being in all of this light - to have to go back to the darkness. And then I felt the presence of Jesus Christ all around me. The feeling of love was completely overwhelming. I felt as though I was swimming in an ocean of ecstasy. And I asked him, "Do I really have to go back?" And his answer was that I was a part of God's divine plan, as is every person, and that my ultimate purpose is to love and serve God and all sentient beings. And I could tell that he understood all of my fear and doubt. And he assured me that I would heal and recover, but that it would be a lifelong process; and that I did have the power within me, only I didn't realize it until now, and that all I had to do was to ask for the courage and strength to persevere in my life and in my work. This particular information held enormous value for me, as I had often questioned whether I would ever really find a place in the world - having always been somewhat of an outsider - a place where my passionate concern regarding so many compelling modern issues could somehow take solid form, and that I could hopefully make even a small difference. Then Christ said that he would send me guardian angels to aid me in my healing, and to guide and protect me. Then the light became even brighter, and suddenly there were angels everywhere, playing the most transcendentally beautiful music, and singing "Hosanna!" and hymns of praise to God. And some of the angels were crying, which I didn't understand. And Jesus said that the angels were weeping tears of joy for my new life on earth and that they were also expressing compassion for the hardship I would endure for the rest of my earthly existence. And he said that he had summoned the angels to guide me on my journey back to the earth, and to my physical body. I remember feeling so grateful that Christ was there to help me try and understand everything that was happening. I also remember feeling that I wasn't afraid anymore; that no one could ever hurt me again. And that I would try my best every day to serve God's will. I awakened to find two men kneeling over me, with expressions of apprehension and concern on both their faces. For some reason I felt that they might be gay men. They both looked to be in their thirties. I couldn't help but notice how handsome they both were, and that they were beautifully dressed in what appeared to be very expensive business clothes. I remember thinking that they might be some kind of executives working for a corporation, which in fact is exactly what they turned out to be. One of the men obviously had some type of first aid training, and had monitored my vital signs. They informed me that an ambulance was on its way and to try to remain still and not speak, which was easy to do, considering the extent of my injuries. They had both taken off their jackets and lain them over me, and I was horrified to discover that the jackets were covered with blood and completely ruined. I remember feeling embarrassed, and yet enormously grateful for the kindness of these two strangers. Their entire presence was completely warm and comforting, and I felt strangely safe and protected. They waited alongside me until the ambulance came, and then arrived at the hospital to make sure that I was properly attended to. They visited me in the hospital on two separate occasions. I made a somewhat feeble offer to replace their ruined clothes, but they simply laughed it off, and insisted that the only thing that mattered was that I was alive and more or less in one piece. Again their mere presence filled me with a sense of hope and courage. I felt very strongly that both men symbolized what would prove to be a succession of "angels" that Christ had promised to send me. This, in fact, turned out to be truer than I could possibly have imagined. "From an endless dream we have come. In an endless dream we are living. To an endless dream we shall return." - Kushi
  23. Karthik Prabhuji, Do you think that Muslims are left out of the great plan of Godhead? from:http://near-death.com/muslim.html According to the tenets of the Muslim faith, death is the complete end of physical life and the beginning of a period of rest until the day of resurrection when Allah judges the living and the dead. Many Muslims believe that the righteous are able to see visions of God after death and that the wicked see visions of hell. Except for these possible visions of heaven or hell, Muslims believe the soul remains in a kind of "soul sleep" until the day of Judgment. When the day of Judgment arrives, everyone is judged according to their deeds in life. Many Muslims believe that non-Muslims can attain heaven only after a period of purification in the fires of purgatory. Dr. Melvin Morse has reported the following Muslim near-death experience in his book "Parting Visions": Mebruke is a thirty-year-old Saudi Arabian living in New York City. At the age of twenty she was swimming in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Italy when she became tired. As she headed for shore, she realized that she was too far out to make it back. She began to struggle and swallow water. Finally she slipped beneath the waves. "I went under for the fourth time, and my body went limp and I wasn’t aware of it anymore. It was at this point that I saw a beautiful white light. It was so bright and yet it had such a calming effect that the more I looked at it, the calmer I felt. To this day I can’t really say what that light was. In my religion [Muslim] there are beings called angels who are made out of pure white light. Maybe that is what I saw. "Anyway, while I was underwater, I heard a voice say, ‘You are not to die like this.’ Suddenly I felt this energy shoot through me from my feet to my head, and at the same time I seemed to be propelled out of the water. It was as if someone was physically bringing me out of the water, but I can swear that there was no physical being there. "I was moved through the water, I don’t know how else to describe it. Before long a boat came, and a man reached over the side and pulled me out. When he did that, I started to laugh because I was so glad to be out of the water." In the eighth century, a mystical sect of Islam began which merged the mystical traditions of the Greeks, Buddhists and Hindus with traditional Islamic faith. Concepts found in Sufism can be found in a great many near-death experiences which have been reported. The Sufi masters teach that after death, a person judges themselves thereby bringing about their own heaven or hell. Sufism is known as "the Way of the Heart" and the "Way of the Pure". It is a means by which one can move from the lower level of self to ascend to the Divine Light that penetrates the entire universe. This light concept is similar to many other religions as well as the near-death experience. According to Sufi tradition, there are many ways to ascend, but the essence of the path to God is to find yourself. A Sufi saying states, "Know yourself, know your Lord." "Die happily and look forward to taking up a new and better form. Like the sun, only when you set in the west can you rise in the east." - Jelaluddin Rumi
  24. From the Book:Fireweaver The Story of a Life, a Near-Death, and Beyond by May Eulitt and Stephen Hoyer 11 NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE In the early fall, shortly before James and Rashad were to have gone back to India, the three of us went to the cornfields one afternoon to cut fodder. This involves chopping up what's left of the corn stalks after the corn has been picked and hauling it away. Dad had an old tractor that we might have used, but it was more trouble to start than it was worth. So for light hauling we still usually used an old team of horses, and that's what we did on this particular day. There was a metal gate that separated the cornfield from the hay meadows where the rest of the family was working that day. Throughout the day we would take turns climbing down off the wagon to open and shut it so the cows wouldn't get in the fodder until we were finished for the day. There was a tingle in the air that day that was more than just the nippy temperature. There was a feeling of excitement that we all acknowledged and peculiar kind of energy that we all felt as we raced down the rows to see who could cut the fastest. The horses even seemed to sense something and moved along at an unusually fast pace all day without being urged to. In the late afternoon a storm began to brew over the slopes of the western hills. Raindrops plopped here and there, and we decided that this would be our last load for the day. When we reached the gate, it was James' turn to climb down and open the gate. He opened it and pulled it back, and I shouted over the wind for him to leave it open. James reached up for my arm as he clambered back onto the wagon. I guess I was leaning the wrong way, because his weight pulled me toward him, and I was about to fall when Rashad reached out and grabbed my other arm to steady me. It was at that exact moment that the lightning hit. I saw it sparkle along the top of the gate, and then it exploded around us with such an incredible brightness that it felt as if we were being sucked directly into the sun. The next thing we knew, all of that was gone, and we were all in a large room or hall made of dark stone. The ceiling was so high and the gloom so thick that we couldn't see the top. There were no furnishings or wall hangings—just cold, black stone all around. I knew I should be afraid, but I just felt peaceful, floating along there in the gloom with my two friends in the great, dark hall. The stately walls of this place loomed above us, and somehow they radiated both great power and great masculinity. It was as if some ancient warrior king had once inhabited the hall and had left behind all the strong symbols of manhood upon his departure. I remember thinking that it would have suited King Arthur. It was at that point that I realized that the three of us were united in thought and body. We were holding hands just as we had been when the lightning struck, but our minds were connected as well. Images of Arthur came to me from James and Rashad, and I could see the same images that they were seeing. James saw only a comic version of the once and future king. Rashad saw himself as Arthur, as if portraying him in a play. In a twinkling, I suddenly knew James and Rashad better than I have known anyone else in my life. We realized there was light coming into the chamber from an archway at one end, but it was more than just light. It was a golden warmth that embraced us. It gave off a feeling of peace and contentment that was more intense than anything we had ever felt, and we were drawn toward it. We were not speaking, but we were communicating with one another on some other level, seeing through one another's eyes and souls. As we came to the archway and passed through, we entered a beautiful valley much like the one I visited in my delirium as a child. There were meadows and tree-lined hills that led to tall mountains in the distance, and everything glistened with golden sparks of light. James and Rashad saw it as the Ha Valley in India in the time before humans, and at first, I saw the same things they did. We saw that the sparkling lights were tiny, transparent bubbles that drifted in the air and sparkled on the grass. We realized that each tiny sparkle was a soul. At this point, our separate visions began to diverge, but we were still each aware of what the others were seeing. To me, the valley appeared to be Heaven, but at the same time I knew that James and Rashad were seeing it differently. James saw it as the Gulf of Souls. Rashad saw it as Nirvana, and somehow we knew all this without speaking. The light began to gather at the far end of the valley, and the mountains sparkled with its presence. Out of the mist, a white being with a golden hue began to materialize. I saw an angel with a strong, bright face, but not as you'd usually imagine. She was closer to a strong, Viking Valkyrie. I knew she was the special angel that watches over the women of my family, and somehow I knew that her name was Helena. I have often wondered if the reason I perceived her this way was that the strength of the women in my family had always impressed me so much. James saw this same being as his late father, a career Navy officer, in a white naval uniform with gold buttons. The buttons shone so brightly that they wrapped the being in a soft, golden glow. Rashad perceived the being to be the Enlightened One, or Buddha. He was dressed in white linen with gold threads running through his raiment. The being spoke first to Rashad and welcomed him. He said that Rashad's time on earth was done. He was worthy now of Nirvana. Rashad asked why James and I were there and was told that we were part of the reason he was worthy of Nirvana. His two great friends loved him so much that they had willingly accompanied him on his last journey. At the same time, however, James received a different message. He had been worried about what his father would think about his antiwar protest activities, and his father told him he was proud of him for standing up for what he believed. He knew he was not a coward because a coward would not have made this journey with Rashad. I received yet another message in which Helena told me that she was glad I had remembered the example of strength, honesty, wisdom, and loyalty taught to me by my family. We spent what seemed like an eternity in this garden of souls as we talked to our separate, yet joined, entities. They said that they appeared to us in this way because back in the real world we were physically joined when the lightning struck us. They said that it also symbolized the joining of all religions and doctrines. They said that I would live to see a new age of tolerance and that the souls and hearts of humanity would eventually be joined as securely and as safely as the three of us were currently joined. We perceived that in the distant mountains there abided a true Unity. We were led to know that this One was the supreme essence of all religions and that all the higher elements of the universe were vested in this being. The guides taught us that doctrine and creed and race meant nothing. No matter what we believed, we were all children joined under one God, and the only rule was God's true law—do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We should treat all people as if they were a part of our soul, because they are. All living things in the universe were connected to one another. They said that soon humanity would mature enough to assume a higher place in the universal scheme of things, but until then we must learn acceptance and tolerance and love for one another. They said that there would come a new age when people would not be able to endure seeing others homeless and hungry. We would realize that only by helping one another could we truly help ourselves. In the time we spent with our guides I begged Helena to give me some understanding of all that was happening, not just during this amazing experience, but also back home in my real life. She told me that I would be given the time I needed in another existence to understand what it all meant and that after I found understanding I would know what I had to do with my life. She said that I was not yet ready for the lessons I would eventually learn beyond the veil. These lessons would be long and hard, but they were necessary for me to achieve my higher potential. She said that we all have to be willing to face our worst fears and acknowledge our greatest flaws before we can find out who we truly are. This is a truth I am still trying to master. Before we would leave this glorious place, I told Helena that there was one more thing I wanted to know. When I was young I had prayed that God would make me a missionary to China, and my prayer had been answered when an angel had come to my room one night and said, "Calm your fervor, child. That is not what God has planned for you. God doesn't want you to convert anyone. God doesn't care about doctrines and trivial physical weaknesses. He cares only about what is in the heart of each person." But because I had not become a missionary, I wanted to know why God had not seen fit to use me. "Oh, but child," Helena said, "He has. You have affected many people with your kind heart and an open kitchen door. Your service to God is measured not so much by how far you go to help those in obvious need, but by how much you give of yourself to those whose true suffering you may never know." Eventually our spirit guide told us that it was time to go. We would not be allowed to stay longer because it was not yet time for me or for James: only for Rashad. The Enlightened One told Rashad that he would have a little time before he returned to take care of his worldly affairs. James' father told him that he would return to this place soon after Rashad, but the two of them had to go back for now so that I could. I said that I would willingly stay here in this valley with them, but Helena told me that I had not fulfilled my destiny and that I had children yet unborn. We drifted slowly toward the archway. The pull became stronger, and we were literally thrown back into the world. We floated for a while there, hovering above our bodies. Some of my cousins had been in the next field and had seen what happened. We saw them all come running to where we lay. We could see that James and Rashad's hands were still stuck to my arms, and we watched as my cousins pried their fingers loose so they could turn Rashad over to help him. When our hands were pried loose, James and I reentered our bodies. We felt as if we were on fire, but it turned out that we had only minor injuries. Rashad, it seemed, being on the end, had taken most of the charge. The doctors said that the lightning had caused damage to his heart, lungs, and liver. He remained in the hospital for several weeks. During that time, tests revealed that James had a brain tumor, probably caused by the beating he took at Kent State, which would eventually claim his life. As soon as Rashad was well enough to travel, James took him home to India, where Rashad took on the life of the ascetic, in the Vedic tradition, just as his grandfather had done. He wrote to his wife and told her to stay with her family because he knew he was going to die, and he wanted his last time to be spent in spiritual awakenings. In the writings of the ancient Vedas, the ascetic stage is the one that occurs after a man has raised his family and his children are gone from home. At that time, he is expected to put away all physical things and concentrate on the things of the mind and soul. And that's more or less the lifestyle that Rashad adopted for the last days of his life. James went back to teaching, and the three of us all wrote to one another every week. About a year and a half later, on a cold day in January, Rashad returned to Nirvana. James and I knew when his soul left the world without being told. James called me and we talked for a long time. As soon as we hung up, Rashad's brother called James to tell him the news. I once gave Rashad a book. He had his brother write a note in the back of it and send it back to me when he died. The following passages were marked. All are from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. Say not, "I have found the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth." Say not, "I have found the path of the soul." Say rather, "I have met the souls walking upon my path." For the soul walks upon all paths. But you, children of space, you restless in rest, you shall not be trapped nor tamed . . . . You shall not fold your wings that you may pass through doors, nor bend your heads that they strike not against a ceiling, nor fear to breathe lest walls should crack and fall down. You are not enclosed within your bodies, nor confined to houses or fields. That which is you dwells above the mountain and roves with the wind. It is not a thing that crawls into the sun for warmth or digs holes into darkness for safety, But a thing free, a spirit that envelops the earth and moves in the ether. This would I have you remember in remembering me: That which seems most feeble and bewildered in you is the strongest and most determined. Is it not your breath that has erected and hardened the structure of your bones? And is it not a dream which none of you remember having dreamt, that builded your city and fashioned all that there is in it? Could you but see the tides of that breath you would cease to see all else, And if you could hear the whispering of the dream you would hear no other sound. You would know the secret of death. But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life? The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light. If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life. For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one. In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond; And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring. Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity. Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour. Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king? Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling? For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered? James lived about three years after he found out he had the brain tumor. The doctors had made it very clear that he had virtually no chance of recovery, but even though he knew he was going to die, he at first denied it as so many people do. I think the reason he finally came to acceptance was that he knew that when he died, he'd see Rashad again. He and Rashad were raised together like brothers, and Rashad was the closest person to him on this earth. I was probably the second closest person, but Rashad was his mentor, and that means a lot more, I think, to a man than it does to a woman. It was very difficult for James to accept that his mentor was gone. So in the end, all James wanted to do was go and be with Rashad, and the brain tumor didn't really matter anymore. When Rashad died, I had hair that reached my knees. So did he. I remember the first time I ever saw his hair down. It was that first misty morning in the little spillway bridge, when I thought he was an apparition of some ancient god. The fog enshrouded him in wisps and curls that ran like damp fingers through his hair. I had never seen him like that before. Usually he and I both kept our hair braided and wrapped on the back of our heads, so this was the first time either of us had let our hair down, so to speak. When he died, I went to the mirror and took out the pins that held up my hair, letting the braid fall down over my shoulder. When I looked at my reflection, I saw the warm, bright days of summer and the cool, misty mornings we had spent together. I heard his low, soft laughter. I saw us there on the bridge where a cloud of black and a halo of red enveloped us in soft, damp locks. When I focused on my image in the mirror again, I knew what I had to do. Something of myself had to be sacrificed to his memory, and my hair seemed the perfect gift. I pushed the scissors up tight against the back of my head and swished them shut. The braid came loose in my hand. I stood there and stared at it as though I had killed a living thing. I stroked the length of it, remembering how he had loved to touch it and all the feelings we had shared of its touch. I put it into an envelope and mailed it that day to James, who took it with him when he went back to the Ha Valley to honor Rashad's memory. He made a paper boat, put the braid in it, and then took it to the river where Rashad's ashes had floated away to the great Ganges and eventually to the sea. He set the small boat on fire and placed it in the water. A small whirlpool caught the little boat and whirled it round and round until it was gone. My hair was cut so short in the back that the friend who does my hair almost had to cut me bald to straighten it out, but I was beyond caring what I looked like. I know it bothered Nick to touch the back of my head. Where once there had been a soft cloud of hair, now there was only stubble. He resented the sacrifice I had made to Rashad, but he understood my grief and comforted me in all the ways a man can comfort a woman. I have never worn my hair long since. To this day, as it begins to get long, I start to feel uncomfortable. I find myself shoving it around and worrying it through my fingers. So I keep it cut short even now to honor the memory of a truly exceptional man. James gave most of his considerable inheritance to a charity that educated young people in India. I guess that was the great work he was sent back to do. Shortly before he died, he sent back the stone I had given him when we were children. He had had it polished smooth. He said that because the stone was smooth now, I didn't have to worry anymore. When James returned to the valley of sparkling life, I could feel it immediately, and the tears came in a rush. I could not stop crying. I felt so alone without James and Rashad.
  25. Dear Jn Das Prabhu, pamho.agtsp! Thank you very much for your wonderful service to the Lord!I will send my first check soon.You are taking much hardships.You are a blessed soul! "Day by day we are building for eternity ... Every gentle word, every generous thought, every unselfish deed will become a pillar of eternal beauty in the life to come." "By giving away food we get more strength. By bestowing clothing on others we gain more beauty. By donating abodes of purity and truth we acquire great treasures." - Buddha
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