Saturday, January 23, 2010

Gratitude

I was chatting with a friend once, about God and prayers and stuff and he said one sentence that completely shocked me-
"What is there to thank God about?"

God is the Supreme Father. He is always there with us, not symbolically, not in thoughts, not allegorically or metaphysically but actually. He is right there, through all our so-called joys and all our very real sufferings. No matter how many sins we do, or whichever body we are in, no matter how much we neglect Him and how self-absorbed we are, He loves us and always tries to guide us on the right path. In fact He is the only person, who loves us unconditionally, all the time.
Isnt this enough to thank Him?

Every day is a blessing from God. He has given us a healthy body, food, and a loving family. There is at least somebody who cares about us.
Isnt this enough to thank Him?

God guides us through all situations. Even the negative events that happen, happen by His will to teach us something. He is helping and guiding us even in difficult times.
Isnt this enough to thank Him?

God's mercy and guidance comes through various different forms. One must utilize ones intelligence to actively seek them out, atleast to recognize them.
Gratitude is the first step towards loving God.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Real Humility

A beautiful passage from the book The Journey Home by H.H Radhanath Swami

"True humility connects us to an inexhaustible power beyond our own, the power of grace. True humility is a universal pride in the greatness of God and a genuine appreciation for the virtues of others. Really humility does not mean I ought to be cowardly and shrink from challenges but propels me to strive with all my resources to overcome challenges with integrity, respect, love and gratitude, to be as much as possible an instrument of the divine.
Humility protects us from being envious towards those who are more accomplished. With a humble heart one can easily admit mistakes and open one's heart to learn. Becoming humble is not the act of killing the ego but of liberating the real ego, which is eternally vibrant with love for God and others."

Monday, January 4, 2010

Love Signs


Well I would like to begin the new year by detailing Linda Goodman's theory on love and its relation to your sun sign.
When I read her book- 'Love Signs' I found her theory really interesting. I felt that what she says is great from the point of view of understanding people and developing fruitful and happy relations.

Basically, she states that the 12 signs of the zodiac form a karmic wheel which begins at Aries and ends with Pisces. Each sun-sign represents a stage of 'spiritual' maturity.
The soul or 'astral self' (as she calls it) must learn a lesson of love that belongs to the sun-sign it is born under.
According to Goodman, the soul must repeatedly take birth under one sign until it learns that lesson and then it advances up the wheel. If at any point, it forgets any of the lessons learned, it is pushed back down the wheel. Thus the cycle continues.

When compared with the Vedic theory, the point that Linda Goodman misses is that learning to love God, unconditionally, at any stage can free you from this endless wheel. Also, karma and desires, combine to determine the next body for the soul ( which could be an animal's too)

However her analysis is still useful in understanding yourself and others and all the intricacies in any human relationship. I am specifying it in brief for each sign-

The first six initiations of love:

Aries-the infant
- "I am"

To teach that love is innocence.
To learn that love is trust.

Aries persons, like the symbolic human infant, are innocent, selfish and reckless. They are oblivious to doubts and the possibility of fears,miseries and cruelty on life's path. They are optimistic, believing that they only have to 'shout' to have their needs satisfied.

Positive - innocence, blind faith, raw courage.
Negative- selfish egotism, thoughtlessness, aggressiveness and impulsive action with no regard of consequence.

To Aries, love is a necessity of life, which is taken for granted.

Taurus-the baby
- "I have"

To teach that love is patience.
To learn that love is forgiveness.

The soul has now grown into a symbolically, chubby healthy baby. Unaware of the outside environment, the Taurean finds security and happiness in his home circle. They are comfortable with the familiar, possessions bring them happiness and understand affection only through feeling. They are fiercely possessive and refuse to share what they truly love. (like a baby with his toys)

Positive - strength of purpose, patience, steadfastness and conviction
Negative- obstinacy, blind prejudice, lack of reason.

To Taurus, love is physical affection, both given and received without question.

Gemini-the child- "I think"

To teach that love is awareness.
To learn that love is feeling.

For the first time the soul becomes aware that it is not alone in the universe. A child learns to communicate with words while the parents listen attentively. Similarly, Geminians are quick witted and known for their verbal agility and expect every body to listen to them. They are thrilled by knowledge and love to discover new things. Yet they must face the duality of their 'Twin selves'. Partly they long to run out and explore the world, while partly they are insecure and seek the familiar.

Positive - versatility, mental alertness,quickness of perception, deductive reasoning and flexibility.
Negative- restlessness, glibness, shallowness, double-talk, unreliability, self-deception.

To Gemini, love is needed, but restricting as there are more exciting things in the world for them. If they find love too restrictive, they may rashly discard it.

Cancer-the adolescent
- "I feel"

To teach that love is devotion.
To learn that love is freedom.

The moody, sensitive, 'adolescent' Cancer soul vacillates between childish dependence and the maddeningly enticing world of adulthood. Cancerians tend to have many apprehensions as they sense the 'pitfalls' they must face in life. They are secretive and dreamy, acutely perceptive of other people's emotions. They have a great sense of humor, using jokes to hide their own deep emotions believing they are fooling people by doing so.

Positive - imagination, tenacity, tenderness, sensitivity, care and caution.
Negative- stinginess, irritability, melancholy, clinging, cowardice, possesiveness and moodiness.

To Cancer, love is equivalent to emotional security.It is so strongly needed that it must be disguised behind Lunar laughter and moody tears.

Leo-the teenager
- "I will"

To teach that love is ecstasy.
To learn that love is humility.

Like a teenager, the Leo portrays great self-confidence and yet seeks reassurance in the form of flattery, cringing inwardly from self-criticism. Generosity of spirit is carved into the Leo from the souls journey through previous stages of insecurity and they tend to seek out and reassure the helpless. They enjoy social life and even responsibilities. Freed from the symbolic restrictions of parental guidance the Leo sees the world in cheerful light, enjoying a sense of adulthood yet seeking constant assurances.

Positive - warmth,generosity, nobility, strength, loyalty, leadership and soothing, gentle tenderness.
Negative- arrogance, false pride, vanity, tyranny, haughtiness, romanic promiscuity

To Leo, love is shimmering romance, the fulfillment of idealism and beauty. They give and demand affection generously.

Virgo-the adult
- "I analyze"

To teach that love is pure.
To learn that love is fulfillment.

The soul has now become an adult, forced to comply with society's rules yet submitting gracefully.
Like young adults, Virgo souls see much to criticize around them. They take life seriously and are extremely practical. They know that learning and competing is mandatory, surviving has now become an obsession. Their heart is still pure and filled with silent hope but the mind is now in control. Earlier leo enthusiasms have been replaced by resignations and quiet dreams.

Positive - clarity of thought, discrimination, courtesy, service to others, practicality and self-honesty.
Negative- criticism,crankiness, timidity, pessimism, inferiority and hair-splitting.

To Virgo, love is a surrender of the self, a mystery they prefer not to solve.

After repeatedly going through these first six stages the soul passes through the final six initiations of love to discover deeper spiritual meaning.
Libra-marriage- "I balance"

To teach that love is beauty.
To learn that love is harmony.

Experience has taught Libra men and women to judge fairly as they now become aware of the duality that exists within the universe. Decision making is difficult and painful- as they strive to seek a balance. Cold logic learned in Gemini and virgo is softened by the knowledge of value of persuasion. They have a quality of charm which they use to dazzle and confuse everyone around them. They are deeply aware of the harmony that lies in music and art and are sentimental and practical.

Positive - justice, intelligence, charm, gentleness and emotional balance.
Negative- laziness, procrastination, indecision, argumentativeness, pleasure-seeking, temperamental.

To Libra, love is a meeting of the minds and hearts, not too passionate, not too detached- a happy medium to be equally shared.

Scorpio-sex- "I desire"

To teach that love is passion.
To learn that love is surrender.

Scorpions seek the answers of the fundamental questions of life. They trust love only after it has proved itself, but once convinced are unswervingly loyal. They wish to fiercely protect themselves and the ones they love from hurt and hence are highly revengeful. They often wish to penetrate universal mysteries like death, God etc. Though passionate and ultra-sensitive, the scorpion soul has learnt how to completely disguise their true self from the world. They also discover their own will and the power of the mind.

Positive - loyalty, will power, magnetism, gentleness, insight and amazing self-control.
Negative- ruthlessness, fanaticism, revenge, sadism, suspicion and self-hatred.

To Scorpio, love is a consuming flame worthy of any challenge, and they must conquer its challenge.

Sagittarius-knowledge
- "I see"

To teach that love is honesty.
To learn that love is loyalty.

In Sagittarius, the soul has now become a skeptical philosopher and a reluctant prophet. He is once again aware of the duality of his own nature and varies between supreme optimism and blind faith to the depths of sarcastic cynicism. They are curious and funny, melancholy and critical. They have an irresponsible disregard for the future having reached the symbolic stage of retirement. They grudgingly submit to restrictions of duty and long to realize their inner dreams. They yearn to travel and discover new people and ideas.

Positive - optimism, candor, cheerfulness, logic, honesty, daring and enthusiasm.
Negative- recklessness, emotional confusion, carelessness, lack of tact, rudeness and fickleness.

To Sagittarius, love is an ideal and they are often wounded by love's reality.

Capricorn-experience- "I use"

To teach that love is wisdom.
To learn that love is unselfish.

The Capricorn Soul leads from his home, sure of his authority and feels no need to be constantly praised or admired. He has learned that true peace comes from within. The Capricorn's relatives assume marked importance because the 'symbolic old age' has arrived. Capricorns are willing to give advice, but only when invited to do so. The excitement of romance and the freedom of youth are not nearly as enticing to the goat as comfort and family contentment. They appear serious and unyielding to more liberal souls, but they have a subtle sense of humour with a tinge of irony. Gentleness of spirit softens the severity of the surface sternness commanded by Saturn.

Positive - determination, stability, wisdom, dependability, sureness and tranquility.
Negative- selfishness, narrowness, ruthless ambition, rigidity, snobbery, depression and loneliness.

To Capricorn, love is a quiet and undemanding exchange of personal gratification, not to be measured by excessive emotion.

Aquarius-idealism
- "I know"

To teach that love is tolerance.
To learn that love is Oneness.

The Aquarian soul feels that it must return to life much of what it gathered along the way. They are often a puzzle to family and friends because they are wise souls cavorting as the young and liberal. They investigate everything and delight in shocking those around them. They are highly eccentric and intutive and often get unexplainable, telepathic flashes of the future. They tend to flaunt law and authority because they exist in the future, knowing that todays laws must be compromised tomorrow. They are humanitarian, unprejudiced and often neglect personal relations in the pursuit of idealism.

Positive - vision, individuality, tolerance, friendliness, inventiveness, originality, genius.
Negative- eccentricity, neurosis, detachment, absent mindedness and refusal to cooperate.

To Aquarius, love is a detached and unselfish emotion, to be explored and enjoyed.
They understand love's scope and investigate all its dimensions, yet scatter it carelessly, confusing it with friendship.

Pisces-submission- "I believe"

To teach that love is compassion.
To learn that love is All.

The Piscean is an old soul and may either swim in waters dangerously close to hell as rise towards the goodness of heaven. Having glimpsed the beauty of truth through the previous 11 stages they may choose to retreat from the earthly plane through spiritual and religious persuits or avoid conflicts by swiming down the murky waters of alcoholism, drug addiction and insanity. They can become good teachers, monks, mystics, artists and musicians, composers, abstract mathematicians and highly intutive scientists. They have natural compassion and become the recipients of everyone's troubles and worries, yet prefer to remain aloof from others' complications.

Positive - humility, compassion, sensitivity, spiritual awareness, psychic comprehension, philosphic insight and healing potential.
Negative- timidity, apprehension, masochism, idleness, lying and weakness of will.

To Pisces, love is unselfish submission of the ego to the desires of the one needed to become Whole. They gain more pleasure from giving than receiving.

Disclaimer: This is just a condensation of what is given in Linda Goodman's book Love Signs. Please do not judge the topic based on this blog alone.
If you want to explore the topic in full, do read the book. It gives a detailed description of all sun-signs and the relationships between all possible sun-sign combinations in a humorous and allegorical manner.
I personally do not subscribe to her Karmic theory, I only agree with her analysis of sun-sign personalities.