Thanks Giving
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       =======  Understanding Hinduism  =======

Thanks Giving

Click on underlined words to open paragraph

Seven Wonders of the World

________________

[Note: The following article was inspired by the teachings of Sri Pandurang Shastry Athavle (Dada), who popularised the 'Swadhyaya' methods for individual and collective progress. Contributions for this article compiled from several devotees of Dada]

Thanksgiving- Trikal Sandhya

My friend in Canada owns a petrol station (a garage). When I go to Canada I stay with him for ten days. During these ten days he gives a motor car for my use without charge. He tells me to fill up the car at his garage every day free of charge. He pays for all my meals when we eat out at restaurants. At the end of my visit, I am filled with a tremendous sense of gratitude and thank my friend profusely and buy nice gifts for him and for his family. I will surely fail in my duty as a decent human being if I did not thank him, if I did not show my gratitude and appreciation to him and to his family. After all my friend provided me with the means of material comforts in the form of motor car and petrol etc.

Millions of times more valuable

What, if we enumerate the items that are millions of times more valuable than a car or the petrol, and yet given to us free of charge? Surely we must show our gratitude and thankfulness to the provider of such valuable items.

Upon waking up in the morning, God restores our memory and thoughts over which we have no control when we are sleeping.

At mealtimes, we eat food but what power is there that enabled the assimilation of essential elements from the soil, the sun , wind and water to turn the seed into a final product that we call food? Man does not fully understand the intangible force or the intelligence wrapped up in the soil of the earth- the force that provides us with every morsel of food we eat, and every article of clothing we wear.

Who makes us hungry? No matter what we eat: white milk, green vegetables, or brown bread, it turns into the same red colour of blood. Who does that?

If we place food in a dustbin, it will rot. If we place food in our stomach, it gets digested. Who provides the brilliant chemical works and the fantastic machinery within our bodies that digest the food and extract nourishment there from? Even the most brilliant scientists cannot transform the variety of foods we eat into energy. And who extracts the waste products from our bodies?

At bed time who bestows the peace of mind that makes sleep possible?

We are indeed sustained in our day to day living only by the grace of God and it is only befitting that we express our gratitude to God. The creator of the universe resides in us and He keeps us healthy, happy, and cheerful. In fact, God is the constant flow of energy within us.

The intangible forces

All of us are controlled by forces that are unseen and intangible. The whole of mankind has not the power to cope with, nor to control the intangible force wrapped up in the rolling waves of the oceans. Man has not the capacity to understand the intangible force of gravity , which keeps this little earth suspended in space and keeps man falling from it , much less the power to control that force. Man is entirely subservient to the intangible force which comes with the thunder storm, and he is just as helpless in the presence of the intangible force of electricity.

Consciousness and the sub-conscious mind

One of the greatest of all the intangible forces is consciousness and its by-product which is ‘the subconscious mind’. We know but little concerning the physical brain, and its vast network of intricate machinery through which the power of thought is translated into its material equivalent. The central switchboard of the human brain, the number of lines which connect the brain cells one with another, equal the figure one, followed by fifteen million ciphers or coded programmed messages. The figure is so stupendous that astronomical figures dealing with hundreds of millions of light years, become insignificant by comparison. It has been determined that there are more than fourteen thousand million nerve cells in the human cerebral cortex, and we know that these are arranged in definite patterns. These arrangements are not haphazard. They are orderly. Such a network of intricate machinery helps with the physical functions incidental to growth and maintenance of the physical body. The same system that gives trillions of brain cells the media for communication one with another, provides also the means of communication with the intangible forces of the cosmic intelligence.

Tha Bhagavad Gita tells us in the scriptural language how to express our gratitude and thankfulness to the gods that so generously provide to us the sustenance of life.

Gita 3.12
The gods, nourished by the sacrifice, will give you the desired objects. So, he who enjoys the objects given by the gods without offering (in return) to them is verily a thief.

Gita 3.10
The Creator, having in the beginning (of creation) created mankind together with sacrifice, said, "By this shall you propagate; let this be the milch cow of your desires (the cow which yields all the desired objects").

Gita 3.11
With this do you nourish the gods and may those gods nourish you; thus nourishing one another, you shall attain to the highest good.

Gita 3.13
The righteous who eat the remnants of the sacrifice are freed from all sins; but those sinful ones who cook food (only) for their own sake verily eat sin.

The subconscious mind draws upon the forces of Infinite Intelligence for the power with which it voluntarily transmutes one’s desires into their physical equivalent. The subconscious mind is the connecting link between the finite mind of man and Infinite Intelligence. It is the intermediary through which one may draw upon the forces of Infinite Intelligence at will.

Trikal Sandhya
By Dr. C.S.Shah

For this Sri Pandurang Shastri Athawale (popularly known as 'Dada') exhorts everyone to remember God at least three times a day: Trikal Sandhya as it is called. This is the minimum and basic requirement for a person to become Swadhyayi (student making progress through reading scriptures and listening to Dada's discourses). This 'ritual' may appear too simplistic, but it has a great power to stimulate the confidence of presence of God all around and at all time. The time for remembrance is i) after getting up in the morning, ii) before the midday meal, and iii) at the time of retiring to bed at night. A few Sanskrit verses from Gita or other sources have been selected to be recited at the particular hour.
________________

Seven Wonders of the World
By Shelley Floyd

A group of students were asked to list what they
thought were the present Seven Wonders of the World.

Though there was some disagreement, the following got the most votes:

  1. Egypt's Great Pyramids
  2. Taj Mahal
  3. Hoover Dam
  4. Panama Canal
  5. Empire State Building
  6. St. Peter's Basilica
  7. China's Great Wall

While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one quiet student hadn't turned in her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list.

The girl replied, "Yes, a little. I couldn't quite make up my mind because there were so many."

The teacher said, "Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help."

The girl hesitated, then read, "I think the Seven Wonders of the World are:

  1. to touch
  2. to taste
  3. to see
  4. to hear

  5. She hesitated a little, and then added,
  6. to feel
  7. to laugh
  8. and to love

The room was so full of silence you could have heard a pin drop. Those things we overlook as simple and "ordinary" are truly wondrous. A gentle reminder that the most precious things in life cannot be bought nor are they made with human hands.

Have a wonderful day...count your blessings.

==============

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