Afraid of Dying? – Convert to Hinduism! – 7 Dec 10

Yesterday I was writing about the journey of life and said that logically the end of this journey would be your dying day. For Hindus it is actually not even that. In Hindu philosophy, as you all probably know, the death of this life is not the end. It is just another stop, another station on your journey. After that, you are reborn and another life starts.

This belief in reincarnation is probably one of the reasons that Hinduism is so popular and why so many people are attracted to this religion. The fear of death is immensely reduced if you can believe that you will live on in some form. If this death is only temporary, you don’t need to be afraid of it.

Where is the end of this journey? When you reach liberation from the cycle of birth and rebirth. This is the point when you don’t need to come to this world anymore. In Hinduism, that is the goal of the complete journey. That is the point when you have zero Karma left to work on, when you don’t have to live on this world anymore and your soul unites with the one big soul.

I however don’t even worry about that. I don’t believe that I need to think that far. I feel liberated in each moment. Each moment that I spend in happiness and love is a moment of liberation for me. Who cares about the rest of the journey? Who cares about another incarnation or another life? If I can just continue my journey the way it is, enjoying love, I will be happy and satisfied. If I die, it is fine. If I come back to this world to another life, it is fine. If I don’t come back, it is also fine.

Rules of Religion and Fear of Sin – 25 Feb 10

I mentioned already that rules can lose their sense and become rituals which are just like a duty of which you do not any sense anymore except for keeping those happy who expect you to do this ritual. I already talked about getting up before sunrise. This was what you were told here by religious people and just how I already mentioned that religions gave suggestions for leading a good life, this is something good.

It is here in India a healthy time to get up. In winter and also in summer sunrise is around six or seven o’clock so it is a nice time to get up and start the day. It is healthy not to lie around much longer than that. But if you now forget the reason behind that and just see this rule: ‘Get up before sunrise’, then I believe that it may be good doing that in India but not in other places. In other countries the sun rises already at four o’clock in the morning in summer time or even earlier. Why would it be beneficial for you to get up that early in the night? And in winter it doesn’t rise even until late into the day.

So if people still do that although they moved to another country, it just shows that they are doing it for the ritual itself. This itself is also not bad. It just becomes bad when religion starts saying it is a sin if you do not follow their rule. Then the reason for doing the ritual is just the fear of doing a sin. Then the real reason, the science behind it, is forgotten and people just follow religious law.

There are so many examples: you should not steal, you should not lie, this all has become a sin. The only reason not to steal is then that it is a sin and you might be punished by going to hell or being reborn another time. If you follow the rule on the other hand, there is something that you can get, be it heaven or liberation. It may have made sense in that time when not everyone had access to education but nowadays you can see the scientific reason for this kind of rules yourself, understand it and follow it just from your free will and mind.

Our friend Angie also arrived here and enjoyed her second day, the first day of Holi in Vrindavan. In the next week the town will be full of colours and fun.

God Does not Need Money or Expensive RItuals – 22 Nov 09

Yesterday I said that our country India is very God-conscious and in the name of religion people become very generous and offer much. This is great to see but I would like to ask a question: why can this generosity not be redirected to practical charity projects? I think then God would be much happier.

Of course some temples have charity projects or support the poor in some way but again I will say that from my point of view there are too many expenses for making a big drama around a statue. Why do you spend money for 17 tons of flowers when God would surely be happy with two flowers, too? The rest could decorate and flourish in its natural environment, on the trees, so that everybody who walks by is refreshed by the aroma and enjoys the beauty of this view.

I am actually not against any particular ritual, ceremony, religion or organization. People can feel free to do what they believe in and what they feel good with but I just want to see the practical side. Why do you need to keep much gold or silver when this all could be used for good causes? What are the diamonds for?

I actually think that God doesn’t want this extraordinary luxury, it is rather religious leaders who enjoy this. This is how you often see Swamis and Gurus in the Hindu religion who have a very strong wish to collect gold, silver, money and jewelry and to show it off. I really wonder why somebody who claims to give liberation of attachment to material is himself so attached to gold and money. Millions of Dollars are saved in their pockets. It is a lot here in India.

Why am I writing this? I don’t say that organizations and people are bad and I am not interested to have a discussion or fight about this topic. My intention is to encourage those who have the possibility to help, to really do it, give your love to children and make the future of your country and of your world better.

Bookish Knowledge Creates Confusion – 4 Jun 09

Many people have ego because they read many books and learned many things from these books. But people who have ego of bookish knowledge do not have wisdom. They often think they know so much but it doesn’t benefit them or others if they are inside empty. Bookish knowledge creates more and more confusion.

Often people try to make others smaller by showing off their knowledge from books. They want to feel great and show their ego. And ego creates more and more bondage to material. But that is not really vidya (wisdom). There is another Sutra: ‘Sa Vidya Ya Vimuktye’. This means ‘true knowledge or wisdom is what liberates.’ You have to watch your knowledge and see if it is binding you or liberating you.

We had a nice dinner with some friends and afterwards went to have ice-cream with them. And while eating we thought of the children in India whose food today was sponsored by ‘food for food’.

Vrindavan – City of Love and Devotion – 4 Oct 08

In the last part of the Yoga Sutras Patanjali talks about the ultimate liberation, when you are complete and do not come back into a body anymore. In Yoga this is the point where you can feel bliss. I talked about this with the yoga students and told them that they are at the moment on the land of Bhakti Yoga, the land of love. Vrindavan is the place of love and devotion, the place of Krishna and the people of Vrindavan have this in their blood, it is in their life.

There is a story in one scripture in which the ultimate liberation comes to Krishna and asks him: ‘I am liberation and everybody wants to have me, everyone wants to get me. But how will I be liberated? Where is liberation for me? It is my job to give liberation, I am doing this, but can you please tell me how I will be liberated?’ And Krishna answered: ‘Oh yes, that is very easy. Just roll around in this sand, the sand of Vrindavan, and you will be liberated.’ When you are here and you accept love and devotion in your life, that is true liberation.

If you ask people in Vrindavan who are going the path of love and devotion about liberation they might tell you a similar story. They say that one time God came to Vrindavan and told that he distributed liberation. It was a special day that he gave liberation to whoever came to him. But when he came to the people of Vrindavan, they refused to take it. He asked them why and what else they would want. They replied that they only wanted the love of Krishna. And this is what many spiritual people still say today. They want to experience love and for that they want to come back again and again into the body to feel this devotion. They don’t really see the idea of liberation like Gyan Yoga does. They want to be with Krishna. Vrindavan is the place of love and devotion. And whenever you come here please take some time to feel this atmosphere and this love.