Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Satyam shivam sundaram - Michael Jackson

Let us dream of tomorrow where we can truly love from the soul, and know love as the ultimate truth at the heart of all creation.

Michael Jackson

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The story of Prahlad by Swami Vivekananda

Hiranyakashipu was the king of the Daityas. The Daityas, though born of the same parentage as the Devas or gods, were always, at war with the latter. The Daityas had no part in the oblations and offerings of mankind, or in the government of the world and its guidance.

But sometimes they waxed strong and drove all the Devas from the heaven, and seized the throne of the gods and ruled for a time. Then the Devas prayed to Vishnu, the Omnipresent Lord of the universe, and He helped them out of their difficulty. The Daityas were driven out, and once more the gods reigned.

Hiranyakashipu, king of the Daityas, in his turn, succeeded in conquering his cousins, the Devas, and seated himself on the throne of the heavens and ruled the three worlds — the middle world, inhabited by men and animals; the heavens, inhabited by gods and godlike beings; and the nether world, inhabited by the Daityas.

Now, Hiranyakashipu declared himself to be the God of the whole universe and proclaimed that there was no other God but himself, and strictly enjoined that the Omnipotent Vishnu should have no worship offered to Him anywhere; and that all the worship should henceforth be given to himself only.

Hiranyakashipu had a son called Prahlâda. Now, it so happened, that this Prahlada from his infancy was devoted to God. He showed indications of this as a child; and the king of the Daityas, fearing that the evil he wanted to drive away from the world would crop up in his own family, made over his son to two teachers called Shanda and Amarka, who were very stern disciplinarians, with strict injunctions that

Prahlada was never to hear even the name of Vishnu mentioned. The teachers took the prince to their home, and there he was put to study with the other children of his age. But the little Prahlada, instead of learning from his books, devoted all the time in teaching the other boys how to worship Vishnu. When the teachers found it out, they were frightened, for the fear of the mighty king

Hiranyakashipu was upon them, and they tried their best to dissuade the child from such teachings. But Prahlada could no more stop his teaching and worshipping Vishnu than he could stop breathing. To clear themselves, the teachers told the terrible fact to the king, that his son was not only worshipping Vishnu himself, but also spoiling all the other children by teaching them to worship Vishnu.

The monarch became very much enraged when he heard this and called the boy to his presence. He tried by gentle persuasions to dissuade Prahlada from the worship of Vishnu and taught him that he, the king, was the only God to worship. But it was to no purpose. The child declared, again and again, that the Omnipresent Vishnu, Lord of the universe, was the only Being to be worshipped — for even he, the king, held his throne only so long as it pleased Vishnu. The rage of the king knew no bounds, and he ordered the boy to be immediately killed. So the Daityas struck him with pointed weapons; but Prahlad's mind was so intent upon Vishnu that he felt no pain from them.
When his father, the king, saw that it was so, he became frightened but, roused to the worst passions of a Daitya, contrived various diabolical means to kill the boy. He ordered him to be trampled under foot by an elephant. The enraged elephant could not crush the body any more than he could have crushed a block of iron. So this measure also was to no purpose. Then the king ordered the boy to be thrown over a precipice, and this order too was duly carried out; but, as Vishnu resided in the heart of Prahlada, he came down upon the earth as gently as a flower drops upon the grass. Poison, fire, starvation, throwing into a well, enchantments, and other measures were then tried on the child one after another, but to no purpose. Nothing could hurt him in whose heart dwelt Vishnu.

At last, the king ordered the boy to be tied with mighty serpents called up from the nether worlds, and then cast to the bottom of the ocean, where huge mountains were to be piled high upon him, so that in course of time, if not immediately, he might die; and he ordered him to be left in this plight. Even though treated in this manner, the boy continued to pray to his beloved Vishnu: "Salutation to Thee, Lord of the universe. Thou beautiful Vishnu!" Thus thinking and meditating on Vishnu, he began to feel that Vishnu was near him, nay, that He was in his own soul, until he began to feel that he was Vishnu, and that he was everything and everywhere.

As soon as he realised this, all the snake bonds snapped asunder; the mountains were pulverised, the ocean upheaved, and he was gently lifted up above the waves, and safely carried to the shore. As Prahlada stood there, he forgot that he was a Daitya and had a mortal body: he felt he was the universe and all the powers of the universe emanated from him; there was nothing in nature that could injure him; he himself was the ruler of nature. Time passed thus, in one unbroken ecstasy of bliss, until gradually Prahlada began to remember that he had a body and that he was Prahlada. As soon as he became once more conscious of the body, he saw that God was within and without; and everything appeared to him as Vishnu.
When the king Hiranyakashipu found to his horror that all mortal means of getting rid of the boy who was perfectly devoted to his enemy, the God Vishnu, were powerless, he was at a loss to know what to do. The king had the boy again brought before him, and tried to persuade him once more to listen to his advice, through gentle means. But Prahlada made the same reply. Thinking, however, that these childish whims of the boy would be rectified with age and further training, he put him again under the charge of the teachers, Shanda and Amarka, asking them to teach him the duties of the king. But those teachings did not appeal to Prahlada, and he spent his time in instructing his schoolmates in the path of devotion to the Lord Vishnu.
When his father came to hear about it, he again became furious with rage, and calling the boy to him, threatened to kill him, and abused Vishnu in the worst language. But Prahlada still insisted that Vishnu was the Lord of the universe, the Beginningless, the Endless, the Omnipotent and the Omnipresent, and as such, he alone was to be worshipped. The king roared with anger and said: "Thou evil one, if thy Vishnu is God omnipresent, why doth he not reside in that pillar yonder?" Prahlada humbly submitted that He did do so. "If so," cried the king, "let him defend thee; I will kill thee with this sword." Thus saying the king rushed at him with sword in hand, and dealt a terrible blow at the pillar. Instantly thundering voice was heard, and lo and behold, there issued forth from the pillar Vishnu in His awful Nrisimha form — half-lion, half-man! Panic-stricken, the Daityas ran away in all directions; but Hiranyakashipu fought with him long and desperately, till he was finally overpowered and killed.

Then the gods descended from heaven and offered hymns to Vishnu, and Prahlada also fell at His feet and broke forth into exquisite hymns of praise and devotion. And he heard the Voice of God saying, "Ask, Prahlada ask for anything thou desires"; thou art My favourite child; therefore ask for anything thou mayest wish." And Prahlada choked with feelings replied, "Lord, I have seen Thee. What else can I want? Do thou not tempt me with earthly or heavenly boons." Again the Voice said: "Yet ask something, my son." And then Prahlada replied, "That intense love, O Lord, which the ignorant bear to worldly things, may I have the same love for Thee; may I have the same intensity of love for Thee, but only for love's sake!"

Then the Lord said, "Prahlada, though My intense devotees never desire for anything, here or hereafter, yet by My command, do thou enjoy the blessings of this world to the end of the present cycle, and perform works of religious merit, with thy heart fixed on Me. And thus in time, after the dissolution of thy body, thou shalt attain Me." Thus blessing Prahlada, the Lord Vishnu disappeared. Then the gods headed by Brahma installed Prahlada on the throne of the Daityas and returned to their respective spheres.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Message from Farid: Death is preordained

"Jit dihare dhan varee" - Translation
- Bana Farid

The day of the bride's wedding is pre-ordained.
On that day, the Messenger of Death, of whom she had only heard, comes and shows its face.

It breaks the bones of the body and pulls the helpless soul out.
That pre-ordained time of marriage cannot be avoided. Explain this to your soul.

The soul is the bride, and death is the groom. He will marry her and take her away.
After the body sends her away with its own hands, whose neck will it embrace?

The bridge to the destination is narrower than a hair; haven't you heard of it with your ears?
Fareed, the call has come; be careful now - don't let yourself be robbed.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Listening to Mindy McCready - I'm still here

I'm okay, I'm alright
Hurricanes and trainwrecks only last one night
Would you believe all I've been through?
Had the hands of tempted fate
Oh, if you only knew
What it costs, how I wait
What I got, what I gave

I'm still here...
After the heartache, after the storm blew through
I kept me and it saved me
I'm still standin', right where you left me
On a cold dark cloud, with nowhere to fall but down
Like a single, naked unrelenting tear...
I'm still here

There was darkness, all around me
There were times I was sure I was drowning
There were people, who tried to reach me
But no matter how they loved me, I kept sinking
I got tired of my own hell, I reached inside and I saved myself


This time I can survive.
I ain't dying on nobody else's cross
I ain't sufferin' no more unforgivin' loss
Oh, no.

I'm still here...
After the heartache, after the storm blew through
I kept me and it saved me
And I'm still standin', right where you left me
On a cold dark cloud, with nowhere to fall but down
Like a single, naked unrelenting tear...
I'm still here
I'm still here

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The beauty of my love - Guru Arjan

Brahmas and Shivas
And others Meditate on
The beauty of my love

Yogis and spiritual gurus
Chant in the waves of
The beauty or my love

I love the ones
Who are stooped in
The beauty of my love

Rejuvenated mind and body
Ever With the color of
The beauty of my love

The beauty of my love

Sobha mere laalan ki: Guru Arjan

Did God create evil? - A modern parable

The university professor challenged his students with this question. Did God create everything that exists?
A student bravely replied yes, he did!"
"God created everything?" The professor asked.
"Yes, sir," the student replied.
The professor answered, "If God created everything, then God created evil since evil exists, and according to the principal that our works define who we are then God is evil."
The student became quiet before such an answer.

The professor was quite pleased with himself and boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith was a myth.

Another student raised his hand and said, "Can I ask you a question professor?" "Of course", replied the professor. The student stood up and asked, "Professor, does cold exist?"

"What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?" The students snickered at the young man's question.

The young man replied, "In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Everybody and every object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (- 460 degrees F) is the total absence of heat; all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have too little heat.

The student continued. "Professor, does darkness exist?"

The professor responded, "Of course it does".

The student replied, "Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact we can use Newton's prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn't this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present."

Finally the young man asked the professor. "Sir, does evil exist?"

Now uncertain, the professor responded, "Of course as I have already said. We see it every day. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. "These manifestations are nothing else but evil."

To this the student replied, "Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith, or love, that exist just as does light and heat. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light."

The professor sat down.

The young mans name --- Albert Einstein

God, I am your shopkeeper; I trade your name - Guru Nanak

Reading a beautiful poem by Guru Nanak this morning in Raag Gauree Bairaagan,

Whether I were a deer, and live in the forest, picking and eating fruits and roots

Or a cuckoo, living in a mango tree

Or a fish, living in the streams

Or a snake, living in the ground

I would still be the shop-keeper of you, my love. And Your Name would be my merchandise and trade.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Who is a sikh? A Sikh is a singer!

I just came back after attending a talk by Professor Cynthia Mahmood on Sikhs, and she raised this question in the beginning of her chat: Who is a sikh?  And then attempted to answer in many different ways what a Sikh was.  She was talking about her interviews with extremists.

The most traditional definition is a Sikh is a disciple of Guru Nanak and the 9 Gurus following him, and the Guru Granth Sahib.  But, because the rest is really an essense of Guru Nanak's teaching, it is apt to say that a Sikh is a disciple of Guru Nanak.

Then the question arises, who is Guru Nanak?  Is it that person that was born in the 15th century that apparently started "Sikhism"? I hardly know that Guru Nanak.  The Guru Nanak I know sings poems now. Guru Nanak is not born and cannot die.  Guru Nanak lives as long as there is the singing of the creator.  So Guru Nanak is the singer among us.  All of us.  Me and you, and every thing surrounding us and inside us. 

Kabir sings, "Saying 'You! You!' I have become You; Now wherever I see, I see You."  There is nothing that does not sing.  So, there is nothing that is not Guru Nanak.  The disciple of Guru Nanak is one who realizes that the singer within him, and around him is Guru Nanak. 

Spirituality and @Pink and So What

When you loose the most important thing in life, can you still have a sense of humor and gratitude?

When you read the lyrics to this song by P!NK, you don't really understand the depth of spirituality in this song. Just by the lyrics, Alecia seems too full of herself ... "I'm still a rockstar." But the hurt and the humor and the nonchalance really comes through in the following video.

It is no light matter. Alecia lost her husband. And she didn't understand where he went. But she is having a ball of a time. She is still partying. She is still having fun. She doesn't care about the rules made by society. She drives really slow on the road and bangs the guitar at the store on the floor. She is still friends with Carey -- her ex-husband. She has lost one of the most important thing she had. But so what. She is still the same person. She still is a rockstar with Rock moves. She reminds herself in the song that the purpose of life is to sing. To be happy with what you have. To be grateful. This is what makes this song so great.

Friday, February 15, 2013

We live in a lonely society, eating alone in restaurants - Poem by Charles Simic

The Partial Explanation

Charles Simic

Seems like a long time
Since the waiter took my order.
Grimy little luncheonette,
The snow falling outside.

Seems like it has grown darker
Since I last heard the kitchen door
Behind my back
Since I last noticed
Anyone pass on the street.

A glass of ice-water
Keeps me company
At this table I chose myself
Upon entering.

And a longing,
Incredible longing
To eavesdrop
On the conversation
Of cooks.

Listening to Never Say Never by Justin Bieber

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Kelly Clarkson's stronger - Lyrics and Video

You know the bed feels warmer
Sleeping here alone
You know I dream in color
And do the things I want

You think you've got the best of me
Think you've had enough the last laugh
Bet you think that everything good is gone
Think you left me broken down
Think that I'd come running back
Baby, you don't know me, 'cause you're dead wrong

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone
What doesn't kill you makes you fighter
Footsteps even lighter
Doesn't mean I'm over 'cause you're gone

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, stronger
Just me, myself and I
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone
You heard that I was starting over with someone new
They told you I was moving on, over you
[ From: http://www.metrolyrics.com/stronger-lyrics-kelly-clarkson.html ]
You didn't think that I'd come back
I'd come back swinging
You tried to break me, but you see

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone
What doesn't kill you makes you fighter
Footsteps even lighter
Doesn't mean I'm over 'cause you're gone

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, stronger
Just me, myself and I
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone

Thanks to you I got a new thing started
Thanks to you I'm not the broken-hearted
Thanks to you I'm finally thinking 'bout me
You know in the end the day you left is just my beginning
In the end

Share your Gold by Joseph Anthony

Listening to this beautiful and messagefull song, "Share your Gold" by Joseph Anthony. According to him, "This is a song which calls us all to rise, stretch, sway and dance, share your gold--your gifts and talents--your light with the world. It was recorded on a delightful summer evening during my Kirtan Under the Stars Concert, Saturday, June 23, 2012."

Guru Nanak on "14 days to the moonless night" - Thitee

What i am reading from Guru Nanak today:

Bilaaval, First Mehl, T'hitee ~ The Lunar Days, Tenth House, To The Drum-Beat Jat:

One Universal Creator God. By The Grace Of The True Guru:

eykm eykMkwru inrwlw ]

The First Day: The One Universal Creator is unique,

Amru AjonI jwiq n jwlw ]

immortal, unborn, beyond social class or involvement.

Agm Agocru rUpu n ryiKAw ]

He is inaccessible and unfathomable, with no form or feature.

Kojq Kojq Git Git dyiKAw ]

Searching, searching, I have seen Him in each and every heart.

jo dyiK idKwvY iqs kau bil jweI ]

I am a sacrifice to one who sees, and inspires others to see Him.

gur prswid prm pdu pweI ]1]

By Guru's Grace, I have obtained the supreme status. ||1||

ikAw jpu jwpau ibnu jgdIsY ]

Whose Name should I chant, and meditate on, except the Lord of the Universe?

gur kY sbid mhlu Gru dIsY ]1] rhwau ]

Through the Word of the Guru's Shabad, the Mansion of the Lord's Presence is revealed within the home of one's own heart. ||1||Pause||

dUjY Bwie lgy pCuqwxy ]

The Second Day: Those who are in love with another, come to regret and repent.

jm dir bwDy Awvx jwxy ]

The are tied up at Death's door, and continue coming and going.

ikAw lY Awvih ikAw ly jwih ]

What have they brought, and what will they take with them when they go?

isir jmkwlu is cotw Kwih ]

The Messenger of Death looms over their heads, and they endure his beating.

ibnu gur sbd n CUtis koie ]

Without the Word of the Guru's Shabad, no one finds release.

pwKMif kIn@Y mukiq n hoie ]2]

Practicing hypocrisy, no one finds liberation. ||2||

Awpy scu kIAw kr joiV ]

The True Lord Himself created the universe, joining the elements together.

AMfj PoiV joiV ivCoiV ]

Breaking the cosmic egg, He united, and separated.

Driq Akwsu kIey bYsx kau Qwau ]

He made the earth and the sky into places to live.

rwiq idnµqu kIey Bau Bwau ]

He created day and night, fear and love.

ijin kIey kir vyKxhwrw ]

The One who created the Creation, also watches over it.

Avru n dUjw isrjxhwrw ]3]

There is no other Creator Lord. ||3||

iqRqIAw bRhmw ibsnu mhysw ]

The Third Day: He created Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva,

dyvI dyv aupwey vysw ]

the gods, goddesses and various manifestations.

joqI jwqI gxq n AwvY ]

The lights and forms cannot be counted.

ijin swjI so kImiq pwvY ]

The One who fashioned them, knows their value.

kImiq pwie rihAw BrpUir ]

He evaluates them, and totally pervades them.

iksu nyVY iksu AwKw dUir ]4]

Who is close, and who is far away? ||4||

cauiQ aupwey cwry bydw ]

The Fourth Day: He created the four Vedas,

KwxI cwry bwxI Bydw ]

the four sources of creation, and distinct forms of speech.

Ast dsw Ktu qIin aupwey ]

He created the eighteen Puraanas, the six Shaastras and the three qualities.

so bUJY ijsu Awip buJwey ]

He alone understands, whom the Lord causes to understand.

qIin smwvY cauQY vwsw ]

One who overcomes the three qualities, dwells in the fourth state.

pRxviq nwnk hm qw ky dwsw ]5]

Prays Nanak, I am his slave. ||5||

pMcmI pMc BUq byqwlw ]

The Fifth Day: The five elements are demons.

Awip Agocru purKu inrwlw ]

The Lord Himself is unfathomable and detached.

ieik BRim BUKy moh ipAwsy ]

Some are gripped by doubt, hunger, emotional attachment and desire.

ieik rsu cwiK sbid iqRpqwsy ]

Some taste the sublime essence of the Shabad, and are satisfied.

ieik rMig rwqy ieik mir DUir ]

Some are imbued with the Lord's Love, while some die, and are reduced to dust.

ieik dir Gir swcY dyiK hdUir ]6]

Some attain the Court and the Mansion of the True Lord, and behold Him, ever-present. ||6||

JUTy kau nwhI piq nwau ]

The false one has no honor or fame;

kbhu n sUcw kwlw kwau ]

like the black crow, he never becomes pure.

ipMjir pMKI bMiDAw koie ]

He is like the bird, imprisoned in a cage;

CyrIN BrmY mukiq n hoie ]

he paces back and forth behind the bars, but he is not released.

qau CUtY jw Ksmu Cfwey ]

He alone is emancipated, whom the Lord and Master emancipates.

gurmiq myly Bgiq idRVwey ]7]

He follows the Guru's Teachings, and enshrines devotional worship. ||7||

KstI Ktu drsn pRB swjy ]

The Sixth Day: God organized the six systems of Yoga.

Anhd sbdu inrwlw vwjy ]

The unstruck sound current of the Shabad vibrates of itself.

jy pRB BwvY qw mhil bulwvY ]

If God wills it so, then one is summoned to the Mansion of His Presence.

sbdy Bydy qau piq pwvY ]

One who is pierced through by the Shabad, obtains honor.

kir kir vys Kpih jil jwvih ]

Those who wear religious robes burn, and are ruined.

swcY swcy swic smwvih ]8]

Through Truth, the truthful ones merge into the True Lord. ||8||

spqmI squ sMqoKu srIir ]

The Seventh Day: When the body is imbued with Truth and contentment,

swq smuMd Bry inrml nIir ]

the seven seas within are filled with the Immaculate Water.

mjnu sIlu scu irdY vIcwir ]

Bathing in good conduct, and contemplating the True Lord within the heart,

gur kY sbid pwvY siB pwir ]

one obtains the Word of the Guru's Shabad, and carries everyone across.

min swcw muiK swcau Bwie ]

With the True Lord in the mind, and the True Lord lovingly on one's lips,

scu nIswxY Twk n pwie ]9]

one is blessed with the banner of Truth, and meets with no obstructions. ||9||

AstmI Ast isiD buiD swDY ]

The Eighth Day: The eight miraculous powers come when one subdues his own mind,

scu inhkyvlu krim ArwDY ]

and contemplates the True Lord through pure actions.

paux pwxI AgnI ibsrwau ]

Forget the three qualities of wind, water and fire,

qhI inrMjnu swco nwau ]

and concentrate on the pure True Name.

iqsu mih mnUAw rihAw ilv lwie ]

That human who remains lovingly focused on the Lord,

pRxviq nwnku kwlu n Kwie ]10]

prays Nanak, shall not be consumed by death. ||10||

nwau naumI nvy nwQ nv KMfw ] Git Git nwQu mhw blvMfw ]

The Ninth Day: The Name is the supreme almighty Master of the nine masters of Yoga, the nine realms of the earth, and each and every heart.

AweI pUqw iehu jgu swrw ]

This whole world is the child of Maya.

pRB Awdysu Awid rKvwrw ]

I bow in submission to God, my Protector from the very beginning of time.

Awid jugwdI hY BI hogu ]

He was in the beginning, He has been throughout the ages, He is now, and He shall always be.

Ehu AprMpru krxY jogu ]11]

He is unlimited, and capable of doing everything. ||11||

dsmI nwmu dwnu iesnwnu ]

The Tenth Day: Meditate on the Naam, give to charity, and purify yourself.

Anidnu mjnu scw gux igAwnu ]

Night and day, bathe in spiritual wisdom and the Glorious Virtues of the True Lord.

sic mYlu n lwgY BRmu Bau BwgY ]

Truth cannot be polluted; doubt and fear run away from it.

iblmu n qUtis kwcY qwgY ]

The flimsy thread breaks in an instant.

ijau qwgw jgu eyvY jwxhu ]

Know that the world is just like this thread.

AsiQru cIqu swic rMgu mwxhu ]12]

Your consciousness shall become steady and stable, enjoying the Love of the True Lord. ||12||

eykwdsI ieku irdY vswvY ]

The Eleventh Day: Enshrine the One Lord within your heart.

ihMsw mmqw mohu cukwvY ]

Eradicate cruelty, egotism and emotional attachment.

Plu pwvY bRqu Awqm cInY ]

Earn the fruitful rewards, by observing the fast of knowing your own self.

pwKMif rwic qqu nhI bInY ]

One who is engrossed in hypocrisy, does not see the true essence.

inrmlu inrwhwru inhkyvlu ]

The Lord is immaculate, self-sustaining and unattached.

sUcY swcy nw lwgY mlu ]13]

The Pure, True Lord cannot be polluted. ||13||

jh dyKau qh eyko eykw ]

Wherever I look, I see the One Lord there.

hoir jIA aupwey vyko vykw ]

He created the other beings, of many and various kinds.

Plohwr kIey Plu jwie ]

Eating only fruits, one loses the fruits of life.

rs ks Kwey swdu gvwie ]

Eating only delicacies of various sorts, one loses the true taste.

kUVY lwlic lptY lptwie ]

In fraud and greed, people are engrossed and entangled.

CUtY gurmuiK swcu kmwie ]14]

The Gurmukh is emancipated, practicing Truth. ||14||

duAwdis mudRw mnu AauDUqw ]

The Twelfth Day: One whose mind is not attached to the twelve signs,

Aihinis jwgih kbih n sUqw ]

remains awake day and night, and never sleeps.

jwgqu jwig rhY ilv lwie ]

He remains awake and aware, lovingly centered on the Lord.

gur prcY iqsu kwlu n Kwie ]

With faith in the Guru, he is not consumed by death.

AqIq Bey mwry bYrweI ]

Those who become detached, and conquer the five enemies

pRxviq nwnk qh ilv lweI ]15]

- prays Nanak, they are lovingly absorbed in the Lord. ||15||

duAwdsI dieAw dwnu kir jwxY ]

The Twelfth Day: Know, and practice, compassion and charity.

bwhir jwqo BIqir AwxY ]

Bring your out-going mind back home.

brqI brq rhY inhkwm ]

Observe the fast of remaining free of desire.

Ajpw jwpu jpY muiK nwm ]

Chant the unchanted Chant of the Naam with your mouth.

qIin Bvx mih eyko jwxY ]

Know that the One Lord is contained in the three worlds.

siB suic sMjm swcu pCwxY ]16]

Purity and self-discipline are all contained in knowing the Truth. ||16||

qyris qrvr smud knwrY ]

The Thirteenth Day: He is like a tree on the sea-shore.

AMimRqu mUlu isKir ilv qwrY ]

But his roots can become immortal, if his mind is attuned to the Lord's Love.

fr fir mrY n bUfY koie ]

Then, he will not die of fear or anxiety, and he will never drown.

infru bUif mrY piq Koie ]

Without the Fear of God, he drowns and dies, and loses his honor.

fr mih Gru Gr mih fru jwxY ]

With the Fear of God in his heart, and his heart in the Fear of God, he knows God.

qKiq invwsu scu min BwxY ]17]

He sits on the throne, and becomes pleasing to the Mind of the True Lord. ||17||

caudis cauQy Qwvih lih pwvY ]

The Fourteenth Day: One who enters into the fourth state,

rwjs qwms sq kwl smwvY ]

overcomes time, and the three qualities of raajas, taamas and satva.

ssIAr kY Gir sUru smwvY ]

Then the sun enters into the house of the moon,

jog jugiq kI kImiq pwvY ]

and one knows the value of the technology of Yoga.

caudis Bvn pwqwl smwey ] KMf bRhmMf rihAw ilv lwey ]18]

He remains lovingly focused on God, who is permeating the fourteen worlds, the nether regions of the underworld, the galaxies and solar systems. ||18||

AmwvisAw cMdu gupqu gYxwir ]

Amaavas - The Night of the New Moon: The moon is hidden in the sky.

bUJhu igAwnI sbdu bIcwir ]

O wise one, understand and contemplate the Word of the Shabad.

ssIAru ggin joiq iqhu loeI ]

The moon in the sky illuminates the three worlds.

kir kir vyKY krqw soeI ]

Creating the creation, the Creator beholds it.

gur qy dIsY so iqs hI mwih ]

One who sees, through the Guru, merges into Him.

mnmuiK BUly Awvih jwih ]19]

The self-willed manmukhs are deluded, coming and going in reincarnation. ||19||

Gru dru Qwip iQru Qwin suhwvY ]

One who establishes his home within his own heart, obtains the most beautiful, permanent place.

Awpu pCwxY jw siqguru pwvY ]

One comes to understand his own self, when he finds the True Guru.

jh Awsw qh ibnis ibnwsw ]

Wherever there is hope, there is destruction and desolation.

PUtY Kpru duibDw mnsw ]

The bowl of duality and selfishness breaks.

mmqw jwl qy rhY audwsw ] pRxviq nwnk hm qw ky dwsw ]20]1]

Prays Nanak, I am the slave of that one, who remains detached amidst the traps of attachment. ||20||1||

Elvis shooting the TV - a story and a poem

A poem by Billy Collins

How many newscasters in their mauve dress shirts
and their horrendous ties

and how many ads for the local Dodge dealer
featuring his dog and his granddaughter in a party dress

will it take for us to follow in the footsteps
of the King by tilting back on our chairs

and firing a few rounds into the television set
with a handgun powerful enough

to knock us backwards onto the shag rug
which is exactly, given the hour, where we belong?


It is true that Elvis used to shoot his TV. At least he did it once. Here is an article From the blog, "Lisa's History Room"--
where the past is always present -- that talks about Elvis and the reasons for him shooting his Television.

Elvis: Girl Happy OR Trigger Happy?

Elvis Presley (1935-1977) in August 1969, the beginning of his Las Vegas concert years

From 1969 to 1977 were Elvis’ concert years. When performing in Las Vegas, he stayed at the International (now Hilton) Hotel, occupying the penthouse suite, room 3000. The suite was located on the 30th floor and stretched across the entire top floor.

Elvis was not alone in this sprawling suite. From the beginning of his stardom, Elvis had been accompanied by a core group of hangers-on that came to be known as the “Memphis Mafia.” By the seventies, Elvis was spending day and night with his party animal buddies, cousins from Memphis and Army buddies whose common bond was service to “the King” and who hung around him for the money, clothes, cars, and leftover girls. What began in the fifties as a group of a few guys following in Elvis’ wake had swelled into a greedy crowd.

As Elvis’ fame spread and his addiction to prescription drugs deepened, Elvis became ever more sealed off from the real world and exceedingly dependent upon the Memphis Mafia. According to Patrick Humphries, these men ”acted as Elvis’ bodyguards, babysitters, drug procurers, girl-getters, mates and carbuyers.” Elvis was emotionally unstable and dangerous to himself and others, especially when there were guns lying around.

Elvis after a Las Vegas Concert, with Linda Thompson, March 21, 1976. He would then die of an apparent drug overdose in August, 1977.

Actress, songwriter, and former Miss Tennessee USA Linda Thompson dated Elvis during those days. In an interview with Andrew Hearn, she recounts a frightening incident when Elvis got a little trigger happy:

I’d just happened to have come out of the shower at the Las Vegas Hilton, the presidential suite, and he [Elvis] was lying on the sofa. In those days, they had these huge bull’s eye advertisements. Vegas came alive when Elvis was there and they had these billboards, posters, and placards. So he had one of these enormous bull’s eye things in the suite and he decided that he would just shoot for the target. It was a kind of cardboard cut-out of his name with this bull’s eye…like hit the mark, come see Elvis…whatever. So, Elvis pulled out his gun and shot at the bull’s eye and the bullet went through the wall, which was adjacent to my bathroom. It went through the wall, then through the toilet paper holder, which was metal, out through a mirrored door and shattererd it. I was standing at the sink and I heard ting, ting, and the sound of glass breaking. I felt the air behind my leg. When I looked down, there was a bullet hole in the door behind me. I opened that door and there was another shattered glass door and a bullet lying there.

I knew exactly what was happening. James Caughley came in and said, “Linda, are you okay?” and I said, Yeah, what the ____ was that?” and he said that it was just Elvis having a little target practice.” (1)

These shootings were common occurrences. Elvis had a stockpile of weapons and liked to shoot things. He once shot his car when it wouldn’t start. He shot up small appliances, and, on occasion, large ones. He shot at chandeliers and light switches. But what he became well-known for was shooting at the TV every time the singer Robert Goulet came on a program, as some claim.

Why did Elvis shoot out the TV set when Goulet appeared? Did he hate Goulet as a person or a singer, or both?

It is believed that Elvis hated Robert Goulet, best known for his portrayal of the dashing Prince Lancelot in the Broadway musical production of “Camelot” in 1960. Some say Elvis despised Robert Goulet because he didn’t sing with feeling. Others blame the bad blood on a letter Elvis received when he was in the Army in Germany (1958-1960). His hometown girlfriend, Anita Wood (see previous post, “The Elvis Sandwich“) had written him a letter, telling her how she was doing. She was, at the time, performing with Buddy Hackett and Robert Goulet. She stupidly allowed Robert Goulet to write a postscript at the bottom of her letter to Elvis in which Goulet told Elvis not to worry about Anita as he was looking after her. Elvis became green with jealousy and was incensed with Goulet. (2)

Or was Elvis resentful of Goulet because Goulet was his rival on the music scene when Elvis returned home from Germany? After all, after Goulet’s triumph in “Camelot,” he was called the next great matinee idol. In 1961, the New York Daily News Magazine called Goulet “just the man to help stamp out rock ‘n’ roll.” Judy Garland described the suave Goulet as a living 8-by-10 glossy. He had blue bedroom eyes, and female fans would toss him their room keys during his concerts.

Robert Goulet as Lancelot and Julie Andrews as Queen Guenevere in the 1960 Broadway production of "Camelot"

Yet even another possibility exists for Elvis’ dislike of Goulet. On May 25, 1965, Goulet mangled the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Muhammed Ali-Sonny Liston heavyweight championship fight. He replaced the lyrics “dawn’s early light” with “dawn’s early night” and “gave proof through the night” with “gave proof through the fight.” Although Goulet had been born in Massachusetts, his parentage was French-Canadian, and people were outraged that he didn’t know the words of the United States National Anthem. His gaffe was widely reported and he never lived the incident down.

Robert Goulet (1933-2007) had heard about Elvis shooting out TVs whenever he saw him singing on a television program. Goulet insisted, though, that Elvis bore him no ill will and was actually his friend. He dismissed the assertion that Elvis shot out the TV only when he came on it to sing. He claimed that Elvis shot the TV when other singers like Mel Torme and Frank Sinatra came on. Goulet did not think he was the select target.

On August 14, 2004, right in the middle of Elvis week, Goulet was in Memphis, Tennessee, Elvis’ hometown and the site of Graceland, Elvis’ home, and sat down for an interview with Christopher Blank of the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper:

“The 70-year-old entertainer Robert Goulet is in Memphis to play King Arthur in “Camelot” at the Orpheum Theater through Sunday. Since it’s Elvis Week, we asked Goulet about his part in a well-known anecdote about Elvis: The king of rock and roll was known to aim a gun at his television when he saw something there that displeased him.

THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL: And now I’ve got to ask you what my colleagues say is going to be the hardest question.

GOULET: I’m not Jewish. I’m not gay.

CA: No, those are easy.

GOULET: (Laughs.)

CA: You know Memphis is an Elvis town and you factor into a local legend.

GOULET: When he shot the television set? He also shot 50 other people. They told me that he had about a hundred sets in the basement. And he’d shoot the ___ thing out – you know he was on pills and he didn’t know quite what he was doing and he’d BANG! and they’d look at each other and say, “Get another set!” They mention me all the time. I don’t know why. I remember once we sat together backstage for two hours. And he was a charming, delightful, delightful man. And at one point I said, “That’s a beautiful ring you have there.” He said “You like it?” I said, “It’s beautiful!”

He took it off his hand and put it on mine. He gave me his ring. And years later all the jewelry I had in my house – I trust everybody. I was brought up to believe that you cannot steal, cheat or lie and I’ve been stolen from, cheated or lied to all of my life. And so jewelry – who needs it? But this one was something special to me and it’s gone.

CA: Somebody took it?

GOULET: I hired a guy to take care of my house when I was gone. I’m so naive it’s ridiculous. ‘Cause, you know, when we hire people today we do a background check. I didn’t do that. . . . I was in Dallas doing something and I got a call from LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department). “We have a Stutz Blackhawk, silver, with gold trim with RGG license plate?” I said “You have it? How do you have it?” “Well, we saw this guy going through Watts driving this car with the window open throwing out hundred dollar bills.” He had taken all my jewelry and everything else I had of import and taken my car and driven it down to L.A. But all my good stuff is just gone, finished. It’s all part of dying.

CA: So tell me a little more about the Elvis connection. We write so much about Elvis here. What was your reaction when you heard he’d shot the TV?

GOULET: The point is I knew he was not himself so therefore it wasn’t anything to do with me. He shot out Mel Torme. He shot out Frank. But I get all the credit.”

More from Lisa:

Saturday, February 9, 2013

New Song - A poem

Like Audubon today
I took my gun
And shot this free bird
Of a Kabir poem.

As I put the final
Touches to the copper
Architecture Of the song,
a truly novel species.

Shiv is now tickled
That now through
his ruthless murder
The song will never die.

The awesome thing about Billy Collins' poetry

The awesome thing about Billy Collins' poetry is that I can enjoy the lesson of gratefulness with my 9 year old.

Here is a poem where the tortoise looses the race to the hare. Or does he?

My Hero

Just as the hare is zipping across the finish line
the tortoise has stopped once again
by the roadside,
this time to stick out his neck
and nibble a bit of sweet grass,
unlike the previous time
when he was distracted
by a bee humming in the heart of a wildflower.

The blessings jar by Jessica Kristie

The following is a beautiful contemplation written by my friend and poet Jessica Kristie (http://jessicakristie.com/2013/01/blessings-jar/):

In the face of building odds, where does one find courage? Strength can be a fading mistress when struggles arise. Periods in ones life that bring challenges tend to also force out the ugly. Knee-jerk reactions take precedence and isolation rears its ugly head. Everyone handles pain differently and some prefer to take a backseat. But how can we stay focused on the good things when everything is shifting and even crumbling around us?

For me, 2013 came with a force, but I was ready. I haven’t mastered the swells yet, but I’m happy to say that I’m still in the boat.

I want to share one of my personal secret weapons with you… my blessings jar. The only resolution I made for the new year was to count my blessings, literally.

When facing difficult circumstances, and we take a moment to find the blessings that still fill our world, the journey can feel more precious and with purpose. It has been a great way to force positive moments even in the darkest times.

It’s not too late to start your own blessings jar. Take any old jar and every time you feel blessed write it down and put it in the jar. On new year’s eve, read all your blessings and take joy in the wonderful year you had. The truth of the past gets put in a much more positive perspective.

When people ask about my beard ...

Karma -- why we need to be nice

Karam ki gati nyaari - Meerabai

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

When I was out of a job, he put me to work - Guru Nanak

In this poem (pg 150 of the Guru Granth Sahib) Guru Nanak explains how he came to sing:

Hau dhadhi vekaar kaarey laayaa

I was a minstrel, out of work, when the Lord took me into His service.

My Lord and Master summoned me to the True Mansion of His Presence.

He has dressed me in the robes of His True Praise and Glory.

He asked me To sing His Praises day and night

The Ambrosial Nectar of the True Name has become my food.

Consuming the Guru's Teachings, I am satisfied and have found peace.

His minstrel spreads His Glory, singing and vibrating the Word of His Shabad.

O Nanak, praising the True Lord, I have obtained His Perfection. ||27||Sudh||

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Reading Kabir Today: "Go ahead, people, and slander me"

Translation of
"Nindau nindau mo ko log nindau"

Slander me, slander me - go ahead, people, and slander me.
Slander is pleasing to Kabir.

Slander father, slander mother!

Slandered, I go to heaven;
I remember the truth.
Slander makes my heart pure,
Slander. washes my clothes. ||1||

One who slanders me is my friend;
the slanderer is in my thoughts.
The slanderer is the one who prevents me from being slandered.
The slanderer wishes me long life. ||2||

I have love and affection for the slanderer.
Slander is my salvation.
Slander is the best thing for servant Kabeer.
The slanderer is drowned, while I am carried across. ||3||20||71||

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Farid - The crane and the hawk

Fareed, the crane perches on the river bank, playing joyfully.
While it is playing, a hawk suddenly pounces on it.

When the Hawk attacks, playful sport is forgotten.
God does what is not expected or even considered. ||99||