The Spirit and the Self

The Spirit and the Self
Raj Diwan

In my silence of months, I been searching for something called the truth, the thing that is supposed to set one free. In reading scriptures it became evident to me that the ‘truth’ has its roots in the ‘creation’ process and the definition of the Creator. Wonderful descriptions of creation are found in The Vedas and The Bible. From these and other known scriptures and facts, we can arrive at the truth quite logically.

The Creation according to Veda

In the beginning there was nothing,

neither existence nor non-existence,

And the one breathed without the breath,

It was pure energy, that manifest itself

into the material cosmos by its own will.

Here the Creator, defined as pure energy, has to be formless, with potential to create anything material by its own will. This is the Einstein’s equation working in reverse (m=e/c²).

The creation in The Bible (Genisis)

In the beginning the God created

the heavens and the earth,

And the earth was formless;

and darkness was upon the face of the deep,

And the Spirit of God moved

upon the face of the waters.

And God said, let there by light

And there was light.

And God saw the light

And it was good, and God divided the light from the darkness,

Then earth parted the waters …..

Here we see earth as being formless, meaning it was not a material object. Obviously it must have been originally in the other state, which is pure energy. Then we note that the first thing visible was the water everywhere. That is logical since the continents were formed by volcanic eruptions, which parted the waters. But, what roamed the surface of the waters was the Spirit of God. Well, Spirit we know is ethereal i.e. it has no form. That’s perhaps the reason behind the first commandment, ‘You shall not make engraved images of Me.”

Moses never saw a manlike figure on Mt. Sinai. He saw some kind of light or fire. He didn’t say “God told me He looked like Man.” He had heard it from the Pharo’s priests in Egypt before the exodus of Jewish slaves.

Buddha, by his own admission, never saw God in his 12 years of meditation. He was looking for a manlike figure which didn’t exist.

So, the Creator is pure energy with built in intelligence. Now, if we assume it’s omnipresence, the only state that permits that is energy. The finest particle, defined by physics may not be a particle at all, but pure energy. The Hubble telescope has seen it at work, which is the constant creation of planets, stars etc. That’s for the quantum physicists to speculate about. This energy is the Spirit, which is the cause of all material things, including Man.

In Bible, we are told to ask this Spirit (of God) to come into our bodies. The assumption being that, it is not inside us to begin with. Man does have a soul as all animals do, but has to ask for the Spirit to come into him. Once it enters, it becomes Man’s guide. He commits no sin from then on. He is reborn in this life time.

In The Geeta (Celestial Song), where the Vedas are re-interpreted, we are told the following by Lord Krishna.

Those who seek the Spirit (Formless God) will attain the Spirit.

Those who seek the animals (e.g. Pray to cows and snakes), will attain the animals.

Those who seek the deities (Lower Gods), will attain the deities,

Those that seek Me, will attain Me. But come to me (Krishna) with a pure heart and unselfish mind.

After death, the attainment of Spirit merges you with the Spirit. By Vedic scripture, your physical identity is lost as you merge with the Spirit after death. In all other options, you maintain an identity, perhaps an astral one.

The popular Hindu belief that the Spirit is already within man’s heart, is logically wrong.  If that were so, why would he be seeking it? And why would some men be breaking the commandments? Someone is confusing the Spirit with the soul. Souls are in all animals, including Man. But only Man can ask for the Spirit to come into him.

This Spirit is everywhere, omnipresent. It’s the pure energy that surrounds us. We are living in it as do the fish in the water. Only the fish doesn’t know it’s in H2O. If Spirit is something ethereal that we live in, it shouldn’t be difficult to communicate with it. In The Bible we are told ‘ask and you shall receive’. So, the function of the Spirit must be to fulfill man’s desires. The prerequisite is its close contact, residence in you. In Christianity the acquisition of Spirit would be a rebirth. In Vedas, when the Spirit is within you, you will have realized the Self within you. You would then be a Brahmin. A Brahmin is therefore equivalent to a born again Christian. Once that happens, all your future Karma (deeds) will be good. If not, the Spirit is not within you yet.

It is assumed that good karma bears good fruit; bad karma, bad fruit. But we know this is not always true. Bad things can happen to people with the Spirit, and good things to those who have not realized the Spirit (or the Self). In other words, good things can happen to bad people and bad things can happen to good ones. That is not uncommon in this world. Ecclesiastes makes this clear by saying “There is vanity that is done upon the earth; that there be just men unto whom it happens according to the work of the wicked. Again, there be wicked men to whom it happens according to the works of the righteous.”

This is a paradox. However, if bad things happen to a man judged good, he’s is perhaps not so good. And the reverse is also the case. But who’s doing this judging. It’s you. Man’s judgment of others is probably flawed. Man is not the know-it-all. Each man, though, is his own best judge. This, however, excludes the mentally deranged.

So what is the moral, the bottom line? If the scriptures are true, ask for the Spirit of God to come within you. Once you’re so re-born, you’re pure. Then whatever you shall ask will be given to you. And this includes material goods, wealth. Let no one kid you about acquiring material things. God has nothing against acquiring wealth, so long as you acquire it by fair means (i.e. Commandments). It is the ill-begotten gains that you don’t want. That’s the forbidden fruit. But don’t get attached to your wealth. It can have bad consequence.

In Christianity, the process of acquisition of the Spirit is simple. You have to ask it to come within you, and it will. You don’t have to take a dip in the River Jordan. In Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, it’s also simple. It requires meditation and/or the recitation of a mantra. Most common is the mantra OM. Well, what is OM? It is the sound of creation, the first sound produced when pure energy converted to the material cosmos by its own will. (Joseph Campbell, a well known theologian, discovered this in a Purana). So OM takes you back to that moment when pure energy existed, perhaps at the very moment of the Big Bang. That pure energy being the inherent form of God, OM could be His name. I say His, assuming its male in character. But I wouldn’t dwell on that?

You want good luck? Let the Spirit come into you. You will overcome all adversity. That’s the truth that will set you free.

What do you think?

Grabbing More to Leave More Behind

brook-of-life1If you do not possess enough material resources to live a comfortable life, then skip the rest of this post and work on getting that – because, “with no food in the stomach, all thought is for naught.”

To those who have more than they need to live in comfort, this post asks, why do you keep grabbing for more in order to leave more behind?  Why do so many keep setting bigger and bigger goals, to satisfy ever-expanding appetites for wealth and power, running faster and faster on the treadmill of desires – driven by negative core values?

Consider this metaphor: Your Life is a journey in the brook, leading to eternal happiness and bliss in the Universal Ocean. Let us assume you wish to travel swiftly and surely to attain Nirvana, or Freedom, which is the highest of the four levels of desire. If you achieve Nirvana while you live, like The Buddha, you will have neither desire nor need for anything material. If, on the other hand, you die withough having ascended to Nirvana, you and all your possessions will be separated.

The question then is: If your purpose in life is to achieve happiness, fulfillment and freeedom – which are all spirtual in nature – why would you continue to grab for material objects which will hinder your journey as long as you live, and which you will leave behind through death or Nirvana?

What do you wonder when you learn of the games of greed and grabbing, often illegally but always unethically, particularly by the powerful and influential in finiancal and political arenas? Is this a recent phenomenon, or is it fundamental to (most) human nature?

Wherein lies the solution?

Purpose of Corporation is profits?

usdcartoonIs Maximization of corporate profit the mission or main purpose of a corporation? What are other “purposes” and obligations? Present an in-depth “Ethical Guidebook” for executives and managers in a large corporation. Give your comments or examples which supports this case.

This post will be end on 28th monday midnight. The leader of this post was Hema Madda.

The blog discussion was extented one more week upto 5th Monday Midnight.

Should CEOs be rewarded for failure?

golden-parachuteIt is commonplace for CEOs of  large American corporations to receive huge paychecks, even when the companies they are entrusted to lead are losing market share, cash and share value. If a company does well, how well should the CEO be rewarded? When the company deteriorates, should the CEO be given a substantial increase in pay? Should the CEO be fired -with an eight -figure severance package? Some numbers to think about, in 1965 the average CEO made 24 times the salary of the average employee. In 2005 the average CEO made 262 times the average employee. What do you think is the Ethical solution to this problem?

This post was prepared by Charles Logan. He will be the leader of this post. This topic blogging was started on 8th Tuesday and will be end on midnight of 14th Monday.

Ethics – Duty – Emotions


 The situation is between father and son. Suppose if you are a police officer (father) and your son committed a crime, you had two choices. One is to turn in your son because it is the ‘RIGHT’ thing to do and the other is to protect your son by doing the ‘DUTY’ of the father towards a son. What is the more ethical thing to do? Discuss the duty ethics VS. right space theories with the situation in mind. Which one does the good outweigh the bad in either of them?

This post was prepared by Kunal Shah and he is the leader for this topic. This blogging was started on 5th Saturday and will be end on midnight of 14th Monday.

Is Outsourcing Unethical?

outsourcing-itWith today’s economy, the confidence and trust in our business and government leaders have Americans putting their money under their mattresses. The “microwave-generation” mentality has Washington scrambling, putting pressure on companies to find ways to increase their profitability to appease shareholders, as power-hungry politicians manipulate to keep their jobs in the next term.

The outsourcing of cheap labor to foreign countries is one example of the strategies employed by U. S. companies seeking to survive or to increase profits. In particular these days in the outsourcing of customer service departments and manufacturing. Not that outsourcing is solely a product of an unhealthy economy.Even during times when the economy is booming, cheap labor has been used, supposedly out of greed or the need to fill jobs that Americans are unwilling perform.

Do you believe it is ethical for U. S. companies to outsource cheap labor to foreign countries, while unemployment is at 9.4% nationally and rising? In addition, do you believe such practices will shoe up customer confidence? Is this an issue of nationalism versus globalism? What are the implications of “free trade” on this issue?

[Unemployment percentage resources from The Bureau of Labor Statistics]

This post was prepared by James Scott.

What Causes Unhappiness?

vmtConsider this statement from a participant in a Brook of Life Retreat: “I do not know of anyone who consciously seeks unhappiness, yet we act in ways that bring unhappiness upon ourselves!”

Here’s what attendees of a Brook Twilight Seminar “7 Secrets for Happiness,” said about the causes of unhappiness (these are just a few examples):

Being lied to, Bad haircuts, Bad Interstate Drivers, Being Yelled at, Being Sick, Feeling of Failure, Discomfort, Being stressed out, Illness in the family, When things don’t go your lotus_cropped(my) way, Allowing myself to hold on to the burdens of family and friends, Allowing myself to push my wants for me before my real wants, Loss, Angry people, Greed, Loneliness, Fear, Conflict, Strife, Arguments, Rude People, People who are jealous and make fun of others, Pain, Sickness, Bad people, Mean people, Failing at something, Letting down friends and family, Letting down myself-not living up to expectations, Arguments with loved ones, Stressful days at work–being overworked, Procrastination, Feeling helpless, Being lost, Bad grades, Fighting children, Too little sleep, Too busy, Ex Husband, Mean people, Kids when they don’t want to be happy, Negative thinking, External pressure, Financial insecurity…

What are your views on the premise on this post (above)? Please post your comments to share your views, on the causes of unhappiness and happiness, with your fellow travelers.

In a future Purposeful Action Blog post we will list how these persons responded to the question: “What brings happiness to your life?”

The Frog and the Snake

snake-waterFreddy screeched with glee as Sammy slithered up the slopes of riverbank, giving him a kiss with a hiss. “You may play with Sammy on the riverbank, but you are never to go into the river with him,” Mama Frog had warned, repeatedly.

“Let’s go checkout the island, Freddie,” Sammy smiled slyly one day, pointing to the lush growth in mid-river.

“My Mom said I was not to get into the water.” The words “with Sammy” remained at the tip of his long tongue. Freddie did not wish to offend his friend, whom he loved and feared.

“Look at all those frogs playing on the island. Why shouldn’t we go have fun?” Sammy coaxed.


“But I can’t swim that far,” Freddie whimpered.

“Oh, that’s no problem, just hop on my hood and I’ll carry you across.”

“Promise you won’t hurt me?” Freddie blurted, all but giving in to the temptation.

“Of course not,” laughed Sammy, “just hop on.”

“Gee, this is so fun,” Freddie giggled as Sammy slid smoothly through the waves.

“Ready for a real thrill?” Asked Sammy, flipping his hood and launching Freddie into the air.

Freddie shrieked with joy on the way up. Turning a summersault to descend, the little frog froze in fear seeing the wide open jaws of his friend. “But you promised you wouldn’t hurt me,” he cried in terror.

“I can’t help it – it’s my nature. Chomp.”

The discussion questions from this ancient parable are: Can people change? If so, what aspects of their character/actions can be expected to change? What causes individuals to associate with those they know to be takers? Was Freddie a giver, or  a victim (takee)? Can you identify individuals in your personal and professional life with Freddy or Sammy?

The Parable of the Mango Tree

mango-2In Mangoland, where mangos were the currency of trade, a bushel of the golden beauties was equivalent to $1 million in our money. Johnny, an up-and-coming Mangoland executive, was desperate to use his skills and experience to acquire mangos – to consume and to hoard. The orchards were owned by Mangotycoons, Mangolords and Mangopreneurs. One night, as he dreamed of mangos, he had a vision. He did not realize that this vision was about to change his life.

A white-bearded man with a halo, asked in a soft echoing voice, “Do you want mangos?”

“Oh yes!” Johnny replied.

“Come,” said the man, transporting Johnny miraculously to a magnificent mango orchard.

“Wow!” Johnny gasped, taking in the endless acres of luscious fruits, hanging within reach.

“Start your journey by caring for this tree,” said the man, pointing to a sapling that bore the fruits of Johnny’s desires, “With your skills and commitment, it will grow to give you many delicious mangos. Then, you may be called upon to serve other trees that too will share their fruits with you.”  With these words, the man disappeared as mysteriously as he had arrived.

Alone in the orchard, Johnny was trapped between commitment to care for the tree and his uncontrollable desire for mangos. Casting commitment and honor aside, he set upon harvesting the orchard, keeping a wary eye for the man. The man never appeared, and Johnny continued to build a heap of mangos large enough to lay on. Soon, exhausted and hungry, he started to devour the fruits of his labor.  He ate and he ate, until he fell asleep.  Even in his dreams, he was devouring mangos, crouching and hoping he was not being watched.

When he awoke, Johnny did not know how long he had slept. Reaching out for another mango, he shrieked in horror. The heap on which he lay had become a rotting, stinking, bug-infested mess, and there was no tree in site.


How does this parable shed light on Corporate Greed? Can you compare Johnny with executives who have ruined their firms by unethical practices – driven by taking rather than serving and giving. How does this story relate to life?

The Parable of the Mango Tree is an excerpt from “The Mango Tree,” a short story on purposeful action for children, by Prem Chopra, Brook of Life Press, Copyright 2009 by Prem Chopra, all rights reserved.

How Can You Build Meaningful Relationships?

While strolling along the river this morning, and reflecting on turbulence in relationships, these thoughts came to mind.img_0122_3

  • Desires foster hope as well as expectations. Buddha attributes pain and suffering to desires (of taking).
  • Expectations create excitement through anticipation, anxiety and stress through uncertainty, fear and anger through insecurity, and disappointment and sorrow when unmet.
  • Humans are bundles (or victims) of (their own) desires.
  • We expect others to behave (act) in a manner that will satisfy our desires.
  • No individual behaves (acts) in a manner to satisfy all of our desires.
  • You cannot change the behavior (or actions) of others to meet your expectations.
  • Only a true teacher can guide seekers to change themselves, if they have the ears.
  • Do not expect others to act in ways to satisfy your desires at the expense of their own, rather accept that they might pursue their own desires, even at the expense of yours.
  • Do not expect others to change to meet your expectations, rather change your attitude in a way to accept what you respect in their behavior (actions).
  • Do sublimate desires that lead to expectations of others, by acquiring wisdom – through meditation and guidance from a true teacher.

We would appreciate your views, based upon your wisdom and experiences …