Guru Nanak ji - A light-house among the darkness of the mind

Wherever he went, Guru Nanak attracted a large group of people around him. When he came, he did not ascribe to any particular religious tenet and his teaching was universal. He initiated people into certain types of meditation and devotional practices. People could not fix Guru Nanak as belonging to any particular religion. He dressed unconventionally for a spiritual person because he didn’t want to fit into any mould that was already there. So he appeared neither like a Muslim fakir nor a Hindu saint. He designed his own clothes and wore it in such a way that they could not identify him with any particular faith.

Guru Nanak was a compassionate and courageous man. Once he was traveling by foot, walking from village to village, offering his teachings to people. He was not one of those all-the-time smiling, gentle saints. He knew when to be hard and when to be soft.

One day, he happened to be a guest in a home of a very rich man in the area. After a few days, as he was leaving, he gave this man a sewing needle and said, ‘Keep this with you. Sometime in the future when you see me, you can give it back to me.’ After the Guru had left, the man told his wife about the incident. The wife immediately scolded the man, ‘You fool, why did you take a needle from a guru? He is an old man. Suppose he dies and you don’t get to give back this needle, what will you do? Offering him something is fine but you should not receive anything from a man like him. Else, you will be in debt forever. You will be unable to wash out that one karma, and this may mean another thousand lifetimes for you. This is not a good thing. Somehow try to find him and return it to him immediately.’

So the man started trekking the path that Nanakdev had taken. After a couple of months the man caught up with him and said, ‘Guruji, I don’t want to carry this needle with me. You are an old man. In case you die, I would not be able to carry this needle to heaven and return it to you there. I will be in debt forever.’ Guru Nanak replied, ‘So you know that you cannot carry this needle to heaven, right?’ The man said, ‘Yes.’ ‘When you know you cannot carry a needle, what about all those other things you are accumulating? You will not be able to carry any of that either.’ The man fell at Nanakdev’s feet. He went back home, just kept what was needed for his family, and went about building whatever was needed for the wellbeing of people all around.

Enlightenment doesn't come from being labeled Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian... It doesn't come from blindly following a religious or political leader and fighting to show his/her supremacy...
Enlightenment comes when you accept the value of human life giving to you. All religions are the same.. they speak of helping each other...
So before you fight, discriminate in name of religion.. Create a huge heart were you selflessly help everyone from any belief.

Dr.Hemant Mittal (Neuro-Psychiatrist, Motivational Speaker and Counselor)
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"Waqt Badalta Hai"

Sunday Evening Facebook and Twitter were full of people crying and pouring their souls to the departed Bal Thackeray. 
Many who have never ever met him, never understood what he really stood for and who probably had criticized him when he was alive, were having public outbursts of sadness as if they had lost a family member. 

Above all these crocodile tears there was one common sentiment that even the Common Mumbaikar felt.. It was the amazing behavior sh
own by Shiv Sena...
The loss of their magnetic leader didn't transform into violence.. and somehow it did show a lot of characte.

By Sunday evening the condolence messages were also filled with praise for the new Shiv Sena..

Come Monday Morning and Mumbai Mirror reported how 2 girls from Palghar area of Mumbai were arrested by the police. Shiv Sainks went on the rampage to destroy a hospital owned by the uncle of one of the girls.. Because one girl posted a question asking shouldn't such mourning be part of every martyrs funeral .. and the other girl just liked her facebook status.

Mumbai Police is supposed to be protecting us... I wonder if they have ever read about "freedom of expression".
I have never felt "insecure" in Mumbai... But surely I have started losing faith in the govt. protection agency called POLICE.. Isn't it my (a common mans) taxes that pay for their inception and constitution.. Isn't it my fearful behavior that makes them so powerful.. aren't they supposed to protect me!!!!

Shiv Sainks of that area went on a rampage against 2 teenage girls.!!!!
Wasn't Shiv Sena a party of fighters???
Wasn't the Bal Thackeray legacy all about fight for social equality??
I guess those Shiv Sainks just were waiting for a reason to show violence... Seriously action against 2 teenage girls and a doctor!!!...Its really a below the belt act!!

By Monday afternoon entire social media had turned against Mumbai police and Shiv Sena.
The very same people who on Sunday had been crying and praising had suddenly turned into the most fierce opponents. The criticism went to all extents.
All the good-will created the day before was tainted by this incident.
And people brought out old skeletons of "hooliganism" that Mumbai has been exposed to in last 46 years.

Last night I coincidentally met an old friend of mine. He comes from a family dedicated to shiv sena... himself a very staunch shiv sanik. Balasaheb Thackeray's loss was something you could feel in his entire persona.
As we sat for dinner, and this topic cropped out.. I asked his opinion...
like a grand-son who is sad for the loss of his grand-father... his sad eyes smiled at me a very calm and enlightening way he said-

"Grief is no excuse for rage and anger!!!"

.. a small pause and he continued ...

"Grief should make you strong... As it teaches us to fight our ownselves.. Now we have to see what Time has ahead for us"

..."Waqt woh chabi hai, jho kisi bhi darwaje ko khol sakthi hai.. or band kar sakthi hai... waqt ka mood badalne mein dher nahi lagta"
(Time is that key which can open or close any door... it just takes an instant to change the tides of time)

I (the common man) sit an observer of these TIDES OF TIME... We cannot change Time.. But we can only change our actions... If our actions are positive and truthful maybe the tides of time won't hit us hard.

Dr.Hemant Mittal (Neuro-Psychiatrist and Counselor)
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The Power of Karva Chauth

Today is Karva Chauth, a symbol of bond, sacrifice and love.

The word Karva Chauth, is composed of Karva - meaning a clay pot - and Chauth (from char meaning four) corresponding to the fourth day after the Full Moon in Kartik month (of Hindu calendar) following the Autumnal Equinox.

The Origin of Karva Chauth?
The exact origin and reasons for Karva Chauth are not known. With time, and based on the male-dominated society, this festival has come to signify a prayer for the long life of husband.

As per my research on this subject there is also another reason for Karva Chauth to have started. Many websites mention it as following -

"The origin of this festival was based on a very sweet and noble idea. Though this idea has lost its true sense as today the whole outlook of this festival has changed.

In the ancient time, girls used to get married at a very early stage, and had to go and live with their in-laws in other villages. After marriage, if she faces any problem with her in-laws or her husband, she would have no one to talk to or seek support from. There used to be no telephones, buses and trains long ago. Her own parents and relatives would be quite far and unreachable. Thus the custom started that, at the time of marriage, when bride would reach her in-laws, she would befriend another woman there who would be her friend or sister for life. It would be like god-friends or god-sisters. Their friendship would be sanctified through a small Hindu ceremony right during the marriage.

Once the bride and this woman had become god-friends or god-sisters, they would remain so all their lives and recognize the relation as such. They would also treat each other like real sisters.

Later in life, if she faces any difficulty related to her husband or in-laws, she would be able to confidently talk or seek help from each other. Thus, Karwa Chauth was started to as a festival to celebrate this relationship between the once-brides and their god-friends (god-sisters). Fasting and praying for husband came later and is secondary. It was probably added, along with other mythical tales, to enhance the festival. The husband would always be associated with this festival, because the day of starting this holy friendship between two god-sisters was essentially the day of bride's marriage to him"

Additional benefit of Karva chauth?

The festival provides an opportunity for all married women to get close to their in-laws. Possessing a tremendous social and cultural significance, this festival is celebrated by keeping fast, applying henna and exchange of gifts. Mother-in-laws buy 'sargi' for their daughter-in-laws. This 'sargi' consists of various types of sweetmeats, and sometime clothes. All these items are supposed to bring good luck to the women.

Popular Stories related to Karva Chauth?

The Story of Queen Veervati

A beautiful queen called Veervati was the only sister of seven loving brothers. She spent her first Karva Chauth as a married woman at her parents' house. She began a strict fast after sunrise but, by evening, was desperately waiting for the moonrise as she suffered severe thirst and hunger. Her seven brothers couldn't bear to see their sister in such distress and created a mirror in a pipal tree that made it look as though the moon had risen. The sister mistook it for the moon and broke her fast. The moment she ate, word arrived that her husband, the king, was dead. Heartbroken, she wept through the night until her shakti compelled a Goddess to appear and ask why she cried. When the queen explained her distress, the Goddess revealed how the queen had been tricked by her brothers and instructed her to repeat the Karva Chauth fast with complete devotion. When Veervati repeated the fast, Yama was forced to restore her husband to life.

In a variant of this story, the brothers build a massive fire behind a mountain instead and trick their sister by convincing her that the glow is the moon. She breaks her fast and word arrives that her beloved husband has died. She immediately begins running to her husband's house, which is somewhat distant, and is intercepted by Shiv-Parvati. Parvati reveals the trickery to her, cuts her own little finger to give the wife a few drops of her holy blood, and instructs her to be careful in keeping the complete fast in the future. The wife sprinkles Parvati's blood on her dead husband and, coming back to life, they are reunited.

The Legend of Mahabharata

The belief in this fast and its associated rituals goes back to the pre-Mahabharata times. Draupadi, too, is said to have observed this fast. Once Arjun went to the Nilgiris for penance and the rest of the Pandavas faced many problems in his absence. Draupadi, out of desperation, remembered Lord Krishna and asked for help. Lord Krishna reminded her that on an earlier occasion, when Goddess Parvati had sought Lord Shiva's guidance under similar circumstances, she had been advised to observe the fast of Karva Chauth. In some tellings of this legend, Shiva tells Parvati the story of Veervati to describe the Karva Chauth fast. Draupadi followed the instructions and observed the fast with all its rituals. Consequently, the Pandavas were able to overcome their problems.

The Legend of Karva

There was a woman named Karva, who was deeply devoted to her husband. Her intense love and dedication towards him gave her shakti (spiritual power). While bathing at a river, her husband was caught by a crocodile. Karva bound the crocodile with a cotton yarn and asked Yama (the god of death) to send the crocodile to hell. Yama refused. Karva threatened to curse Yama and destroy him. Yama, afraid of being cursed by "Pati-vrat" (devoted) wife, sent the crocodile to hell and blessed Karva's husband with long life. Karva and her husband enjoyed many years of wedded bliss. To this day, Karva Chauth is celebrated with great faith and belief.

The Story of Satyavan and Savitri

When Lord Yama, came to procure Satyavan's soul, Savitri begged him to grant him life. When he refused, she stopped eating and drinking and followed Yama who carried away her dead husband. Yama said that she could ask for any other boon except for the life of her husband. Savitri asked that she be blessed with children. Yama agreed. Being a "Pati-Vrat" (devoted) wife, Savitri would never let any other man be the father of her children. Yama was left with no other choice but to restore Savitri's husband to life.

Dr.Hemant Mittal (Neuro-Psychiatrist, Motivational Speaker and Counselor)
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address- 15, shreeji plaza, next to ice n spice restaurant, opposite seawoods station, seawoods (east)
Navi Mumbai