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Showing posts from December 30, 2019

Tulsi And Pandharpur Vitthal Devotees – Why Is Holy Tulsi Plant Carried By Varkaris To Pandharpur?

There is a deep connection between Tulsi and Pandharpur Vitthal Devotees. All varkaris wear a tulsi mala and they also carry a tulsi plant to Pandharpur, Aland, Dehu and other holy places associated with Vitthal and Varkari Saints. Wearing a rosary of tulsi beads is of utmost importance to the Varkaris. Vitthala is the child (balasvarupa) Krishna. The tulsi plant is dear to Krishna. So a Varikara must wear a rosary containing a 108 tulsi beads as a pious observance. If the thread of the rosary happens to snap, the staunch Varikara would not have food until the rosary is repaired. There is a touching story about tulsi among the Kunbis (an agricultural community) in Maharashtra. It goes like this: Tulsi was the daughter of a poor brahmana. She had a dark complexion and a brahmana husband was not in her fate. Due to poverty, her hapless father deserted her. The gavali (cowherd) Vithoba offered refuge to orphaned Tulsi. But Rukmini was not happy with Vitthala's overture

A Devotee Attains Mukti by Losing Himself in the Ocean of the Atman

You think of mukti as liberation, but in the spiritual path mukti means not liberation but merger. Just as the water of the river merges in the sea, the Atman (self) within the sadhaka merges in the ocean that is the Atman (Self). The sadhaka attains mukti by losing himself in the ocean of the Atman. (Swami Adbhutananda, the famous unlettered disciple of Sri Ramakrishna) One who makes no distinction of self and other with regard to [one’s] person and possessions, who regards all beings with an even eye and is tranquil of mind, is indeed the best of the godly. (Bhagavata, 11.2.52) According to Vedanta, our predicament is universally like that of the absent-minded person searching frantically for the necklace she/he is wearing. Our real Self is the one thing that we do not know, even though we are largely self-centered beings. Success in the world requires violence, cruelty, falsehood, perjury and treachery. What people do not realize is that such success has a very very sho