Sunday, March 12, 2006

Where is there refuge?

Fight for a beautiful cause: “Universal Love”.

Now, there is hope, we can go back to Godhead; the true home.

The consumer society in which we have been born into is full of lies, tricks and false promises. We can not pretend that happiness lies in having and enjoying something external. We must find a place with saintly persons who are looking for God. There, the idea is to fill ourselves with inspiration and spirituality to take with us in life, with renewed vigour.

Three classes of suffering:

  1. Those caused by diseases.
  2. Those caused by other living entities.
  3. Those caused by natural disasters.

Spiritual Oasis

We are all members of a great spiritual family, and through spiritual refuges it is possible to realize this reality in its tangible form.

Become part of these oases. Maybe you can not live permanently in one of them, but you can be part of it in some way: in a yoga ashrama, where young students are trained, or where defenceless women and children, who want a spiritual life, are mutually cared for. Be come part of these oases in some way, and see how your life takes deeper meaning in such a place that we really have so much need for, and that allows us to enter into its protective circle.

The refuge is real; try it out, get to know it. Contact the closest ashrama to you, or participate in a Mela (a spiritual gathering) of the VRINDA family. Get to realise that a common cause is a reality when one has a message to show what God’s cause in this world is.

Are you looking for a refuge?

In this material world there are many places of entertainment: clubs, theatres, sports halls, etc, where people gather for some reason that they value. But what there is there is the consumerism of the market place, raw competition, and the many means of cheating and being cheated that the world has to offer. Over and over again we find there is no refuge for the heart.

And the television is still worse. Soap operas only show sensuality, frustration, mundane things; again no refuge. In one’s house is found the atmosphere of competition, lies, promiscuity, and so many other elements such as intoxication, violence, laziness; and again no refuge for the sensitive heart.

In schools and universities there is so much contamination. Modern education only teaches the need to earn money to enjoy life to the maximum; that life is a casual accident, missing any superior meaning. Again, no refuge.

In the churches, mosques or temples we hear nice things that no one really puts into practice. There is so much religious rivalry, in and between religions. They do not really offer a true refuge.

Therefore, we find the institutions of the world lack any real refuge for the sincere searcher of truth and harmony.

Beyond human misfortune, we find that the natural world, even with all its beauty, is full of danger. There are bodily diseases, dangers caused by other living entities, and natural disasters, such as earthquakes.

Finally, we realise that this material world offers no refuge. And what do we do when no refuge is offered? Do we stay in a desperate state or hold onto a little hope and keep looking?

True refuge is an internal spiritual affair, of one’s relationship with God and His creation. But still, on the path to God, we can now offer you refuge in the ashramas of Vrinda. These ashramas are places where people gather who are really interested and dedicated to the search for truth, in an unconditional way.

Ashramas are places with sincere people who do not break the regulative principles of dharma, God-given human duties; where people live the natural religion of the soul, of the heart, in friendship to all living beings.

Ashrams are places where people do not eat meat, fish or eggs, do not intoxicate themselves, are not promiscuous, and where they do not gamble, cheat each other, or lie. Such places are full of people studying Sacred Scriptures to unite behind a common cause of a beautiful reality, which is Universal Love.

The VRINDA family have these ashrams in many parts of the world. In many cities are centres established to study the Vedas, and classes for people who want to study yoga, including Hatha Yoga.

VRINDA has some beautiful farm properties, where those who are seriously devoted live, that can be visited at the weekend, or to go for a spiritual retreat in the holidays. We have established Melas in many countries, where yogis meet to share devotional life. There, one can change the monotony of one’s life by having the beautiful association of saintly people; renounced monks, exemplary married couples, and students on the path of yoga and meditation. We offer conferences with full audience participation; where one of the principal aspects are the questions from the audience, and the answers that are given, hopefully to clarify the spiritual path by eliminating one’s doubts through discourse and debate in an open atmosphere without the imposition of dogma.

“Loving and serving the Supreme, our heart will be full of love and happiness.”

Teachings of Sripad Paramdvaiti Swami

Editor Gopananda dasa


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