A house of inimitable architectural grandeur, SAURABH GADGIL’s home is a definite treat to the eyes
I have a bad habit of criticising everything and everyone, and I realize that this comes from my family upbringing. My parents were always criticising people and events in front of us children. I don’t want to be this way. I want to change. How can I go about it in the spiritual way? If you wish to improve yourself, if you do not want to criticize people or events or things, fine yourself every time you fail in living up to the ideal. The fine could be as small as 25 paise. At the end of the month, collect the fines, offer a small prayer, and utilize the amount in some noble act; say in feeding dogs or distribute breads or packets of biscuits among the poor. Make a note in a diary the number of times you criticized in a month. You will find that the number will keep on decreasing month after month, until you will be completely free of this evil habit. Do souls incarnate immediately after death or is there a rest period? After the death of the physical body, the soul enters an astral body and then a causal body. Then, the soul returns from the causal world to the astral world, and finally he is reborn in a physical world. The journey is long; so long that when we ‘die’, we will meet our dear departed ones, relatives and friends in the astral world. At the point of death, they will come and receive us and we will be surprised to find ourselves in the midst of so many of the so-called dead people. God has blessed me with a good career, a loving family and sufficient material comfort. Why do I still feel so unfulfilled? St. Augustine has said, “Our hearts are restless until they seek rest in Thee, O Lord!” Until you reach God, nothing will give rest to your heart; not status, nor money, nor position, nor power, not even your family. This is what some mystics have called ‘divine discontent’. The seed of this discontent is there within the hearts of all; else we would never aspire to God. We long for Him because all the wealth and comforts of the world cannot give us true satisfaction. We will attain it only when we touch the Lotus Feet of the Lord. Is it possible to lead a life of bliss in this troubled world? It is not only possible, but your birthright. Anandam is your birthright as children of God. Each one of you is a son or a daughter of God. And God is the source of Ananda. He is an unending source of bliss. The moment I realise that I am a child of God, nothing is going to affect me. In order to live a life of bliss, all we have to do is to transcend the phenomenal, transcend what is happening around us. What is the significance of a ? Havan is such a beautiful ceremony! It brings blessings on the place where the sacred fire is kindled and also helps in purifying the entire atmosphere. The one good thing about a havan is when you offer ghee in the sacred fire, it wards off evil spirits. You call it a ritual, but in Germany and even in Russia, they are carrying on experiments to prove scientifically that the place where the havan fire is kindled regularly it becomes a place of healing. The ash that they get out of the havan is mixed with the soil, and this, in many cases, has yielded better crops. When you look at the fire; its leaping flames wake up within you certain emotions, which, in itself is purifying. In addition, a havan also helps you to evolve spiritually. Of course, we are told in the ancient books that agni is a messenger of God.