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I am just blindly repeating a mantra. How do mantras help when I don’t understand a word I am saying?
The meanings of all mantras need not necessarily be understood. The sounds of certain mantras create vibrations, which are helpful to seekers on the path. What is needed is that the seeker must repeat the mantra with faith, love and devotion.
My mother-in-law believes in ritualistic puja and expects me to follow her, bathing the Gods, dressing them, keeping prasad and doing aarti, while I believe in meditation. Which is the right way?
The right way for your mother-in-law (mother-in-love) is ritualistic puja, while the right way for you is meditation. “On whatever path men approach Me,” says the Lord, “on that I go to meet them.”
What is the significance of feeding 12 brahmins at the end of many ceremonies?
In olden days, the number 12 was regarded as a favourite number - just because you could divide it in two, three, four and six parts.
I feel betrayed. My wife of 12 years has suddenly changed her religion to Christianity and is trying to change our children along with her. I am a Shiva pujari and believe in the Hindu scriptures. We (before she changed) brought up our children in the Hindu tradition. Now she is telling the children not to believe in a religion that has hundreds of Gods. What can I do?
Explain to your children that though their Daddy is one, he is called a boss in the office, a friend in the club, a brother in his family, a husband by his wife, a father by his children; even so though God is one, He has many aspects. There are not a hundred Gods, but one God with a hundred aspects. The beauty of the Hindu religion lies in this that it has studied hundred aspects of God, while other religions are acquainted only with one aspect.
What happens to the soul when one commits suicide?
The soul keeps on wandering and suffers in many ways. We receive messages from those that have committed suicide: “Tell the people not to think of committing suicide because suicide does not solve any problem. Suicide is not a solution: it is dissolution. It increases problems.”
During Navratri when I hear the chanting and mantras, my body gets hot and I feel uncomfortable, and just want to get away. Is something wrong with me, or do these things happen to some people? If so, why?
The song may be the same. Heard by different people, it creates different effects. Some like it, some dislike it. Some feel refreshed, revitalised. Some feel depressed. This is so in the case of all experiences and Navratri is no exception. My employer has been good to me, but because of greed, I pilfered some money from him. But now I cannot sleep at night and I am feeling miserable all the time. If I tell him, I will be fired and I have wife and children to feed. This is killing me slowly inside. What I can do? Immediately stop pilfering and set apart the amount pilfered so far in a separate account, let it gather interest. You will get an opportunity in the future, near or remote, when you will be able to pass on the amount with interest to your employer.
When life is full of disturbances, how do we increase positive thinking?
One way to make life better is to remind oneself that it could be worse. Another way to be positive is to say to yourself again and again that this too shall pass away. Nothing lasts forever. There is a third and most important way and that is to pray to the Lord and seek strength and wisdom to be able to face the situation in the right way.