Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pragat (Upasana)

NOTE: While there are no pictures on the post, we do have a slideshow to accompany this post; prepare & practice accordingly!

As the year winds to an end with the last sabha of 2010 right around the corner, let's take some time to make the most of this special moment by test driving a BMW M6 convertible!

With the 500-horsepower engine, this car is better suited for the racetrack than any old city road. In fact, 4.8 seconds is all that takes to rev this beastly vehicle up to 60 miles/hour; that's about how long it takes for us blink 10 times!

The sleek interior is fully coveted with smooth and premium leather, and the incredible Logic-7 surround sound system makes any melody flow seamlessly enough to lift away any anxiety or stress that we may be carrying around on our shoulders.

So let's do it - why not rev this baby up?

Oh wait, it's only a picture. Test drive fail.

It's that disappointment that warrants an actual BMW M6 convertible. After all, the descriptive and flowery language sounded awesome, but only the actual car would have satisfied this craving.

Religion proves to be no different. Those who seek something higher or beyond them ascribe to a system of religion be it Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, or even our religion of Hinduism, and it is in Hinduism that the principle of pragat resolves that search.

We may easily be led to think that pragat means that which is visible as in the murtis (in Hinduism) or statues in paintings of saints or religious icons in other religions, but pragat means much more.

The pragat form of God enables us not only to see him but to understand Him. 

For the M6, seeing and hearing the descriptions helped us visualize and imagine the car itself, but we gain no understanding of its handling or performance until we actually get behind the wheel. Blinking ten times is not going to help us figure out how hard/soft to press down on the acceleration while we're cruising in the M6; in fact, it may win us an ambulance ride to the ER.

For God, it means much more than to just being able to see Him. We must understand His nature, His personality, His philosophy if we are too attain Him in His abode. In essence, how would He act in facing the problems and pressures we face today in this society? Hence, Shriji Maharaj narrates His life to Muktanand Swami when he came seeking peace.

Thus, Hinduism places an emphasis on a guru or a spiritual teacher - one who has the credibility to interpret the scriptures in light of modern problems. A guru must have examples in his own life to share with his followers that resonate with the religion and its teachings which is why we have our guru Pramukh Swami Maharaj. His 90 years on this Earth are replete with prasang after prasang and experience after experience in which he demonstrated his depth and understanding of the Hindu faith.

Though Shriji Maharaj may have reverted back to His abode, He lives on through the life of our guru. That's why we have a M(aharaj)-series of models as well, for each of our gurus have led a life through which Shriji Maharaj Himself could be experienced. Swamishri today is the M6 - the sixth one in line - and the shining example to the principle of pragat.

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