Giving Thanks

The Thanksgiving is coming, so let’s  begin it today.One of the wise men said, that a heart without gratitude is empty. I will do one post everyday on this topic to help you get ready and fill your heart.thanks-2

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Getting Through a Rough Patch in Your Life (chapter from “Living Well Isn’t Against the Law” by V.O.Ruzov)

img_1182Seems like, if only we could hit a lucky streak, we would live life to the max! Can it be difficult to live when all’s well, when it works like a charm; when our luck holds?

Alas, it’s not as cut and dry as it sounds. In fact, you can’t make your positive time period (a lucky streak) meaningful, if you don’t behave properly during the negative one (a losing streak). When in the midst of a losing streak, it’s impossible to get anything done. Things are going from bad to worse. People turn their backs on us… You feel like you’re crossing the mountains carrying a large burden on your shoulders. But on the plus side, you can embark on studying the science of meaningful life!

Sages say you can tell if someone hits a rough patch by his or her appearance. One walks about head down, as if overburdened with a heavy load. And indeed, at such times there is no one to help us carry our karma. In good times, we carry it together with others. Our relatives and friends, near and dear ones are always there to help us out. Their positive feelings toward us lend us wings to fly over the difficulties. They are praying for us and doing a lot of good; therefore it feels much easier than during the hard times.

You can also judge someone’s state of karma by their speech. How they say “yes” or “no” is a guide to that. If they answer firmly, apparently they are on a lucky streak. At the same time, confident behavior may as well be intrinsic to those with a lively, determined character. And if they hesitate to answer, it suggests he/she either hit a rough patch, or is a cautious, timorous personality.

The point is to understand why we walk through changes at all. Sages explain that life of a human being, like of any other material object, runs in cycles. Life is a series of changes that come in repeating patterns with a certain periodicity. So in order to accomplish a life goal, we also have to accept a sequence of changes we’ll have to go through diligently and gracefully.

In a nutshell, to meet your goals you must be open to changes. Changes are based on interactions of positive and negative life patterns. All this invigorates our consciousness and purifies our desires.

The majority of people are not ready for changes. This points to the fact that one is not mature enough to dedicate their life to a sublime goal. The more sublime the goal is, the more changes, or tough periods, you have to move through.

Many people begin studying astrology as they strive to know how to overcome tough times. They undergo various rituals, chant mantras for the planets or engage in even more esoteric pursuits which resemble more of a black art, indeed.

What we don’t understand is that life crisis is not a disaster. And it’s not the end of the world. It’s not meant for useless suffering. Rather, this is the time that requires sensible decisions to be made. The word “crisis” is exactly translated as “decision”. Every time you face a life crisis, it marks a transition between two positive periods. And it requires you to pass an exam. If you do well, you’ll be allowed to pass to the next level. This means that upcoming positive period will be rich in new interesting events.

But if we fail our exams, if we simply feel anxious and bad about everything, our next lucky streak will repeat everything that happened over the last period of good luck. Practice makes perfect.  The conclusion is that to keep our life interesting we must learn how to ace exams during exam times, or life’s rough patches. Next higher level will come then. New, interesting events will ensue.

Rough patches highlight changes in our life. Although they come with new challenges, is there anything bad in taking your education to the next level? Hence, the attempt to avoid rough patches is the direct attempt to avoid positive changes. This is not only impossible – this is simply not sensible. Struggle to avoid rough patches suggests our desire to get left back in the school of life. Change in life is inescapable for every material object. But a human being is different from all others in that he/she can understand the meaning of these changes. If we don’t have that understanding, our human life hasn’t yet started. This is why people suffer from despair so often and think life is suffering and preparing for death.

Losing streak checks our readiness to make bold, sensible decisions. The problem lies not in the losing streak itself but in the unwillingness to be determined and assume responsibility. It is for this reason that problems occur. In all other respects, a losing streak is no more dangerous than a lucky one. Anyway, we must abandon the desire to sit and wait out, hoping that difficulties will resolve themselves. It’s as good as to stay motionless in the middle of the road and shut your eyes to the oncoming car. If we don’t take effective actions, we doom ourselves to disaster that will not be long in coming.

The struggle to do so is virtually endless. It will continue throughout the whole material life. But without this struggle with oneself spiritual growth is impossible. In fact, there’s nothing negative about rough patches. It’s more accurate to say that rough patches are maturity test periods that check our readiness for new discoveries.

This knowledge is of prime importance as it protects those who are aware of it against hasty decisions and despair. At the same time, full information on negative time periods is classified as insider astrological knowledge. That’s too deep for ordinary people who are likely to find themselves shaking with fear in anticipation of these events. Fear is not the best companion, as we walk the path of life. Therefore, it’s quite sufficient to know how to manage through such hard times.

Astrologer must give a complete insight into the system of development. It is based on harmonious combination between teaching and examination periods. Proper behavior during these specified periods will make us intelligent and thus happy. It is only complete insight into the system of spiritual advancement that enables people to get rid of fears. One starts to see the glorious victory behind all the troubles.

And now let’s turn to sages for practical advice. They give us some tips on how to conduct ourselves properly.

If your strength oozes away, if you lack buoyancy during these trying times, it is suggested that you start spiritual life and become a sadhu – the one who is interested in spiritual science only. Depression strengthens and becomes chronic; people suffer torments only because they don’t know this secret. They fail test that precisely checks their skill to focus on spiritual things. Thus, remember: if your strength gave out, it’s time to become a saint. You will love this!

If you lose wealth, prosperity, money or possessions, it’s time to live like a monk, become a brahmachari, and finally, start to control your sexual drive. Remember: if there’s no money, family or members of the opposite sex by your side, there’s no room for comfort and entertainment. If money is taken away by the twist of fate, it’s time to pass the test of austerity and loneliness. Loneliness itself can’t solve problems but it can help to embark on a journey of spiritual knowledge. So keep in mind: if money is tight, time is ripe to become a student.

If crisis comes to a woman in the form of aging problems, she must become devoted to her husband and try to make him happy. In any case, later-life crisis must bring family together. Our social circle tends to become smaller in old age. Only close family members can be there to understand our condition during this time. In other words, older people are not needed by anyone, except their relatives. So it would be awfully unwise to ruin relationships by grudging behavior or nagging. Remember: old age is a sign that you must grow to love your relatives, get to like something you had no special liking for in prior years.

If crisis comes in the form of disease, we must fully surrender to the Lord. This tests our spiritual devotion. Neither physicians nor relatives can really help an ill person.  They are nothing more than instruments in the hands of fate. Powerless to help us, they can only observe how things take their course. Hence, remember: when you’re ill, it’s time to build relationship with God since everything is in His hands only.

An additional point is that in the negative period we expect sympathy from others. But our anguish doesn’t always stir up sympathy. There’s a whole category of people who are not affected by our suffering at all. It is stated in the Vedas that a manager, a doer of the law, unfaithful person, thief, youngster and a beggar can’t understand the sufferings of others. If someone in your immediate circle falls under one of those categories, don’t even expect they’ll understand your hardships. Because people don’t know these exceptions, they often get offended, as they expect sympathy from those who are not destined for that.

Expensive artwork made by a modern artist was once featured in an exhibition. It was made of plastic bags and was acknowledged as one of the top mould-breaking artworks of the year. But there was one problem: night after night new janitors would come. Each of them thought it was a heap of rubbish and threw it in the garbage. Finally, exhibition contractors were fed up with that. They had to put up a notice that said: “This is not a rubbish pile. Please don’t throw it away.” The work was sold for $50,000$.

Another case is even more astonishing. Not so long ago a woman won a court case. She brought an accusation against a man suffering from epilepsy. The woman claimed she suffered stress when she saw his face during the seizure. And the court held that the man was obliged to pay $5,000$ reimbursement for moral damages. So goes the word. Don’t put your hopes for sympathy up too high.

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Your karma – explained.

FREE CLASS on karma by karma expert Vyacheslav Ruzov.

Karma is very tangled, but its principles could be explained and understood.

In this video there are lots of examples and analogies about Karma, God, Difficulties, Benefits, Consciousness, Sickness, Good Luck, Conditions for spiritual life, and many more.

Please watch this video and if you have questions please ask them in the comments and I will be happy to answer them.DON’T FORGET TO LIKE AND SHARE!

Food, energy and karma

saladEvery action in this world has a reaction or consequence, some call it a boomerang law, some call it karma.

Everything  and every thing in this world made of some kind of energy.

Every living being in this world has to eat to stay alive. For the most the food options are restricted by nature. We (people) are just very small and very lucky portion that can choose    what we eat, based on our knowledge, attitude and intelligence.

There are only three main types/modes of energy and their innumerous combinations. And all that exists is made and carries qualities of one or more of these types.

The modes/gunas are called Sattva or Goodness, Rajas or Passion and Tamas or Ignorance/Darkness. There also is Nirguna – energy that does belong neither to any of the above types, nor to this material world. Food also can be in the three modes.

Food in the mode of ignorance is”prepared more than three hours before being eaten, tasteless, decomposed and putrid, and food consisting of remnants and untouchable things”. Untouchable things contain alcohol (it blinds the intelligence) or obtained by killing of innocent creatures.

Foods in the mode of passion “are too bitter, too sour, salty, hot, pungent, dry and burning.. Such foods cause distress, misery and disease.”

Food “in the mode of goodness increase the duration of life, purify one’s existence and give strength, health, happiness and satisfaction. Such foods are juicy, fatty, wholesome, and pleasing to the heart.” Those are milk products, grains, fruits and vegetables. Fatty food mentioned here has no relation to violence.

Now it is your informed decision – what to eat. And since everything is connected, with the food you choose specific energy and accept the results of your choice.

You may ask me – what about nirguna? Well, if you take items from mode of Goodness, prepare them with love and offer it to Absolute/God/ Supreme Intelligence with gratitude  – the food (if you do it with pure heart) should become transcendental.

All the quotes are from Bhagavad Gita As It Is by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

If you found this interesting or helpful – please like it and share.                                                Or may be you disagree – comment it here or discuss it wit your friends

Four Human Desires (chapter from “How to Get Twice as Happy” by V.O. Ruzov)

Today we’re going to talk about the core human drives. According to the sages, there are four such desires that rule our lives in this world: bhakti, karma, yoga and jnana. Bhakti is the pure desire to serve the Absolute Truth with the purpose to please Him. Three other types of desires are nothing else but various deviations from love of Truth. They represent different forms of degradation and contamination of consciousness.


It just so happens that we are all a little ‘nuts’. This should come as no surprise. After all, we all came to live in this world of deviation from the norm. So as the phrase goes, everyone has their own little quirks. These are divided into three major categories.


Take, for example, the desire for karma. If I want to serve the Absolute Truth but don’t make it my aim to please Him; if I want to feel pleased and happy myself, this is already the desire for karma, not for bhakti. I want to get big wages, collect my regular salary. So if you pay me less than agreed or not on time, don’t expect me to work further. I won’t even move a muscle. Thus, the desire for karma is the desire to enjoy materially, not spiritually. It’s when we want to enjoy through our gross material senses. We want to possess everything that is sold in the stores – all the stylish up-market stuff our neighbor already has. We want the fruits; without the fruits we won’t take care of the field. We won’t care two straws for it.


What is desire for jnana? This is the aspiration to enjoy subtle matter, craving for prestige or power. Others are obliged to show respect for me, at least to some extent because I’m a well-respected man without doubt… “Do you respect me?” “I do.” “Me too. I respect you from my heart.” “We are most admired people!” drunkards say to each other. So this is probably why people are attracted to alcohol. They hope to feel super respected at least while they are drunk.


In esoteric terms, desire for jnana is seeking relief from material suffering. So many people are craving for knowledge. But they aren’t eager to learn how to serve the Absolute Truth. They only want to know how to gain superiority and release from suffering. I want to become a great scientist, come up with the cure for death. An inventor and a scientist are typical representatives of modern-day esoterics. Hence, there’s so much inventive esoteric nonsense in bookstores! Piercing chakras with the universal piercing gun…


Desire for yoga is the attempt to find and unlock special mystic powers within oneself. What if I can bend a spoon or light a lamp by just taking a look at it? People spend the whole evenings in the kitchen, staring at the matches, hoping to move them with their eyes. But the aim remains the same: to enjoy the physical body and its abilities. This has nothing to do with spirituality. Since people don’t know it’s a deviation, they consider wonders to be the evidence of holiness and chosenness by God. However, deviations of any kind mean only one thing: one engages in spiritual practice to derive benefit for himself/herself. One is not really interested in God and is even less interested in surrounding people. All illusionists today imitate mystic yogis, and mystic yogis imitate illusionists. As a result, instead of happiness, we get a rabbit pulled out of the hat.


Interestingly, as a result of these three types of deviation, one comes to the conclusion that he/she doesn’t need a spiritual preceptor, doesn’t need a spiritual master. It’s because one of the main duties of the spiritual master is to point out these three deviations to his disciple. It appears that a spiritual master hinders such a person from living peacefully, enjoying power, glory and deviation from spirituality. He’s like a school teacher who prevents the pupils from enjoying relaxation. He comes and says: “Stop behaving like hoodlums or you’ll grow up to be dim-witted and useless!” It also seems that our teachers expended little effort; otherwise, why do so many people start feeling stupid and useless at midlife?


If we don’t work on ourselves, the very idea of accepting a guru may seem dangerous. Just see how the contemporary society is afraid of the notion itself. The only reason is that the guru honestly shows us: we live selfishly; we live only for our own enjoyment and are not interested in anything else. Even if a modern man accepts a guru, he prefers to keep distance, without taking advice or associating that much. The picture of a guru seems the safest option. It goes to show that we need a symbol of a spiritual master instead of a real father. A father is always strict – he won’t let the son act stupid. Hence, by choosing and accepting a spiritual master we confirm our readiness to receive chastisement. We just confirm our willingness to hear harsh words from this particular person.


Without the spiritual master, one is prone to mistake hallucinations for real spiritual experience. One counts everything taking place in his diseased imagination as a spiritual insight. Some people claim to hear a voice from God; others claim to talk to God. Some people say that God dictated some new spiritual scriptures to them. If I hear God speaking to me, why do I need to purify myself any further? Why should I follow rules and regulations; pray and study the scriptures? I’m the proclaimer of the will of God myself. I’m the holy scripture: hear me, render honors to me! Make a big fuss over me. Carry me in your arms, or preferably, on a palanquin. This is how one becomes mad with pride.


These dangerous phenomena downgrade the importance of spiritual development. The spiritual path is not easy — it requires great effort. One has to shed an ocean of sweat and tears to reach something really essential. But we don’t want to wait. We have no time. We are busy solving urgent tasks that can’t be shortened to free up at least some of our time for spiritual activities. We don’t want to get purified. We’d like to break into the world of purity being impure as we are now. We excuse ourselves from purification process by saying we simply don’t have time for such nonsense. But we are blind to the fact that we start looking like bums actually. As soon as a bum steps into a subway car, everybody else comes out since it’s impossible to stand next to him. Similarly, so that the residents of the spiritual world don’t scatter in different directions, we simply won’t be let into. At the entrance of the spiritual world there’s face control. Two gatekeepers Jaya and Vijaya strictly check the purity of our heart so that no bum could get into the world of purity, honesty, knowledge and bliss.


Therefore, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati said we shouldn’t try too much to see God, but act in such a way that God would want to see us. But we are too lazy to work on ourselves. We are spiritual layabouts who wait for favors from nature. The mercy comes, though not in the form of miraculous purification but in the form of knowledge that we should make our own efforts to purify ourselves. Kali-yuga is the time when everybody hankers after something they haven’t yet deserved.. This is a harmful thinking pattern that brings nothing except disappointment. This is also the way spiritual deviations appear asserting that spirituality is plainly simple. “Keep thinking that you are a saint, and you’ll become one. To become convinced of something, convince someone else.” Such pseudo transcendentalists tell everyone: “You are a saint. Your children are saints. Your whole family is saintly. We are all saints… let’s go have a drink!”


The desire for jnana is of particular interest. A person is so deeply absorbed in knowledge that he concocts his own logical explanations difficult to make head or tail of. As a result, instead of thinking of the Absolute Truth, one engages in mental speculations. One creates a logical world of his own and lives in it. Such an individual overlooks the essence of spiritual growth completely. He is happy to find someone who would listen to him, someone he can share logical revelations with. But there’s no real spiritual experience in that. These are just intricacies of the mind — and nothing besides! Such people have experienced so much emotional pain in life that they are scared to show emotions on the path of development. Logic has no emotions – it is dry and sad. People just explain their ideas to each other. They like it that they can remain completely unemotional.


Sages explain that all these deviations occur because we suffered much pain in the material world and wish to hide from it somehow. Even when we study spiritual knowledge, we are seeking not the Absolute Truth, but relief from pain. We are looking for relief in Ayurveda, astrology, vastu — in anything. We either want to find a formula to get rid of suffering, or immerse ourselves in spirituality to forget ourselves. Such immersion doesn’t differ much from alcohol or drug abuse.


It is also said in the treatises about contamination of yoga that it’s the attempt to drag the Absolute Truth down to our level. I will do the asanas, breathe properly – and God will come to me. By comparison, contamination of jnana is the attempt to quickly rise to the level of God: decipher Him in the treatises or figure Him out by way of logic. Contamination of yoga is the attempt to enter into business-like relations with God. I will do something for Him, and He will do something for me. These are contaminations that slow down our spiritual progress and may even bring it to a halt. So we should always watch our consciousness so that it doesn’t get contaminated by any of these deviations.


Lastly, I’d like to tell an interesting story about craving for bhakti.


After the destruction of Ravana at Rama’s hands, Nikasha, Ravana’s mother, run out of the palace and fled into the forest for dear life. Lakshmana pointed out to Rama that it was a quite strange way to act. Nikasha was an old woman who had suffered a great deal from the loss of all of her sons, and yet she seemed so afraid of losing her own life that she was taking to her heels! It all looked quite strange. Rama caught up with Nikasha, gave her assurance of safety and asked her why she was running away. And Ravana’s mother said in response that she was longing to see many more things Rama would do on this planet. She was afraid to pass away and not be able to witness His lila till the end. To be born on earth when the spiritual lila takes place is such a rare opportunity. To strive to stay alive is really worth the effort!