A few weeks ago I had the good fortune of meeting Pujya Shri Rameshbhai Oza. He is affectionately called Pujya Bhaishri by his devotees. Through the recitation of the Shrimad Bhagvat, Shri Ram Katha and the Shrimad Bhagavad Geeta, Bhaiji has carved an admirable place for himself in the hearts of millions in India and abroad. He is determined to make the Indian culture flow like an eternal river, in order to bring peace, happiness and a sense of responsibility into the lives of humans through the awakening of true knowledge and spirituality. He presented me with a small autographed book (Volume2) entitled: ‘Jigyasa’ (Quest from the Inner Self) Follow some interesting and enlightening excerpts:

In a Shivji temple, one encounters: Nandi (The Bull Vehicle of Shivji). It symbolizes the Aasan, which means to be firmly seated in ones place and posture. The aasan helps still the body. Nandi gazes up at the murti (face, idol) of Lord Shiva.

To still the mind one must practice ‘Pranayaam’ (Breathing exercises). There is also a Murti of Hanumanji in the Shivalaya (Shiva Temple). This symbolizes that our mind is like a monkey, and we need to harness it, with
(Pranayaam) Yogic breathing.

Once the mind is still, we have to withdraw our senses, which are forever craving for objects of pleasure in the external world and direct them inwards. The process of withdrawing senses from the temporal world is signified by the murti of the tortoise, placed ahead of the murti of Nandi. Just as a tortoise withdraws all its limbs within its shell, we should also withdraw our senses from objects of sensual pleasure…

The constant focus of the mind and senses upon God is known as Dhyaan. Goddess Parvati symbolizes uninterrupted attention to God.

Water continuously drips upon the Shivlinga and it flows only to the North, like the holy river Ganga at Varanasi, which has auspicious significance. It is also related to the awakening of the Kundalini (Yogic Powers) and the focused upward movement of all our energies…

The world is full of dualities. Happiness and misery, joy and sorrow, respect and disrespect…Constant change is the distinguishing feature of Sansaar (The world)…But nothing lasts in Sansaar. Even the greatest misery shall pass…The wise ones realizing that such is the nature of Sansaar, remain unperturbed…Without rising above these dualities of the world or Sansaar, we cannot alleviate the miseries of existence. If we let the mundane ups and downs of life overcome us, we will never be able to taste the nectar of life…(Know that) I am the author of my own happiness and misery…God is merciful. He never turns away from anyone. In fact it is we who must have turned away from God…Realize that the Jeeva (Human) itself is the Brahma (God), not separate from it. (Say) Aham Brahmaasmi (I AM GOD) and you will experience that you are the Brahma…Brahma became many from One. It was the Brahma who gave birth to so many life forms. Brahma willed to become many and said: Ekoham bahusyaam I am One, Let me be many)…All that is happening is the Leela (Play) of the Brahma… Shankaraacharyaji wrote that Brahmasakshatkar is experiencing the union of one’s soul with Brahma.

Rameshbhai Oza website: www.sandipani.org