Posted in Being Prayerful, karma, Life

Celebrating the Law of Karma

“A boomerang  returns back to the person who throws it.” -Vera Nazarian

“Some day people will ask me what is the key to my success…and I will simply say, “Good Karma.”- K. Crumley

This post is dedicated to Celebrating Karma! Many may think it is quite a strange post but honestly to me it is not and as you read on you will understand exactly why this is so!

karma

With regards to the question, why did I choose to celebrate karma this is why- if you know you are living a good life then you have nothing to worry about. More so, if you know that you live according to the line,  “Treat others as you would like to be treated”, then surely you have nothing to worry about. This is the way I have always lived and it has always shaped my life. I am eternally grateful to my parents (my Mom, Mrs. Doris Thomas and my Dad, the late Mr. Ramchit Ramesh Thomas)  for bringing me up the way they did and for the guidance they provided. Also I am eternally grateful for the guidance of His Holiness Param Pujya Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda who we affectionately refer to as our Appaji who on a daily basis reminds us we are on the right track when we “Do Good” and “Be Good”.

Karma can be either good or bad. This is because good actions and thoughts merit good results and vice versa for bad karma. Nothing good can come from doing bad.

I am not one to live with my head in the clouds and I do not intend to start now. The numerous problems plaguing our country is highly disturbing (people losing jobs over the last couple years, the events of the last week with the closure of the oil refinery, medical centres and administrative offices which displaced so many more, cost of living being what it is, people losing everything due to flooding throughout the country, news of more and more people missing on a daily basis) and this reminds us urgently that we must keep praying and keep our faith.

So then why hurt others?
Why be selfish?
Why be unfair to others?
Why try to take what is not yours?
Why take advantage of others?
Why disregard others?
Why take joy in the pain of others?
Why place people in unfair situations to get something?
Why be greedy?
Why do you choose not to be straight with others?

There is no point in any of these negative acts!

Instead we should aim to do the following:
1. Help others
2. Be kind
3. Look out for each other
4. Take an active role in making positive change rather than be a passive bystander
5. Do what we can to protect each other
6. Be fair in our thinking and in our actions
7. Treat others in the same manner that we would like to be treated
8. Do your best at all times
9. Make a concerted effort not to hurt others
10. Think before we act
11. Practice active listening
12. Be the change that we want to see in others
13. Focus on our goals
14. Realize that when something feels wrong it usually is
15. Understand that doing good comes from being good
16. Accept that staying away from toxic people is advised as it helps to remove the cloud of negativity that can damage you
17. Never lose hope and accept that God does not leave you alone
18. Trust yourself
19. Be your best friend rather than your worst enemy
20. Remember that life’s journey does not come without challenges

 

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in Being Prayerful, Blessings from Appaji

Blessings from Appaji-Divali 2018!

Jaya Guru Datta!

On this blessed occasion of Divali 2018 it is indeed an opportunity to remember how blessed and fortunate we are.

IMG-20181106-WA0025
We are alive, we are given the opportunity to be good and do good, we are given the opportunity to burn up bad karma, we are given the opportunity to do seva, we are blessed to have a human body and walk the earth while Divine Beings have taken physical form to guide and protect us.

In this past week we were blessed with good news coming from the His Holiness Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji:
• SgsPosts has been downloaded over 100k times (Jaya Guru Datta! Sri Guru Datta! Sadguru Maharaj Ki Jai!)
• Appaji has inaugurated the Avadhoota Datta Peetham SriSailam Ashrama in Andhra Pradesh
• Another Bhagavad Gita class was opened to allow interested persons to learn Bhagavad Gita by memory or by fluency in pronunciation and recitation.

45303260_10155982069293450_3678342573639860224_n
Photo Credit: Avadhoota Datta Peetham
45510986_10155983007543450_7264679242628071424_n
Photo Credit: Avadhoota Datta Peetham


Just a little over a week ago (October 28) we were blessed with news that the Yoga Sangeeta App for Android users was released thereby making it easier for us to submit our Mantra count (Shivaaya Rudraaya Namaha). What some may not know is that when His Holiness Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji instructed devotees to chant the Mantra it was not just for peace and prosperity in Trinidad and Tobago but it was for worldwide peace and prosperity. More people are heeding the call to chant “Shivaaya Rudraaya Namaha” and the sincere hope is that many more will continue to do so!

Then here in Trinidad we were faced with numerous challenges but we united as a people in several ways in spite of the fact that some were highly unfair and inhumane.

How?

Here is how:

1.       Many people rendered assistance to those affected by  last month’s flooding (preparing meals and distributing them, rescuing people who were  trapped, providing clothes, mattresses and cleaning agents, spreading messages on social media on how to help people affected by flood waters,  giving cash and housing accommodation to those displaced by the floods)

https://www.meppublishers.com/trinidad-tobago-floods-2018-how-to-help/#axzz5W8dgRYDC

https://sewausa.org/Trinidad-and-Tobago-Floods-2018

http://www.looptt.com/content/list-donation-drop-points-tt-mobilises-help-flood-victims

2.      Many people showed that we do not live according to lines of religion, ethnicity or politics.

3.      Many people heeded a call to render humanitarian service to others and they did it selflessly.

4.      People began sending out messages to alert others on how to find those who were in distress (giving them directions).

5.      Those who could not do anything substantial (by way of monetary aide or purchasing things needed for homes) offered prayers for those in need of help and also offered words of comfort and encouragement via social media.

How then should we move forward?

1.       Continue helping each other

2.      Continue being thankful for all blessings

3.      Do not give up

4.      Focus on positivity rather than negativity

5.      Never run from a challenge but stand tall in the face of adversity

6.      Always aim to be the best that you can be!

7.      Follow the teachings of our Divine Master (who is the absolute and is purity and humility personified) and pay careful attention to the inspirational posts in SGSPosts.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.sgsragasagara.sgs_posts

https://itunes.apple.com/in/app/sgs-posts/id1097382754?mt=8

 

 

 

Posted in Love You Daddy, Remembering Loved Ones

In Loving Memory of my Dad, Ramchit Ramesh Thomas

“A giant among men”

This is how Daddy was described on the day of his funeral. Daddy who was ailing with MND passed away peacefully on the evening of Saturday 15th September 2018 in the company of his loved ones-immediate family members and close friends of the family.

As such this post is dedicated to celebrating the life of my Dad, the late Mr. Ramchit Ramesh Thomas.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

He was a man of selfless action who loved his family, loved life, dedicated himself to everything he committed himself to, loved his community and lived according to the values and teachings of Sanatan Dharma. He was one who lived by example and taught us so much for which we would forever be grateful. He always supported us, encouraged us to be our best and he was always a man of action.

Letter to TTEC0014

 

In recent times he was acknowledged by many as being responsible for getting electricity for the village of Coromandel where he lived. Many would recognize him as the President of the Coromandel Shiv Mandir (SDMS Branch 370) for just over 19 ½ years and as an Executive Member of the South Western Association of Mandirs Incorporated (SWAHMI).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


When he received his diagnosis Daddy fought a brave fight and always found the time to remind us and encourage us to be the best we can be. More so he remained positive and gave everyone encouragement to stay strong. He would make those around him laugh and he was still always willing to help (as he would have always done before).


From the day of his diagnosis to his very last day Daddy was surrounded by a steady stream of visitors in the form of concerned family and friends. To all who have supported us in these past years we say thank you immensely. Thank you for showering Daddy with your love, your support and your caring.

Mummy and Daddy
Memories of Daddy (the late Ramesh Ramchit Thomas) will always be with us and all who knew him. All he taught us and told us will guide us forward. Our comfort is that now Daddy is at peace and there is no more pain and suffering.

Gone but never to be forgotten- the late Ramchit Ramesh Thomas, son of the late Sahadeo Thomas and Agnes Thomas who will always be loving remembered and missed by his wife Doris Thomas, children Rachael, Ria and Ricky, grandson Richie-Lee, son-in-law Shiva, daughter-in-law Leci, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, extended family members and friends.

http://shravanmanyam.blogspot.com/2014/01/AchyutamKeshawam.html

Om Namo Bhagavataye Vasudevaya.

Posted in Celebrating Existence, Life, Surviving Depression

Celebrating Life…Surviving Depression!

In this post I am not professing to have the solution but it is my sincere hope that the information shared here will be of help to someone.

Celebrating Life-Surviving Depression

Depression is a reality many face. It is also a reality many suffer silently from. It is not something to laugh at or frown upon but it is real and it is something that should encourage us to help especially if we really care.

Love Care Meet Repeat

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) around the world over 300 million people suffer from depression. To some it may be a harsh reality but it is a stark truth many face and need help with overcoming. It affects the quality of life, the ability to function and the ability to be the best one can be.

Depression can be the result of many causes. Key among them are traumatic experiences and a feeling of loneliness. The question that arises is, how do we help someone who is depressed?

  • Be there for that person
  • Remind him or her that there is a lot to live for. Give them practical examples (e.g. family, things to try that they always wanted to do)
  • Encourage that person to eat, eat on time, eat balanced meals and do their best to be physically active
  • Make that person laugh
  • Keep lines of communication open and do your best to always be there for them
  • Be patient
  • Listen and don’t be dismissive
  • Encourage them to go out and be in the company of those they love (e.g. mall, lunch/dinner, movies, shopping, grab a snack, watch a sunset or go to the beach)
  • Encourage them to listen to music

I am urging you to do this and make a conscious effort to help someone who is depressed because they deserve the help they need. It is heartbreaking to see those you love and care about hurting but what is even more heartbreaking is being helpless. Caring is a ticket to empowering yourself and empowering someone who is depressed.

Make every minute count!

Make every smile help that person walk the extra mile!

Help that person survive! Let that person remember they are alive and deserve the best quality of life possible!

Let it be LOVE, CARE, MEET and Repeat!

Care Greet Share.png

Let it be CARE, GREET, SHARE and Repeat!

Let us help as best as we can!

Posted in Life, Love and Blessings, Uncategorized

Celebrating Love, Life & Blessings!

 

Special Friday Greetings for you
Special Friday Greetings!
Life and experiences change us!
Always let them change you for the better and not the worse! Live and love life!
Keep being you, keep smiling & always be true to yourself!

 

Today I take this opportunity to celebrate life, love and blessings! Some may think that a post ‘Celebrating Independence Day 2018’ may be ideal but considering the recent turn of events in our country there is a clear contrast in the way I felt last year and the way I feel this year.  I am sure many can understand this and many can also relate to it.

Interestingly enough many have been checking my post from last year in this past week, particularly yesterday and today.  For those of you who are interested in what that post is about please visit https://rachaelathomasj.com/2017/08/31/celebrating-independence-day-2017

I am happy many opted to visit the page. Maybe it was due to a feeling of patriotism, maybe it serves as a reminder of how drastically things have changed, or maybe just maybe, it is a combination of both.


In all honesty (take note that I always write in all honesty)my heart goes out to the many who had to tell their families they lost their jobs and they don’t know where their next income will come from. Bear in mind it is not just workers of PETROTRIN but hundreds who work for contractors that work for PETROTRIN and the hundreds and thousands who are being sent home in other sectors of the economy.

As if things weren’t already tough we continue to see how they are getting tougher and suffering increases. What it does mean though is that the struggle is real and now more than ever we have to be thankful for life and blessings! We have to continue praying not just for ourselves and our families but we have to pray for each other and for our country. We have to pray for peace and for courage to face the current reality and what lies ahead.

As if the earthquake on August 21 was not enough of a ‘shake-up’ (yes, it is an act of nature we could not prevent) but as a country we have been surviving increases in the amount traffic fines are now costing, people continue to lose jobs, cost of living continues to rise and this past week has been filled with heart wrenching news of the realities of the energy sector.

Now more than anything we have to remember that to be humane we have to live like humans.  Now more than ever we have to look out for each other, we have to be steadfast in our prayer and we have to be steadfast in our devotion. Further to that we have to be thankful that our experiences make us wiser and they make us stronger. More so we have to be confident that they will guide us forward and help us to make more informed choices and more practical ones at best.

Let us look at what we can be thankful for:

·         We got up this morning (some did not).

·         We made it through the day in spite of pain, in spite of hurt and in spite of the challenges we have been facing or the challenges we faced today.

·         We are loved and we are blessed by the Divine who has given us life.

·         I got an opportunity to share this post with you and you got an opportunity to read it.

·         I got to tell you that you are not alone and in case you felt you were hopefully now you know you are not.

As Mother Teresa said, “Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.”

I ask that you be mindful of the fact that survival is a key part of moving forward! Prayer is a key part of surviving and having faith is a key part of why we pray and how we choose to live.  Never believe that you are alone because you are not!

 

In closing please remember this:  His Holiness Param Pujya Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji always reminds devotees, “If you are a Hindu, be a good Hindu.  If you are a Christian, be a good Christian and if you are a Muslim, be a good Muslim.”

 To those of you who have been chanting “Shivaaya Rudraaya Namaha” as directed by His Holiness I urge you to continue doing so!  To those who are praying please continue to pray and please share the message of peace. Please share the need to pray, to look out for each other and to not give up. Let this be an added  source of motivation to you:

 

Posted in Shivaaya Rudraaya Namaha, Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji, Uncategorized

Celebrating the official launch of Appaji’s Mantra-Shivaaya Rudraaya Namaha


39628885_2167426293578769_4952091678765744128_n

Yesterday, August 25, 2018 marked the official launch of the ‘Shivaaya Rudraaaya Namaha’ Mantra at the Sri Dattatreya Yoga Centre in Carapichaima. The ‘Shivaaya Rudraaaya Namaha was given by devotees on the occasion of Guru Purnima 2018 for the peace and protection of Trinidad and Tobago and also for the peace and protection of the world.

Hundreds attended this function at the Sri Dattatreya Yoga Centre to be a part of this historic occasion and also to join in the Mass Chanting of the Mantra.  In attendance were several Pundits as well as members of various temples and other individuals who have heeded Sri Swamiji’s call to chant this very important Mantra. This Mantra will form an integral part of the spiritual build up of to the Maha Rudra Yagna which His Holiness Sri Swamiji announced will take place here in Trinidad in 2020.

Bhajan Group

dyc-launch-5.png

The programme began with bhajans by the Bhajan group. Chairing the programme was Dr Ravita Singh who In her opening remarks explained the importance of chanting for the Universe. She said, “ He (referring to his Holiness Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji)once said that if you pray for happiness for yourself but you are in a home where there is unhappiness it is very difficult for you to be happy. Similarly, it is difficult for there to be happiness in a home if there is unrest or unhappiness in a village.” Dr Singh further explained that achieving happiness in a village becomes difficult if there is unrest and unhappiness in a country which in turn cannot be realised if there is not peace in the world. Peace in the world in itself she explained cannot be achieved if the universe is unsettled.

The Invocation Prayer was done by Pundit Mohana Datta who serves as resident Pundit at the Sri Dattatreya Yoga Centre and he was later joined by Pundit Abhedanand Persad Sharma for the official lighting of the lamp.  

In addressing the gathering Sri Ramesh Persad Maharaj, President of the Sri Dattatreya Yoga Centre told devotees that Trinidad devotees were not chosen by accident to begin this Mantra Upadesham and stressed that it is “an important duty” and “an important mission to serve the rest of the country and to serve the world.”  He further continued by saying that it is a great responsibility to be able to join with followers of Sanatan Dharma throughout the world in an undertaking such as this.

DYC Launch 1

dyc-launch-2.png
dyc-launch-3.png

The Mass Chanting of the Mantra produced a total of over 500,000 chants and this was in addition to the devotees who viewed the event via social media who logged their counts separately.  Included in the programme was a PowerPoint presentation informing those attending the event and those viewing the live Facebook feed how to register their chanting count on Yoga Sangeeta.

Following the official launch of the “Shivaaya Rudraaya Namaha” Mantra one long standing Datta devotee, Amrita Seyjagat remarked via Instagram, “Shivaaya Rudraaya Namaha!!! I felt like Appaji was here physically…such energy and pure happiness…”

This was a reminder of something I mentioned in my  post  where I described the energy that was created when Uncle Sheetal began the chanting of the Mantra and devotees joined in (Refer to: https://rachaelathomasj.com/2018/08/18/celebrating-appajis-blessings-for-all-datta-devotees.)  Sri Swamiji, our Appaji always lets us know He is always with us and undoubtedly, this is another example of His omnipresence. 

Akash Vani 106.5 fm carried a live broadcast of the programme but For those who may have missed the official launch please know that there will be a delayed broadcast of this event on 103.1fm on Monday (tomorrow) from 7pm to 9pm.  If you would like to view the video from the Sri Dattatreya Yoga Centre please visit  https://www.facebook.com/dyctt/videos/245358352831251/

To record your chanting count visit https://www.yogasangeeta.org/signin.html?returnURL=/practicelog.html. If you do not have an account select “Sign Up”  to create your account. Verify the account and then log “Sign In” to record your count. 

YogaSangeeta login

In closing I urge you to continue to chant and to remain steadfast in your commitment to promote peace in our country, our world and the Universe. More so remain steadfast in your commitment to do your part in helping to protect each. Let us keep uniting for a common good and let us serve as best as we can!

Should you need to contact me please leave a comment here or email me at signaturewritingstyles@gmail.com

 

 

Posted in Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji, Uncategorized

Valuing Life and Celebrating Blessings!

39970284_1961547637470417_1474214994269700096_nAugust 21st, 2018 will forever be remembered as one of the scariest days and one of the most horrific in the lives of many in Trinidad and Tobago and by extension Venezuela, Grenada, St Lucia and all the other countries that felt the impact of the 7.3 earthquake at 5.31pm.

Tremors-have-felt-more-than-200-miles-away-1471840
Photo Credit: Express.co.uk

As such this post is dedicated to valuing life and celebrating blessings! Everything else that happened during the day seems pale in comparison and the dominant emotion was being thankful but not just thankful (I am always thankful), rather it was being extra thankful for life, for protection and for blessings!  In addition to the 5.9 aftershock that was a painful reminder of yesterday, there have been 31 other aftershocks (as of 5pm this evening). https://www.facebook.com/TTWeatherCenter/posts/1955132281173479. I maintain that here in Trinidad we are truly blessed!

Thankfully they either weren’t felt or as is the case of the 5.9 aftershock were not as scary as the 7.3 magnitude earthquake we experienced yesterday. 

The truth is that experiencing this 7.3 earthquake was one of the scariest realities! It was strong and it was unlike anything any of us had ever experienced and while we are mindful of infrastructural damage across the affected areas, in Trinidad and Tobago at least, we are grateful that there have been no fatalities as a result. What exactly should you do in the event of an earthquake? Here is some information that may be of help to you: http://www.odpm.gov.tt/node/18

Buildings were moving throughout the island and this is a fact that can be attested to by many. At the time of the earthquake I was speaking to my Mom (we were both on different parts of the island- she was South West while I was on the North West) and she was experiencing the same things I was.  Just when it seemed like it was about to stop it became stronger and it felt like things would just begin crumbling (thankfully it did not!) Thankfully we remembered prayers and began to pray and this in itself would have been something many across the island and the other islands would have remembered. Honestly I don’t know if anything else would have gotten us through those moments. In particular we were chanting Mantras. As I said, “Mummy chant mantras,” she said, “Yes, Swamiji said to chant mantras.”

Though we experienced problems with calls either not going through or being delayed across the telephone networks interruptions did not last for long. The good news about social media is that many posted to say they were safe and Facebook was abuzz with activity. Videos were shared from media houses and concerned citizens who were all thankful for life (and some still in a state of shock). As more news comes to hand can tell that yes, there has been a lot of infrastructural damage but thankfully there were no loss of lives.

Here are some images shared by Trinidad Express Newspapers https://www.facebook.com/pg/ExpressNewspapers/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10155736033095814

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

39674605_10156709006827996_9006043101084516352_n
Photo Credit: CNC3 Television

In addition to this many learned that the Devil’s Woodyard Mud Volcano in New Grant erupted shortly after the 7.3 magnitude earthquake (http://www.looptt.com/content/devils-woodyard-mud-volcano-erupts-again), making this the second eruption for the year.

B1wsyy34QG
Photo Credit: LoopTT

If anything these series of events would have renewed the call for everyone to be more prayerful and to keep praying!

Many would have wondered why our Sadguru, His Holiness Param Pujya Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji opted to visit Trinidad in July and why He opted to spend Guru Purnima here. As I said to one devotee from India earlier, “Hopefully now many understand why Appaji was here for Guru Purnima and why Maha Shiva Yaga.” As I also said, “By Appaji’s Grace we are all safe.”

While here in July His Holiness Param Pujya Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji asked that we chant ‘Shivaaya Rudraaya Namaha’ as part of the spiritual build up for Maha Shiva Rudra Yaga but also for peace and protection not just for Trinidad but for the world.  This began and it has intensified as many more have started chanting. If you remember my last post, I spoke of the energy and the power of the Mantra that could be felt when chanting. In case you missed it here is the link for easy access:

https://rachaelathomasj.com/2018/08/18/celebrating-appajis-blessings-for-all-datta-devotees

Our Sadguru, Our Appaji His Holiness Param Pujya Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji saved us! He does so much for us that we really must continue our Humble Prostrations to His Lotus Feet! His Love for us does not waver, He is most compassionate, all Merciful and He always takes care of us and protects us! Appaji thank you so, so much! No amount of words could truly express how grateful we are to you! 

Appaji has done so much for us and we all love Him. Let us unite and let us heed our Master’s call with greater determination!

 For those who still need to get the mantra here is the link you can check on Soundcloud:

For those who are not aware the official launch of the mantra will be held at the Sri Dattatreya Yoga Centre on Saturday (25th August) between the hours of 4pm to 6pm.  Please see the official invitation below:

39628885_2167426293578769_4952091678765744128_n
Photo Credit: Sri Dattatreya Yoga Centre TT