Peace, joy, liberation, freedom from anxiety and worry, and the perfect sense of security that one finds at the chosen haven—if you have ever wondered where you are ever likely to come across all these together, the answer is: in the kingdom of God—that which you and I call heaven!
Heaven need not be remote from us in time or distance: there are right royal routes, wide open gateways to this kingdom all along the journey of life. Indeed, Rev. Dada J.P. Vaswani shows that heaven is within reaching distance for all of us- if only we choose the right route and the eight gateway.
Many of us are apt to imagine that virtuous living and high thinking are only for realized souls; as for the rest of us, life is meant to be a mundane, worldly existence. Rav. Dada shows us that the gift of life does not have to be wasted in futile efforts; each minute, each hour, each day that we live can actually be converted into a wealth of goodness which will be ours beyond this world. Like the expert guide that he is, Rev. Dada offers us a roadmap that leads us to the true treasure that is everlasting: the treasure that cannot be looted destroyed, lost in debt or rendered ineffective due to inflation or economic recession! Rev. Dada’s latest book reveals that heaven need not necessarily be a distant destination: following Rev. Dada’s guiding wisdom, you will realize that you can actually create your own heaven here on this earth!
Born on August 2, 1918, Dada J. P. Vaswani is, indeed, a man in a million or a "smile - millionaire" as admirers refer to him. Scientist and philosopher, humanitarian and teacher, eminent scholar and modern day saint, he is acknowledged as the spiritual leader of millions of Sindhis worldwide.
Utter simplicity, genuine humility, profound wisdom, deep insight into men and matters, wide scholarship, a brilliant analytical mind and tremendous positive faith - all this goes into the magnetic personality that is Dada J. P. vaswani. Over and above all this there is his spiritual power, the mantle that he has inherited from his uncle and mentor, Sadhu Vaswani- a spiritual and intellectual giant of modern India.
Dada J. P. Vaswani's life reflects the richness and multifaceted nature of his personality. After a brilliant academic career, he won a prestigious Fellowship to complete his M.Sc. degree from the D.J. Sind College, Karachi. He had the distinction of having his thesis examined by Sir C. V. Raman. His academic excellence stood him in good stead, as he carved out a distinguished career much later, as Principal of St. Mira's College For Girls - this, no ordinary academic institution, but a temple of learning founded upon the lofty ideals of sympathy, service, purity and prayer and committed to providing a system of value-based education that seeks to integrate intellect, emotion and spirit.
Gateways To Heaven was the tide that came to mind, when it was decided to compile the brief, informal talks I had given to a few brothers and sisters, during my enforced period of rest and recuperation at the Rush Medical Centre in Chicago.
Gateways to Heaven is inspired directly by the Yoga Vasishta to which I have referred in my earlier books. The Yoga Vasishta written by Maharishi Valmiki is not well known among many of us. But it is a unique work, a work of wisdom incorporating Sage Vasishta's teachings to Sri Rama, in the form of a dialogue. For countless centuries it has inspired and guided spiritual seekers. In this brilliant treatise, Sage Vasishta describes moksha as a mansion with four gates, each one guarded by a gate keeper or sentry.
Who are these gatekeepers? Satsanga, samattva, santosha and vichara - good association, equanimity, contentment and spiritual reflection - these are described as the four "gatekeepers" of mukti or liberation in the Yoga Vashishta. They are also dynamic aids, we are told, in the cultivation of sattva or pure living.
If there is indeed a 'gateway' we had to pass through in order to reach Heaven, what are the 'entrance procedures' which will operate on us? And what kinds of gates are we talking about?
Sometime ago, a sister who has been fighting a life-long battle against over weight, remarked to me that she had decided to give a spiritual dimension to her diet regime. She put up a sticker on her fridge which read: The Gates of Heaven are .Narrow !
I told her that she was closer to the truth than she imagined: for had not Jesus said to his followers: "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God."
On a more serious note, the eye-of-the-needle metaphor suggests that the gates of Heaven are not a free-for-all passage allowing all comers to enter at will. Nor are there VIP passes or special bookings, nor any reservations, or free permits to cross the gates.
According to Hindu belief, Yama's brother and Chief Dispenser of Justice, Chitragupta, stands at the portals of heaven, and is in possession of that significant ledger wherein are maintained the most minute details of our 'credit' and 'debit' - in short, the good and bad karmas we have accumulated in this lifetime. Jaise Karni Vaise Bharni - as we sow, so we shall reap. "Go thou to the heaven or to the earth, according to thy merit ... " so say our ancient scriptures. What have we been up to, in our hectic lives? More pointedly, what exactly have we done with our lives? At the gates of heaven, we will face a moment of truth, a moment of reckoning, when we are forced to contemplate the answer to this deeply personal question. What is our deserving? What is our claim to merit?
If you are applying for a job, you can produce an impressive CV or bio-data, listing your academic achievement and your work experience.
If you are applying for a government license to start a new business, you can produce an impressive list of your assets and contacts and skills.
If you are looking to find a place for yourself in the Forbes Fortune 500, your bank accounts, your stocks and shares, your capital and movable/immovable properties will take you a long way.
But heaven is a different proposition! Your Ph.D., your BMW, your farmhouse, your MNC, your influence and your power are not going to open those gates for you! Heaven is really far more democratic, far more egalitarian than most 0f our countries on earth. We all have a free, fair and equal chance of making it across those sought-after gates.
If there are some among you who feel that you would rather linger on this earth for as long as possible, and would prefer not to think of heaven just yet, let me add for your benefit this is not only about the gateway to heaven after death, it is also about the gateway to making life on earth a heaven!
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