What is inner life actually?

“The man who has no inner life is a slave to his surrounding”, this quote by Swiss philosopher Henri Frederic Amiel is very relevant to people in today’s world.

Every man has two lives that he lives in this one life. Thinking about our success, what we want to achieve in life, what material wealth we want to possess etc are all a part of our outer life which we live very actively. We feel joy, sorrow, agony, frustration and experience many emotions as a result of our surroundings. But, deep inside we all have one life which remains intact of all these worldly affairs. That is the inner part which doesn’t become week with our growing old age but becomes younger and nourished with each passing day once we realize about its existence. This inner part is our inner life.

Inner life is not a religious or spiritual term. It is ones connection with himself. If the person is not connected with himself, he is like without soul. Living for earning money and fame, not thinking what he actually wants in life, what makes him peaceful, or what makes him satiated with life and himself means that his inner life is not active and he is not in the connection with himself.


Being a social animal, attending parties and having hundreds of friends also cannot make us feel satisfied in life if we are not satisfied with what we do. “What would people think about us if we do this?” , “I should do that because my friend has done that” ,”that job is lucrative.” “ I should do this because others feel good while doing this”… all these statements coming in our minds imply that we are doing things in life not because we want it but because we see our surroundings and feel like doing them. This means that we are slave of our surroundings.

A person with no inner life basically is one who lives life by seeing others around him, wants to do what others are doing, and tries adapting his surroundings. In these circumstances, when he is not surrounded by people, he feels that he doesn’t have anything to do for himself out of interest or wish and he feels all alone because he has no inner life.

Inner life makes us feel the emotions which are not germane to the repercussions of the actions that we take in worldly affairs to gain wealth or success. It, on the other hand, makes us feel the divine or peaceful happiness and satisfaction from either worldly affairs or from inside. In today’s world, every individual from waking up in the morning till going to sleep at night thinks about the affairs cause affect from outer side. But inner life deals with what we realize from inside. It totally depends on an individual as to what are the matters that he or she wants to think upon. For example, if a person is going through a phase in which he has been betrayed, it totally depends upon him if he wants to continue it to disturb him for life or he wants to make it a past and move ahead. A person with an inner life will not think about it for a long time and would move ahead with taking it as a learning experience. But the fact is that most of us are not even aware of what an inner life is and how does it make us happy and satiated in life.

A person without inner life is like the one devoid of an arm or a leg; this is indeed true but with an inevitable fact that even a person without an arm or leg can have an inner life which can make him much more satiated and happy in life than a person with leg and arm and that too with all the material possession of life because despite of having all the wealth and possessions and having realized all the dreams seen by him, if he does not know how to be happy and satisfied with his life, all the wealth possessed by him would be like the piece of pebbles and stones. If we won’t be able to realize the blissful joy and our conscience is dormant, then no matter what we do, achieve, and possess, we will always be unhappy in professional life as well as our personal relationships with only few transitory happy events.

Man has always been in dilemma about his existence on earth and has been trying to know it. But as the time passed, man stopped living in caves all alone and started living in communities. He developed many traits which vanished the thought that he had in mind regarding the prime goal of existence of its race on planet but as we say no one can go outside the cycle of the nature, man, after six millions of years of its existence on earth is again moving forward towards the fact that without an inner life, he is nothing more than an animal. The ways to realize inner life has changed though today for humans all over the globe. Some try to find it with their religious texts, some with the help of preachers, some by living solitude on mountains and travelling and some by not believing in any of these mediums but with the notion that humans are about humanity and no one is above it and if we really want to live life with an ultimate joy and bliss, we will have to understand that living only for one’s own inner peace, happiness and satisfaction won’t let us realize and live our inner life. And having the feeling of compassion and empathy with self motivation and dedication with forgetting the barriers that man has made on the basis of country, color, caste and creed would make it the easiest way to achieve the ultimate bliss and joy with an active inner life.


By-Shekhar Srivastava

Kacha and Devayani-a forgotten love story

He was probably the first spy in the history of world. He was extremely charming. He was from heaven . He was the son of sage Brahaspati-the sage of demigods or devas or suras from heaven. His name was Kacha. The story of Kacha comes in the Indian epic Mahabharata.

The story starts with the deva and asura war. The sage or teacher of asuras-sage Shukracharya did penance and was granted a boon by lord Shiva. He was granted mrit sanjivani vidya by lord shiva. With the help of mrit sanjivani vidya, sage Shukracharya could resurrect all the dead asuras everytime they got killed by the demigods whereas the demigods were being diminished everytime with each war with asuras. The king of demigods-Indra got depressed by it and went to his guru Brahaspati for advice. After thinking for some time, Brahaspati thought of an idea which was very unique and novel. The idea was to send his son Kacha on a secret mission to the ashram of Shukracharya as a disciple to get the secret of mrit sanjivani vidya so that devas or suras could also get resurrected after being killed. Now as per the plan, Kacha went to the ashram of sage shukracharya and shukracharya admitted him as his student. Other asura disciples of shukracharya did not like this idea of shukracharya of accepting a sura or deva as his disciple and shukracharya was very well aware of this fact and hence asked kacha not to leave the premises of ashram as he would be safer only inside the vicinity of ashram. It had been nearly one thousand year since kacha had come to ashram and shukracharya by now had become very fond of kacha because of his decency and intellect. But still he never disclosed the secret of mrit sanjivani vidya to him. Kacha many times tried to see him using mrit sanjivani vidya but shukracharya was more than just intelligent. He never used it in front of kacha. Once kacha saw him using it to bring one of the asuras back from death but seeing was not enough. Here comes the twist in the story. Shukracharya had a daughter named devayani who was extremely beautiful, graceful, young and charming like kacha. They had become good friends. She was the only friend kacha had had in that ashram. Kacha would bring her flowers from forest for her hair decoration though it was extremely risky to get out of the ashram. By now, devayani had fallen in love with kacha. They would spend time with each other. But it wasn’t sure till now what was in kacha’s mind. One day, when kacha was out in forest, asuras conspired against him and murdered him. In ashram, when devayani realised that it’s been a long time since kacha left the ashram, she tried finding him and finally found his dead body in the forest. She was devastated now to see her love dead and asked her father to bring kacha back from death. Shukracharya resurrected kacha with mrit sanjivani vidya both because of his daughter’s love for kacha and his own affection for his disciple. Kacha was alive now and asuras were furious but could not do anything. After few days, kacha again went outside the ashram to bring flowers for devayani and was again killed but this time they fed his body to a dog but again at his daughter’s plea, shukracharya brought him back from death-kacha tore apart the dog’s body and came out. Kacha , by now was sure that he would be resurrected everytime asuras would kill him. Being a man of such great wisdom, an idea stroke his mind. He went to the forest intentionally and was very well prepared to get slaughtered this time as well by the asuras. But asuras were no less intelligent, they made a plan which was lethal and perfect. Now kacha was in forest and asuras followed him. After reaching a point, he realised that he was shrouded by a bunch of asuras. Asuras killed him but this time they neither left his body nor did they feed it to the dog. They burnt his body and mixed his ashes with liquor in a big bottle and went to their guru shukracharya. They said they wanted to celebrate with their guru and asked him to drink the liquor. Shukracharya could not say no to his asura students and drank the whole bottle. When devayani told his father that kacha is missing again then shukracharya tried to locate him. But while doing so, he realised that kacha was in his stomach. Realising that, shukracharya looked at devayani. Devayani realised that in order to bring kacha back, shukracharya will have to die. Now here it can be seen that this was kacha’s flawless plan. If shukracharya will recite mantras for kacha then he himself will die because kacha would tear his body apart and will come out. And if he wants to live then he will have to teach the mrit sanjivani vidya to kacha so that he can resurrect shukracharya after coming out of his body. Shukracharya had no other choice than to resurrect kacha because he knew it that devayani won’t be able to survive without kacha. And devayani had already told shukracharya that she could survive neither without kacha nor without his father. There was only one way now. Shukracharya started the process of resurrecting kacha in a way that kacha could also listen to the mantras and process of using mrit sanjivani vidya. It is noticable and very commendable that being a man of such great honour and such a great personality, shukracharya never asked kacha that after resurrecting him , he will also have to resurrect shukracharya in return. He just started the process and after some time kacha tore shukracharya’s body apart and came out. Shukracharya was dead and devayani was weeping badly. Here it is also noticable that kacha could have just left the ashram because he now had the mrit sanjivani vidya. His mission was accomplished and with shukracharya dead, no one could ever resurrect the asuras. But he was after all a great person and a disciple of shukracharya. He used the mrit sanjivani vidya and resurrected shukracharya. Both the reasons of love in devayani’s life were alive now and she was in extreme ecstasy. After few days when kacha was about to leave the ashram, devayani went to him and proposed him for marriage. Kacha liked devayani. Maybe he loved her but that was not what he was there for. He was on a mission and he could not let the suras and his father down. He told her that since he came out of shukracharya’s stomach, he is like a brother to devayani now. He could not marry her. Devayani was dumbstruck to hear that and couldn’t say anything. But when kacha was leaving for heaven and leaving the ashram of shukracharya, she cursed him.
 Furious, heartbroken, failed in love and betrayed devayani cursed him that he will never be able to use the mrit sanjivani vidya which he had come to the ashram for. Kacha politely replied that he will teach this vidya to other devas or suras who could use it for benefit of demigods. Saying so, he took the blessings from his guru shukracharya whom he respected very much and Shukracharya also blessed him because he also was a great man. He did not say anything bad to kacha and allowed him to leave. Kacha’s task was complete, his mission was accomplished, he had emerged victorious in his secret mission. He left for the heaven.
We can not say if he was right or wrong. From his father’s and demigods’ point of view, he was a successful spy or warrior; from Devayani’s point of view-a lover who betrayed her. But from his point of view? did he consider himself a successful spy or a failed lover? we do not know. He just came in the great epic Mahabharata and just left. He is never mentioned in any story or epic as far as I know. But he was great, he was no less than Indra or other heroes of our mythology, but less talked about. And this was his story-the famous story of Kacha and Devayani from the great Indian epic Mahabharata.
Hey friends, I have written my debut novel, “The Monsoon Marigolds”! read it and show me some love! 🙂 It will be very special for me! 
By- Shekhar Srivastava

Radharamanji of Vrindavan-self manifested form of lord

I have visited Vrindavan many times but it was only my last visit which gave me time or I should better say opportunity to be blessed to visit the temple of shree radharamanji and I was elated to see him for the very first time. It was an experience more than just divine. Radharaman ji is one of the most loved form of lord krishna. “Radha-Ramana” means “one who gives pleasure to Radha”, and Radha Ramana is one of the few original deities still left in Vrindavan. It is one of the seven most important and oldest temples of vrindavan built by the six goswamis who were the disciples of sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The distinctive feature of radhamanji is that it is the self manifested form of lord who presented himself in his tribhanga mudra(tri-bent form or threefold form) to one of the goswamis-gopala bhatta goswami.



The story behind the temple and the appearance or sri radharaman ji is very interesting. Gopala bhatt goswami, after the disappearance of sri chaitanya mahaprabhu, started feeling lonely and sad. Some say he went to Nepal because he saw sri krishna in his dreams asking him to go to Nepal if he wanted his darshan whereas some stories suggest that it was a normal trip.



In Nepal, one morning when he was bathing in the river kali-gandakini, he dipped his kamandal-a pot, in the river to fill water and was surprised to see 12 shaligrams in his pot. He thought it to be a mere co-incidence and he dropped the shilas back into the river but was surprised to see them enter his kamandal again. He again emptied the kamandal in the river and started filling the water. When he saw his kamandal filled by the shilas once again, he was very shocked and realized that they are not normal stones and kept them in his bag and came back to vrinadavan.

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Considering them as a blessing of lord, he started worshipping the shaligrams. But gopal bhatta goswami had always wished to serve lord in the form in which he could decorate him with beautiful garments and ornaments. He wished to make the deity sit on a swing and wanted to see him in a form in which he could see lord’s features. He wished to see lord’s hands, legs, his lotus eyes and other extraordinarily beautiful features.


In addition to this, one day a wealthy man visited vrindavan and offered gopala bhatta goswami some fine ornaments and beautiful garments for the deity but gopala bhatta goswami could not use them with the shaligrams and said no to the man but he was adamant and refused to take the offerings back. At last, gopala bhatta goswami accepted and kept the offerings with the shaligrams and covered them. Lord krishna is known for his mercy and love for his devotees and he proved it once again.

Next day when gopala bhatta goswami uncovered the shilas, he was stunned to see the deity of sri radharaman ji among the shaligrams. His beauty was matchless, his features more beautiful than anything known to the world, small but magnificently magnetic in appearance radharamanji was now in the world. Now there were only eleven shaligrams and lord himself had manifested himself from one of the shaligrams. Gopala bhatta’s happiness knew no bounds now. He was in extreme ecstatic state. He started worshipping his lord in the form he had always wished for.


And this is how our radharamanji came himself to his devotee to bless him as well as us with his enchanting presence. This is the story of sri radharaman ji. There are other very interesting features of this highly revered temple of lord krishna in vrindavan. This Deity whom the Goswamis named, “Sri Radha-raman Deva” made his appearance on the full moon day of Vaisakha(april-may) in the year 1542.


This day is celebrated every year since then with great zest and euphoria. This day, the temple goswamis offer 500 litres of milk to lord and make him bath in the milk for lord’s pleasure and offer many other sweets and different things liked by lord. Another mysterious leela of lord is that the fires for cooking in the temple kitchen have been burning continuously for over 474 years, since the deity was installed. No foreign elements, such as matches, has thus been used for ignition purposes.

There is also one very interesting fact about this beautiful temple of sri radharaman ji and that is that the deity of sri radharaman ji never left vrindavan since his appearance like other deities due to fear of attacks from Aurangzeb. The reason behind is that when Aurangzeb’s soldiers came to vrindavan near radharaman ji’s temple, they thought it to be a residential building and not a temple and hence did not attack it.


Whatever the reason was, I think it was the will of sri radharaman ji as he did not want to leave the place where he appeared for his beloved devotee gopala bhatta goswami. Also the finely carved features of radharaman ji were the reason some people suggested that it has been carved and not self manifested. But later, some learned scholars said that it is impossible for humans to carve so delicately on the stone(that is shaligram) which the deity of radharaman ji is made up of. It is indeed the miracle or leela of lord known for his leela and love for devotees.

One can see in the temple or in the picture of sri radharamanji, that to the left of him (right in the picture here) is a place for Srimati Radhika or Radharani-divine consort of sri krishna. In this way the goswamis/pujaris worship sri Radha ji and sri Raman ji together. Gopala bhatta goswami’s other shaligram-shilas are also worshipped in the temple.


The appearance place of sri radharaman ji can be seen inside the temple’s vicinity.


The samadhi of gopala bhatta goswami is located next to radharaman ji’s appearance place in the temple.


This year radharaman ji will be completeing 474 years and it will be the time of great energy and enthusiasm.


All the forms of lord are beautiful and extremely lovable but radharaman ji’s cute and beautiful appearance cannot be matched. One cannot take eyes off him easily. He is extremely charming. I hope all the devotees who have yet not visited radharaman ji, will soon be blessed to see his divine form in vrindavan; and all those who have been blessed to see him like me-visit whenever you can. Jai shree radharamanji!

Hey friends, I have written my debut novel, “The Monsoon Marigolds”! read it and show me some love! 🙂 It will be very special for me!
By-Shekhar Srivastava