Wisdom from the son of Armenia.
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- May 2009
- April 2009
- March 2009
- February 2009
- January 2009
- November 2008
- July 2008
- June 2008
- May 2008
- April 2008
- November 2007
- October 2007
- September 2007
- August 2007
- July 2007
- June 2007
- May 2007
- April 2007
- March 2007
- January 2006
- December 2005
- November 2005
- Alert (for danger)
- Animal slaughter
- Armenian Alphabet
- Armenian Church
- Armenian herbs
- Armenian qualities and character traits
- Armenian Sayings
- Bride and her wisdom
- Cause and Effect
- Character Flaws (Fatal Flaws)
- Choose a wife
- Common Sense
- Con artist
- Convert (Religious)
- critics (criticism)
- Curse on Armenian People
- divided we fall
- Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
- Evil Eye
- Familarity (breeds contempt)
- Follow the crowd
- Foolishness and Blind following
- Forgiveness (Paying For)
- Fortune (see Misfortune)
- Fox (and and his loyal followers)
- Good deeds
- Good wishes
- Gurdjieff sayings
- habit and tendenacy
- Hearing (Learning)
- Honesty(Honor one's promise)
- Hovhaness Toumanian
- Human nature
- Initiative (lack of)
- Insulting phrases
- Learning (See Hearing)
- living within one's means
- Meat (eating)
- Non Violence
- Old age
- One in a thousand
- Oneness (real and false)
- Peer pressure
- Science and Religion
- Self control
- Self realization
- Service to God
- Shameless people
- Stingy (see Miser)
- Temporary pleasures
- Think for yourself
- Turkish Massacre of Armenians
- Two faced people
- Ungrateful people
- United we stand
- Useless Labor
- Vetch Hazaria – Six thousand secrets of wisdom
- The mystic perfections one may attain by reading parts of the Vetz Hazaria
- Six thousand secrets of wisdom – Vetz Hazaria
- Vetz Hazaria – Questions and answers
- Control the following three things to live happy and peaceful; sensuality, material desire and anger.
- Milk nurtures a child to become healthy,strong, grow and develop good intelligence. But if you give milk to a new born snake, it will turn it into a dangerous and poisonous creature.
- When a rascal is given good instruction, he becomes angry.
- Who fears to suffer, suffers from fear
- The greatness of a person is estimated by his ability to tolerate provoking situations
- Fenugreek – get the sludge out of your bulge
astdvahdz yeteh kuhradz eh, togh ahvreh
God’s word and will are final. No one can change it even if they try to. Such a proposition is impossible.
hahzar sourpeh khuntlerlou degh mehg Asdoutzmeh khuhntreh
This is a profound prayer written by Saint Nerses Shnorhali who lived from 1102A.D. until 1173A.D. The profound meaning follows of the ninth prayer of his work entitled “With faith I confess – hahvadohv khosduhvahneem.”
ahmenahkhuhnahm dehr, teer bahhabahn kou sourp yerghoughuht
All merciful Lord God, endow my eyes with the wisdom (Your protection and holy blessing)
ahchkerouss vor cheenaheem ardhahvor pahnerou
so that my eyes do not contemplate (covetously) impermanent (literally defective) material objects
ahganchnehrouss vor chee chahkhorjeen luhsehl khoshgher charhoutiyan
endow my ears that I lose the desire to hear evil words
pehrahness vohrbesszee souhd chee khosee
my mouth that will stop speaking lies
ou seerdees vohr chee khoree charoutioun
my heart so that it never thinks of evil
yev tzerkhehrouss vor chee kordtzen ahneerahvoutioun
my hands so that they never commit an unjust act
yev vohdkerous vohr chee kalehn uneerahvoutiyan janabahruh
my feet so that they walk not in the path of impious and malicious acts
ayl oughgheh, dehr sharjoumen ahsahtz, vohr misht hehdehveem kou badvehrnehrout
Rather, direct, My Lord God, the movements of my bodily parts to always follow (humbly) your commandments (instructions)
yev voghormeh kou badvehrnehrout yev eentz pahzmamehghee
And bless (and have mercy) on (all) your creatures and on myself (who is full of many sins)
The above is one of many prayers in his famous “hahvahdhov khosdovahneem,” which means “With faith I confess.” It contained twenty four prayers. It was composed for the believer who aspired for God’s mercy so as to provide solace and consolation throughout the twenty fours of the day. It was recited throughout the day (and night) to keep the spirit of the faithful in permanent contact with God’s mercy.
The quality and profound thoughts expressed in this prayer are a testament to Saint Nerses Shnorhali’s spiritual wisdom and complete dedication to the will of God. In the Old Testament of the Bible the fear of God was equated with wisdom. One who fears God will fear retribution for sin and thus become a faithful follower of God’s commandments.
In the New Teatament, Jesus transformed the basis of wisdom from fear of God to love of God as the motivating force for humbling oneself before God and following His Will. When fear is used as a civilizing force, it attests to the lowness of quality of the people one is attempting to civilize.
Using all the parts of the body in the service of God is practical spiritual life. God’s instructions teach how to use the body, mind, senses and life in the service of God.
When we use our God given powers to engage in sense gratification for selfish reasons, we become hopelessly entangled in the cycle of birth and death. However, when we learn to use our powers for the pleasure of God, we are liberated from the entanglement of the laws of nature.
Saint Nerses Shnorhali prays that God engage his mind and body continually in God’s service. “My Lord God, the movements of my bodily parts to always follow (humbly) your commandments (instructions)” Such a statement expresses the wisdom of a true servant of God.
Astdoudzoo vaghuh makroutian(aznivoutiyan) eeskeepbuhn eh
Astdoudzoo khosk luhsehluh eemastoutioun garzeh
Astdoudzoo seruh haveedenagan giank guh shahheh
Vaghtzeer ayit martoun vor astdoudzmeh chee vaghnar
There is a saying, “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.” The converse is true. Without fear of God one becomes progressively degraded due to a false sense of independence. Everything we do is witnessed by God, therefore we cannot escape responsibility for our actions.
I once visited a small town in Morocco called Marrakesh. While walking I saw a young boy about 13 years old smoking a cigarette.
I spoke to him, “Hey, young boy, what are you doing?”
“Who are you and what business it is of yours,” he said.
I said, “You are not allowed to smoke.”
He gave me a nasty look and said, “I can do whatever I want, where I want.”
I asked, “Do you smoke in the mosque?”
He replied, “No.”
I asked, “Why not.”
“Because Allah is there,” he said.
I looked at him seriously and said, “But Allah says in the Koran that He is everywhere.”
The boy looked puzzled. He thought for a moment, then dropped the cigarette.
God is everywhere as the witness, therefore our acts must be consistent with the word of God both in the Mosque and outside. When our actions are prompted by love of God, it is more profound than fear of God.
However, for most people, the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.
There is a French phrase (Je m’en fou – I don’t care) used often by careless ( not carefree) Frenchmen. It is the philosophy summarized by the phrase, “Je m’en foutisme” which means “I could care less-ism.” This is often used by Frenchmen to express their freedom from all authority and social restraints. It is an expression of persons who declare themselves independent and self reliant. Such an attitude may result in foolish, anti-social, and self destructive behavior.
People are meant to follow rules of social conduct to differentiate themselves from animals. Social laws try to regulate human behavior so that there is minimal violence and infringement on the life and property of other members of the society. Religion limits human behavior more specifically so that people have time to pursue spiritual goals for which human life is destined. When a person embraces the idea of “Je m’en foutisme,” they foolishly assert a false spirit of independence by purposely disregarding social and religious limits on behavior.
Je m’en foutisme” is based on the false premise that man (with his whimsical mind) is the measure of truth. Inherent in this thinking is the rejection of the absolute authority of God, who establishes spiritual truths that are not subject to change and are eternally valid.
The more clever “Je m’en fous” try to change societal and religious laws to favor their whimsical tastes. Man made religions, imperfect philosophies, and speculative science change continually their theories and core beliefs to pander to the whims of the public. Such sub-standard religions, philosophies and science eventually condone sinful behavior such as massacre in the name of religion, abortion (infanticide) and a myriad variety of sinful acts resulting from insatiable lust and greed. “Je m’en foutisme” rejects all authority and affirms imperfect thinking as authority. (If I reject all authority, then only my imperfect thoughts remain as authority) The “Je m’en fous” ruin their own lives and position themselves to ruin the lives of many others.
Such self destructive behavior is considered an affirmation of independence. This is a hoax because such irresponsible behavior makes one more entangled by the laws of material nature (action and reaction or karma). A law means there is a lawmaker. The supreme lawmaker is God, who has established the laws of material nature such as the law of karma, the irreversible cycle of life namely the repetition of birth, death, old age, and disease. No one is free of these controlling laws. There is a simple logic to illustrate man’s dependent position in the universe.
If we, the living entities in this material world, were independent, then we would not be controlled. This is not the case as we are always under the control of other persons or ultimately the laws of nature. In fact, we can discern that there are many controllers leading up to the ultimate controller who is God the Almighty. Men exert control by their ability to organize the building and breaking of things such as structures, companies, political parties,etc. God manifests His ultimate control by organizing the building and breaking of everything man is capable of doing. For example, the human digestion which is essential for building up the body and maintaining it is not under the control of man. It is going on beyond the control of any individual. There are many things we use as humans without knowing how they function such as cars, computers, electricity, etc. There is however someone in control of those things such as manufacturers, the government and multinationals etc.
We would be foolish to say that there is no creator or controller of computers, electricity and so forth. Similarly, we do not know nor do we control rationally the different processes of digestion that goes on in our body, yet we depend completely on its functioning. We can participate in the process by eating and defecating but we have no real control or understanding of how it is happening. Because we do not understand, can we say that no one is in control? In the same way, can we assume that no one is in control of the electricity we use or the internet or the roads we drive on? Such statements would only reveal our ignorance and naivete. Therefore the conclusion is that at every step of our life from birth to old age to disease and death we are being controlled by a superior more intelligent power on whom we depend. If we were not being controlled then we would be the controllers ourselves and this is definitely not the fact.
Real liberation and self understanding entails surrender to the supreme controller. We surrender to our employer by accepting his conditions for work. We must arrive at a certain time and work in a certain way to his satisfaction. There is similarly a supreme controller of creation and our accepting to work according to His instructions is real wisdom, knowledge, and is the only way to achieve real happiness. Those people that advocate that men can become like God or equal or surpass His control through science, yoga, or whatever method are misguided and their intelligence is polluted and faulty.
Everything in life that is essential for our existence is supplied to us for our use. Either we learn to use everything correctly to achieve ultimate emancipation from birth and death or we fail and will be forced to try again and again until we succeed. Only God is the supreme controller and all living entities are controlled by Him. We can never be equal to God, but we have many of the same qualities as God, albeit not in the same quantities. If we try to become controllers in the material world and attempt to emulate God, we become more and more entangled by the laws of material nature. We lose our sense of being subordinate to God and being his eternal servant which is our real identity.
We develop a false ego characterized by the thought, “I am made of matter only, and material acquisitions belong to me.” This false ego will keep a person continually in material bondage birth after birth until there is an awakening that all things belong to God and should only be used according to God’s instructions.
A thief who persists in a life of theft will eventually be brought to justice to impress upon him that the property he steals does not belong to him. It belongs to someone else. As long as he steals others’ property, he will be pursued by justice and punished until his false mentality is corrected. The false mentality that “I am the controller and I am the enjoyer” must be corrected for one to be free of the oppressive laws of material nature that continually punish the attempt to usurp God’s property for selfish purposes.
With the dawn (of creation) The heavens are full of bright radiance Born of God’s sun of life (Sun here can have a double meaning: either the sun which is the origin of light in the universe or Jesus, the son of God, who brings the light of God’s word into this dark world) Everything (material and spiritual) emanates from God the Father As my soul also Whose only purpose is to please God the Father with service and prayers of praise.
Aravod loussoh arekaagen artar
Arev loueess dzakyah
Puhkhoum ee horeh poughyah ee hoykoueess
Pan kehz ee hajoueess
This sharagan or holy chant of the Armenian Church summarizes the origin of man and his purpose to fulfill on the earthly plane. We are all children of God and our destiny is to serve and praise God in this short life.
This short statement captures the eternal truth of man’s relationship with God and man’s real purpose in life.
When I was ten years old, I asked my father what is the purpose of life. It dawned on me that everyday I would wake up, take care of my bodily needs, eat breakfast, go to school, come back, do homework, play, work, eat, watch television, and sleep. I began to wonder what the purpose was. My father and I were together in our garage behind the family grocery store. I asked him, “Pop, Giankeen nebadaguh inch eh? Amen or goudenk, gashkhadenk, guh barrgenk; aieesur nebadakuh inch eh? “Pop, what is the purpose of life? Everyday we eat, work, and sleep; what is the purpose of this?”
My father must not have appreciated my question. He said, “Ayit bes himar hartzoum chi arzer badaskhan – That kind of stupid question doesn’t deserve a reply.”
He then gave me a really hard smack on the backside and told me to do some work or he would give me a real beating. My inquiry into the purpose of life was thwarted, but the question remained in my mind. If my father repeated this wonderful couplet from the Armenian Church he would have perfectly answered my question. The purpose of life is to praise and serve God, who is the origin of everything and the ultimate maintainer and goal of all endeavors.
Ahsdudzoh kordzuh dessav, paghgahtzav ou merjehsstz eer koioutioun
Unhavaduh arhesstavorin kordzuh dehssav ou heeahtzav oountounelhov eer varbedoutioun
There was once a believer in God who invited his atheist friend to his house. The believer was an accomplished astronomer who had made a scale model of the planetary system in one of the rooms of his house. On seeing the scale model, the atheist was truly impressed. “This is amazing, dear friend. You are a genius, a great scientist. It is so complicated and precise. How did you do it?” The astronomer chuckled. The atheist was puzzled. “Why are you laughing? You made it. Didn’t you?”
No I didn’t, it just fell out of the sky into my room by chance,” said the astronomer.
“I don’t believe you, that is nonsense, you made it of course,” said the atheist.
The astronomer looked deep into the eyes of the atheist and said, “You are the most illogical man I have ever met. When you see my scale model of the universe, you insist someone made it because of its complexity and exactitude. But when you see the real universe, you insist that no one made it. You ignore its magnificent design and profound scientific perfection of which my scale model is a miserable and very imperfect copy.”
Atheism is based on blind and prejudiced misconceptions, not on genuine observation and recognition of fact.
There is a simple six step process by which any reasonable, intelligent person can accept the existence of God.
1- As Descartes did previously, I can eliminate everything that I cannot be sure of and establish one thing that is absolutely sure. He was absolutely sure that he exists. He reasoned, “I think, therefore I am.” This is the first and most important step. I am sure that I exist as a unique person and it is verifiable by the fact that I think.
2- Whatever I observe is the seen and I am the seer or observer. Therefore, there is a difference between myself as the seer and the objects that I observe. I see, for example, my hand. However, it is possible that my hand is cut off. I still remain as the seer, even though my hand is cut off. Therefore, there is a difference between myself as the seer and my hand as the seen.
3- The instruments of seeing (my eyes), the object of seeing (for example my hand or anything else), and the process of seeing (transmission from my eyes to my brain) are all outside my control. In other words, all three of these essential elements for me to see are supplied by nature and are not directly under my control.
4- The instruments, objects and processes supplied to me by nature are limiting my seeing. For example, I cannot see around corners or through walls. Eventually I feel frustration. This frustration indicates that I am different than the objects that I observe, the instruments (senses), and the process. If I was non different than the objects I see, then I would not feel any frustration at being limited. When a golf ball is putted by the golfer toward the hole and doesn’t go in, does the ball feel frustrated? No. But the golfer feels frustrated because he is different than the golf ball which is made only of material energy.
5- Everything that moves has an intelligence that is moving it. For example, if I purchase a train set and assemble it at home. Once the train tracks are assembled and I wire the control panel to guide the train, I can press a button and the train moves at my will. I, as an intelligent being control the movement of the train. The train cannot move on its own. Similarly, parts of my body are constantly moving and performing vital functions for my well being that are not under my control. My heart beats, I digest food, I take in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide, etc. All these functions that are vital to my existence are being done without my intelligence commanding it or controlling it. As my intelligence controls the movement of the train, so there must be a superior intelligence that controls the vital functions of my body as well as the vital functions of the universe which also moves precisely.
6- The free will I exercise by using my intelligence to make decisions has a range of two possibilities at all times. I can either act independent of the superior intelligence or follow the directives of the superior intelligence. The vital functions of my own body as well as those of the universe already follow the directives of the superior intelligence.
This simple and exact six point logical deduction from honest observation of myself and nature leads to the irrefutable conclusion that there is a superior intelligence or intelligent person in this world.
There is a seventh point that is beyond my power to reason or directly experience without help. I need the help of bona fide scripture and scriptural authorities like a spiritual master to understand how the superior intelligence is working, and how I can take guidance and cooperate rather than act independently and become entangled by the laws of nature.
I can understand with guidance how the laws of nature act under the guidance of the superior intelligence and that I am conditioned by them when I refuse to cooperate. Ultimately, behind everything is the Supreme Individual who possesses the superior intelligence that is directing everything and everyone.
Mehguh guh kasheh mehg guh kuhssheh mehgal asduhvadz guh heesheh
Keduh antzav, ahsdvadzuh mortzav
During times of trouble, we earnestly pray to God. But, when the danger is over, we forget God. I often ask acquaintances of mine if they would like to attend church services. They are always polite, but usually give an excuse why they can’t. Their excuse is a polite, I would like to come, but I don’t have the time. Their refrain becomes: no time, no time, no time. Imagine if my “no time” friends are on an airplane going to a vacation resort. The airplane begins to go down. In desperation they beseechingly pray to God, “Dear Lord, We know we haven’t been constant in our devotion to you, but we are in real need of your help right now. Please save us from disaster on this flight. Help Lord!”
How would they feel if God answered, “No time, no time, no time.” If we consistently say “no time” to God, then how can we expect His help in moments of dire need?
Takavoratz takavoruh togh dah
Another version of this proverb is deruh guh dah, dellaluh chee dahr – God gives, the priest cannot give.
Whatever the worldly king can give away in charity, he has received from the heavenly King (God). The worldly king is actually a beggar like us, therefore, we should not ask him for anything knowing he is no better off then us. Rather we should only depend on God and not think that others can give us something without God’s permission. Deruh guhdah dellalhuh chee dhar means only the Lord can give, not the priest (on his own).
King Akbar of India once went on a hunting trip with his royal guards. They ventured very far to the remote areas of Rajastan. During this daring hunting excursion, by some quirk of fate, Akbar lost his way and was separated from his retinue. He was hungry, thirsty and very tired. He ventured onto a poor Hindu farmer. The farmer looked warily at him and asked, “Sir, you look like you are lost. Can I help you in any way?”
Akbar said, “I am Akbar the King. I have somehow been separated from my royal hunting party. I’m hungry and tired.”
“Well then,” said the poor farmer, “I don’t have the royal cutlery or dishes, but I do have fresh water, hot soup, and home baked flat bread. Will you join me?”
Akbar willingly sat down after washing his hands and feet. There is a saying that hunger is the best spice. The simple fare of the poor farmer was a sumptuous feast for the famished king. The farmer’s wife kept bringing one freshly made and buttered hot flat bread after another. He ate all the offerings with relish and was fully satisfied.
After his meal topped off with hot tea, Akbar addressed the Hindu farmer, “Dear sir, if you ever encounter any problems, please come to Dehli to my palace, the Red Fort, and I will be most glad to help you as you have most graciously helped me.” The farmer thanked him and the king departed to join his retinue.
Some years passed. There was a terrible drought in Rajasthan. The Hindu farmer in distress due to the drought decided to journey to Dehli and asks Akbar for help. On arriving at the king’s palace, he requested an audience with the king. The guards at the palace gate asked him to state his name and purpose. The poor farmer said, “Tell the king that I am the poor farmer that fed him when he was lost in Rajasthan.”
On hearing about the farmer’s presence, Akbar immediately had him brought into his private chambers. He requested the farmer to be patient as it was his hour for Muslim prayer. The farmer watched Akbar as he bowed to Allah on his prayer rug and then sat up with his open palms upright praying to Allah.
Akbar addressed Allah, “Oh Greatest and Unique God, I pray to you that you may endow my armies with invisible strength so that I may spread your glories to all peoples. Let my faithless enemies be driven far away. May they die in the desert. May my dynasty be always protected by your invincible strength. Oh Almighty Allah, I bow before you. Bless me that I may always be triumphant.”
The Hindu farmer was amazed and amused by the prayer of Akbar. When the king finished, he approached the farmer and said, “Dear farmer, you must be suffering from the terrible drought. If you have come to me for help, I will certainly help you.”
The Hindu farmer looked at Akbar and said, “Oh mighty king, I have learned something of value today. I came here to beg from you, but I see that you are also a beggar. So why should I beg from you, when I can likewise beg from the Almighty God as you do.”
The farmer excused himself and courageously left Akbar behind without asking him for help. Rather, he thanked him for the great lesson that he learned.
All men are beggars regardless of their position. Only God is the giver.