Harry Terhanian.com

Wisdom from the son of Armenia.

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  • He who lives without meanness and envy
    Is friend to every living entity
    Free of erred concepts and inflated pride
    Nor thinks himself the proprietor worldwide

    Is equal both in happiness and distress
    Tolerant, satisfied, self controlled, less stress
    Engaged always in service to the Lord
    With fixed mind, not awaiting a reward

    Whose intelligence adheres the Lord’s advice
    Without doubt or fear or any sinful vice
    Such a servant is very dear to the Lord
    For such humble soul, God’s love the reward

    The art of developing interpersonal skills by which one can nurture on a long term basis loving and sincere relationships is explained succinctly in the above verses.

    False concepts

    The most important adjustment one must make is to be free of false concepts about one’s identity and place in the universe. One can summarize life as a search for self identity. “Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I now? Where should I be going? What is the purpose of my life?” These questions are fundamental for understanding oneself and learning how to relate to others in life.

    Learning about oneself is a relational process. It is difficult to learn about oneself in a complete vacuum. When one is in relation to others, it is much easier to understand gradually who I am. Ultimately, we come to the complete understanding of who I am when we enter into a relationship with God. God is the complete whole and we are a part and parcel of God. This means that God is the Supreme Person eternally and we emanate from God. We have many similar qualities as God but we can never be equal to or greater because we are the part. The phrase part and parcel means we are individuals eternally like God, but we are unalterably small or limited in our person whereas God’s Person is infinitely great. We are one and different than God. We are one qualitatively one and quantitatively different. The drop of ocean water is qualitatively one with the ocean but quantitatively different.

    It is possible to understand God by deeply understanding oneself because we are part and parcel of God qualitatively one, but quantitatively different. The only thing that can hinder us from understanding properly is the false ego or the accumulation of false ideas that we believe to be true. The following is a simple but precise process by which we can understand what is the false ego and how it hinders our development as a person capable of loving God and all others as part of God’s family.


    There is the false ego and there is the real ego. Ego means I or I am or the identification of the eternal self. As stated above, we can only identify oneself in relation to something or someone else. The false ego (or I) identifies oneself with the material nature or matter. An example of false ego is, “I am the material body.” Everyone of us resides in a material body. If I identify myself with the material body that I dwell in, then I make a fundamental mistake. I consider the body made of matter which is constituted of the basic elements earth, water, fire, air, ether or space, mind, intelligence, and ego (or self identification). The first five elements make up what is called the gross material body and the last three make up the subtle material body. Such self identification with the material body is a fundamental mistake similar to mistaking the driver of a car with the car or mistaking the person with his clothes.

    Mistaking the clothes with the person or the car with the driver is a fundamental mistake of perception. If I am convinced that these mistakes of perception are true, then I am subject to illusion. An illusion is mistaking one thing to be another thing. Acting
    as if the illusion is true is being in a deluded state of mind. The false ego is the deluded state of mind where I am convinced that something which is not true is true. If I organize my thoughts and actions with this false conviction, I will remain baffled about the purpose of life.

    The false ego is precisely the desire one may have to dominate part or all of the material world. With the purported domination one desires to enjoy. One falsely identifies with the temporary body, mind and senses. The body is the vehicle by which one can enjoy the material world through the material senses. The mind is the center of activity of all the senses. When one hears of sense objects the mind becomes a fertile place of ideas of sense gratification. Thus, the mind and senses become repositories of lust or the obsessive desire to dominate and enjoy.


    Envy is a powerful and destructive feeling. If one harbors envy it is destructive for oneself and also be for the person to whom it is directed. To envy is to feel discontent and jealously long to have another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc. It is a much stronger emotion than jealousy, which denotes a feeling of resentment that another has gained something that one feels they more rightfully deserve.

    When one is jealous of someone else, the feeling will subside if the jealous person attains the same advantage that the other person has. In the case of envy, even if the envious person obtains the same advantage as the other person, he is not satisfied until the other person loses what they have and are left destitute.

    The origin of everything begins with God. In the Bhagavad gita 16.18, Lord Krishna explains the origin of envy:

    “Bewildered by false ego, strength, pride, lust and anger, the demons become envious of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is situated in their own bodies and in the bodies of others, and blaspheme against the real religion.”

    A person who becomes proud of accumulated wealth, power and the prestige may become envious of the Supreme God. God declares that He is the Supreme and that nothing is above Him or equal to Him. In the Bhagavad gita 15.18, Lord Krishna says:

    “Because I am transcendental, beyond both the fallible and the infallible, and because I am the greatest, I am celebrated both in the world and in the Vedas as that Supreme Person.”

    The material world is a place where people try to control and enjoy the material energy. A materialistic person becomes happy when successful in satisfying the senses and enjoying bodily pleasures. But when he sees others’ more successful in sense gratification and he isn’t, he is sorry and envious.

    Such persons are always against God’s supremacy. God is the Supreme controller and enjoyer. He is also the supreme object of envy for a certain class of people.. The envious are against the existence of God and the holy scriptures. This is caused by the prestige and accumulated wealth and power of such persons. They often doubt that there is existence after death. Thus, they do not use this life as a preparation for the next. Lacking such conviction, they actually become envious of their own self. This self envy manifests as the determined effort to deny the existence of God, debunk scriptural authority and systematically . Thinking himself independent and powerful in all actions, he deliberately disregards the proprietorship of God over all that be and acts against the instructions for good behavior given by God. Another symptom of self envy is the refusal by such persons to take good advice based on scriptural authority (or often any authority). Such persons think that they are above all others in strength, power or wealth. Thus, they think they can act in any way and no one can dare stop them. When such persons encounter a potential enemy who can counter their sensual activities, they make plans to destroy that person in one way or another.

    A person who is not God conscious acts according to the concept of the material body and senses.

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  • Courage and skill are the keynotes of success.
    Too much grief destroys everything.
    Perseverance is the root of success.
    auspicious signs - left eye quivers, left arm throbs, left thigh throbs

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  • vohsgee havgeet gahdzeh

    When a person is very successful and earns a good income, this phrase is used to describe his good fortune.

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  • Kou layn orerut negh kaleh vor negh orerut layn kalis

    I have followed this advice in my life and it has worked marvelously. During a period of my life I was able to make a lot of money, but I lived very simply without spending extravagantly. I have been able to live over fifteen years after my retirement at 42 years old very comfortably because I saved most of the money I earned during my prosperous years. In contrast, I have a friend who was investing in the stock market. At the end of 1999, his portfolio was worth about $ 800,000. At that time I suggested to him to sell his stocks and put his money in safer money market accounts so that he could retire. He was 47 years old. He opened his eyes wide and gave me a stern look saying, “It’s not enough. I need two million dollars to retire.” He was indignant that I suggested selling when he was on the verge of doubling his money and making a fat nest egg. He was very confident about his investments. He called the CFO of the principle company he was invested in and got regular updates about the progress of the company. His 401K retirement fund had over $ 100,000. He had a very good salary and his life style was very good. The stock market crashed in March 2001. Since he was always buying on margin ( only putting up a fraction of the amount of the purchase price of stocks), when the market crashed his stock brokerage gave him an emergency call and asked that he immediately transfer $ 80,000 to pay off his margin call. This was 3 PM on a Friday afternoon. He said that he could transfer the money until Monday morning. The stock broker insisted that if he didn’t transfer the money immediately, he would sell off all the stocks at the present price to cover his losses. The value of his portfolio of stocks (made up mainly of the one stock) had dramatically lost value in a short period of time. If the broker sold all the stocks, he would have nothing left and perhaps a loss. He begged the broker on the phone, but to no avail. The broker’s supervisor did not comfort my friend either. He would not commit to holding the stocks until Monday morning. In a panic, my friend liquidated his 401K early Monday morning and rushed over to the broker’s office. By the time he arrived the broker had sold all his stocks to cover his margin. There was still a loss and my friend used about $ 80,000 of his 401K to cover the loss. He was devastated. In a short period his entire retirement was wiped out. To add insult to injury, he now was facing a $ 60,000 income tax liability because he cashed in his 401K retirement account. Two years later he was obliged to sell his home to payoff the IRS and before that he declared bankruptcy to avoid paying any more money to the brokerage firm that claimed he still owed them money. My friend was blinded by his greed and continued to make very risky stock investments without ever imaging that there could be a stock market bust. If he had listened to me, he would have protected his investments and would be living in retirement today. Better to live frugally and conservatively during prosperous days so that one live prosperously during frugal days.

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  • Vodkheh cheghadz klough chelhleer

    Without good feet, you cannot have a good head which implies without a good foundation, you cannot build a good building.

    Jesus tells the parable of the wise and foolish builders.

    Anyone who hears and puts the teaching of Jesus into practice is compared to a wise man who built his house on a foundation of rock and set down deep pilings into the rock. When a flood came with torrents of rain, his house was not washed away or shaken.

    But the man who hears Jesus teaching and does not put them into practice is like the man who built his house on sand without a foundation. When the rains came and the wind blew beating against the house, it collapsed with a great crash and was completely destroyed.

    In any successful endeavor, there needs to be men, capital, land, and organization. More important than these necessary material components of success, is receiving the wisdom of God and having the will to implement it. Without the foundation of God’s teaching, we will build beautiful buildings (family, wealth, education, nation, etc.) on a weak foundation and bring about ruin.

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