Harry Terhanian.com

Wisdom from the son of Armenia.

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  • dzahr leenee? vohr kahmee chee tuhbchee

    The human condition is a roller coaster of happiness and distress. One can characterize life as being tossed continually between desiring to own and enjoy things that we want and lamenting for things that we had but have lost. Happiness and distress, desire and lamentation, heat and cold, honor and dishonor, riches and poverty, success and failure, life and death, are dualities that bewilder people. Such dualities keep us conditioned to remaining in the material world and struggling continually to adjust to them.

    The material world is a place where we constantly experience dualities.
    Modern computer science is based on binary number technology. The overall effect of using products based on binary technology is the same as material nature’s duality syndrome. Our attention is captivated by duality experienced by the images appearing on the computer screen: good and bad in news, emails, movies, images, etc.
    Such dualities captivate our attention and distract us from thinking about the real purpose of human life: self-realization and attainment of pure love for God and sharing that affectionately with everyone in our life.

    Love of the Supreme God takes us out of the binary world of duality and permits us to enter the “monary” world of love of God and everyone and everything related to God. Everything in creation is related to God but our preoccupation with material dualities distracts out attention to this most essential fact of life. What is interesting is that in the English language there is no antonym for binary. Therefore, I have invented the word “monary,” which means single or one. The binary (two) concept of life puts us into the trap of dualities. Therefore, we cannot see clearly that such dualities exist because we have forgotten our original relationship with the One Supreme God.

    For example, when we buy a new computer often we
    see a little sticker that says Intel inside. This indicates that the processors that make the computer work are manufactured by the Intel corporation. Intel says the following on its web page, “The Intel Inside Logos that appear in advertising or on computer systems serve as a reminder to computer buyers that the systems they are purchasing contain a genuine Intel® processor and offers quality, reliability, and compatibility from the world’s largest chip maker. System labeling is the foundation of the Program that ensures the consumer can identify the Intel ingredient.” Similarly, the process of self-realization will lead us to understand that God is inside or present in everything in this universe from the single atom to the heart of every living entity. This is the goal of the “monary” vision evolved from self-realization. Such vision of the one Supreme God present everywhere in creation liberates us from the constant back and forth of binary vision of material duality.

    The Armenian proverb says, “Where is there a tree that is not shaken by the wind.” Thus all living beings suffer in this world regardless of their situation. This suffering is called the struggle for existence which is trying to avoid the inevitable old age, suffering and death. We will all lose this struggle but we will try our best to avoid it by struggling to overcome the laws of nature. Rather than struggle with the impersonal laws of nature, it is better to approach the Supreme and unique Creator of nature and its laws to ask for mercy and help. The Armenian Church and all other apostolic churches have their sacred chant asking for God’s mercy. In Armenian this is called

    Der Voghormia – Please God, have mercy on us.
    Kyri Eleison – Greek for God have mercy on us

    Der Voghormia, Lord have mercy
    Der Voghormia, Lord have mercy
    Der Voghormia, Lord have mercy
    Der Voghormia, Lord have mercy

    ahree, ahstvahdz, hahrtzuhn mehrotz Dear God, You are our only refuge
    vohr ahbahvehn ehs neghehlotz. You protect those who are in trouble

    hahss!, ohknoutioun dzahraieetz kotz, Please come to the rescue of Your servant
    lehr bahhabahn ahzkeess haiotz : Oh supreme protector of the Armenian people

    ahmehnahsoourp, yehrohrtoutioun, Holiest of All, the Holy Trinity
    douhr ahsskhahehess khaghaghoutioun Please bring peace to the whole world.

    der voghormia, der voghormia, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy
    heesouss puhrgeech mehz voghormia: Lord Jesus Christ our Savior, have mercy on us

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  • juhnshuvadz mahrtotz dahrabahnk dahss–neh, ohrmuh bahdeejuh kehzee guh hahss-neh

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  • sehruh guh lahtzuhneh (ahrtzounk), tzahvuh guh khosatzuhneh

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  • Suffering is due to sinful acts
    These are caused by a lack of facts
    Ignorance is the enemy
    That shrouds the mind in obscurity

    Those who do not know what is what
    sinfully fall into a hopeless rut
    A child may put his hand in a fire
    Unwitting he’s blistered like a roasted fryer

    The fire is impartial, makes no exceptions
    Innocent or guilty are not considerations
    Due to our ignorance we act in foolish ways
    But nature unyielding scolds flesh in the blaze

    Who is there that knows how the world is working
    Who is its controller and how it is functioning?
    In darkness we ply the vast ocean of life
    Tossed by the waves of ignorance and strife

    To gain release from suffering and pangs
    Is possible in the human form, not in the body of fangs
    For the laws of nature are strict without excuse
    they act blindly to put us in an unrelenting noose

    We must choose our course of action prudently
    Lest nature’s laws bind us to suffering eternally
    We must understand what to do and what not to do
    To be free of karma’s cauldron of reactive stew

    Through knowledge we can gain release from suffering
    By three stages of spiritual understanding
    First, to know our body is not our true identity
    Second, we are a pure spiritual soul apart from the body
    Third, our soul is the eternal servant of God for eternity

    Forgetful of our relationship with the Supreme Lord
    We selfishly work to enjoy a sensual reward
    The Lord has given us scriptures for knowledge
    To free us from the throes of karma’s binding sludge

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  • sehruh guh pahtzahduhrvee, dahrduh guh bahdmuhvee

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  • eench uhnehm ahskharkeen laiynoutiounuh yehp gohsheegus negh eh

    What will I do with the vast world when my shoes are so tight.

    Or,

    “What good is the vastness of the world and its might
    When my shoes are too small and uncomfortably tight”

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  • kareruh chee gurtzan darahbankuh gurhel. mahrtotz vurrah eenghav

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  • These questions linger in the mind and we try at times to answer them. Often we just say, “who cares anyway. Just live as happily as you can, don’t do harm if you can, and hopefully there will not be too much suffering.”

    This is called the hedonistic conclusion of life. It is ultimate self indulgence. There is a strong logic to it. If one does this then hopefully he may remain pacified and not engage in killing, maiming, raping and other sorts of beast-like behavior because the beast will be satisfied by so much sense gratification that he remains pacified.

    Alas, it is not true. Almost all wars are fought for sense gratification. Israel wants sense gratification for the Jews. Nazis wanted sense gratification for the Germans, the pure race. America wants sense gratification for the Americans. The Afghanis want sense gratification for themselves and so on. War is fought for maintaining or increasing the range of sense gratification, that is, more eating, drinking, dancing, laughing, sex, etc.

    If some intruder comes into your home and starts to choke your wife, you would defend her and fight off the intruder.You would not say, “Well he also needs to enjoy his senses so let him use and abuse my wife. Never mind he is forcing her against her will and causing her extreme distress. Never mind he has broken down the door. In fact, I’ll set the table with snacks in case he gets tired and hungry raping and killing my wife.”

    The sad truth is that we do everything in this world for our own sense gratification. And sometimes we are willing to kill and maim to defend it or increase it. After all the killing we just say, “I am justified in defending my sense gratification and now I’ll continue my eating, drinking and making merry. There is no more meaning to life than this.”

    Generally, we don’t want to harm anyone, but if someone tries to harm us, then causing harm to that person may be justified. Wars are fought to preserve the our way of life. We don’t want to replace the American way by the Nazi way or the Muslim. In truth, it is the same thing clothed differently. Whether I enjoy as a Turk or an Armenian, what is the difference. It comes down to the same thing. The priest says do it like this and the imam says do it like that. The rabbi says no, do it like this and the communist says no, like that. But they are all talking about the same thing, sense gratification. Some say you can also drink and others say no sir, our religion does not allow that.

    What is religion? It is a way to control sense gratification under religious codes in order to redirect our attention to pleasing the senses of God as the first enjoyer. God gives His mercy to His devoted servant. Such Mercy completely pleases our senses without ever causing harm to others. For example, Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden never ate meat. They only ate the fruits of trees. They didn’t kill the tree and actually they did not really kill the fruit. They ate the pulp of the fruit and spit out the seed that grew another tree with many more fruits. This is nonviolent living: the paradise of pacifism. This was the arrangement of God.

    This is the key to the solution. But many people won’t accept paradise. There is a correlation between meat eating (killing animals), abortion, atheism, materialistic hedonism, gambling, dishonest philosophical speculation, hunting and other types of cruelty to animals, nature, humans and war. Yes, WAR is the result of such unnatural behavior.

    By breaking the laws of God and sinning in total ignorance of the consequences one becomes more and more implicated by the laws of karma. The laws of karma are eestablished by God to help us understand that there are consequences for our actions. There are serious consequences that we are see everyday. We are all worried about the number of dead American soldiers in Iraq. But, stop to think one minute. Every year in the USA there are more than 20,000 murders. That number dwarfs the number of dead US soldiers in Iraq after years of combat. There are twenty times more killing per year of Americans in the USA than Iraq. Why can’t we do something about this slaughter going on in our own country?

    Ignoring God and His instructions on how to live peacefully, people are killing each other everyday and everywhere because they disregard the word of God and there is no end in sight as long as atheism is rampant. Those people who kill in the name of religion are also atheists. The real believers are trained to kill, but not people. They are trained to kill people’s illicit desires to selfishly enjoy the senses. Real believers are lethal killers but not of the flesh. Rather they kill false desires and attachments. There is an Armenian oud player and singer named Roupen Altiparmakian. He has written and sung an interesting song:

    Saasoun Moush mereen eh
    Van Erzeroum mereen eh

    He sings, “Sassoun and Moush ( two towns in Eastern Turkey) are ours (meaning they belong to the Armenians)
    Van and Erzeroum are ours.”

    His song exhorts Armenians to awaken their nationalism and go fight the Turks to get back their lands.

    This is the problem; the false claim of proprietorship. The concept of proprietorship is the foundation of every type of society. In capitalism, the laws of society are made to protect individual proprietorship; in socialism, the laws protect the proprietorship of the state, in communism, the laws protect the proprietorship of the community, in monarchy, the king and nobles, in fascism, the dictator and the military industrial complex, in anarchy, no one. In every society there is a foundational concept of proprietorship. All the abovementioned concepts of proprietorship are dead wrong. Because they are wrong, no one is really happy. The truthful answer to the question of who is the real proprietor is GOD. God created and He is the proprietor. Until people understand this there will never be any peace.

    The Zionists made a plan 150 years ago to repopulate Palestine and eventually declare it their modern state. Thus, all over the world there are disputes about territory that erupt and become wars. The truth is that everything belongs to God and we should only use things in His service and share all the excess equally for the benefit of all living entities.

    Understanding the correct concept of proprietorship is the first step to solve the problem of human to human violence. The second important step is to understand our true position. We are constitutionally the eternal servant of God. If we analyze the human condition, we see that everyone is a servant of someone or something. No person lives without serving. When we serve materialistic people or causes, our service can only sustain us for a short while. If I work one week, I only get one week’s salary. That salary will sustain me for a short period, then I am left with nothing so I need to serve more. I can never stop serving. However, if I serve God, then that service can sustain me eternally. This is the difference. Through service to God I become situated in my eternal constitutional position as the eternal servant of God and my service which is inseparable from me, will sustain me forever, This is called “sanatan dharma” or the quality that is inseparable from the living entity that sustains him forever. That quality is service and when the service is directed to God it will sustain us forever. Everything has a inseparable, distinguishing quality like saltiness to salt, sweetness to sugar and heat to fire. So the human being has service. Directing that service to God is the perfection of the human being.

    We suffer due to the wrongful use of free will. We direct our attention away from God and are attracted by the illusory material energy. We identify with the illusory material energy. “I am Jew, I am American, I am Jewish American, I am Turk, I am a Latino, etc.” All these false identities are temporary material identifications that make us subject to material miseries.

    There was once a frog and a fish that became friends. The fish said to the frog, “I appreciate you so much that I want to be connected to you, bonded to you. Let’s have someone tie a rope so that we are tied together and always spend time together.” The frog said, “Ypee, I would love that.” They were tied together and spent their days always together. One day, a predator bird came looking for food. The bird saw the fish near the bank of the river in shallow water. It was an easy prey. Normally the fish would stay clear of the shallow water, but because of its friendship with the frog it exposed itself. The frog seeing the bird of prey tried to jump into the reeds on the bank of the river where he would be safe. But, the fish pulled the frog into the water where the fish sought out deeper water. Because they pulled in different directions out of fear to escape death they both remained in the shallow water and the bird easily picked up the fish and with it the frog which was connected to it by the rope. Thus, they both perished where if they were not tied together they might have both escaped.

    The false attachment exposed both the frog and the fish to a predator. The natural predator of the fish also got the frog. When we falsely identify with something material we immediately expose ourselves to the reactions of material miseries that we normally would not suffer if we maintain our position as servant of God.

    The action of material illusion on us is witnessed by our becoming engaged in the service of material goals. We thus become the servant of our own lust, anger, greed envy, mental speculation all in the name of family, country, politics, race, religion. Religion which has a goal of preserving or identifying with a nationalist agenda like a National Church or Black Muslims or Jewish Zionism, etc. is also an illusion like water in the desert because our service will be directed to serving a material goal, like preserving the race or ethnic group. That religion that teaches pure love of God that has no material motive and is uninterrupted in service to God is true religion. Anything less is cheating.

    Dumbfounded by illusion we are perplexed by hunger, thirst, severe cold, indigestion and acid reflux, colds and coughs, blistering heat in summer, rains and many other disturbing elements and overwhelmed by strong sex urges and unending anger. These are some of the miseries and perplexities we experience when overcome with the idea that my essential identity is my circumstantial body. By this false identification we are harassed by the miseries caused by our body, by other bodies, and natural catastrophies. These three fold miseries are felt in the body and mind. Sometimes self interested persons who don’t understand anything about the real cause of misery pose themselves as leaders of society and further engender untold misery.

    What I am saying is that the miseries of life do not pertain to our souls. They are artificially being suffered only because we falsely think that we are this body and the body is meant for sense enjoyment. Thus we are trapped by the entanglement of sense enjoyment that brings on unlimited miseries.

    This whole mess is caused by our maintaining that we are independent of any superior being. The truth is we are always dependent on the rules of the Supreme Lord in both our conditioned and liberated states. It is by the influence of the external energy that we are blinded to the truth. We think we are independent of God. Our natural position is to serve the desire of the supreme will. As long as we refuse to, we drag on our miserable existence in the shackles of material bondage which is sex life. We are like a man being punished on the dunking stool. In colonial America, people would be punished by being placed on a dunking stool that would lower their body into a river or lake and hold them underwater until they were gasping for air and then raise them to catch their breathe and again lower them. It was excruciating punishment. This is happening to us everyday.

    It is only when we give up all our plans born of mental concoctions for sense enjoyment that we are taken off the dunking stool of life. There is a law of nature which is insurmountable. The more we want to selfishly enjoy our senses the more must suffer. This is happening everyday, yet we refuse to believe it.

    In spiritual life there is spiritual sense enjoyment. For example, one may offer delectible vegetarian food to God. After the offering the food is distributed freely to everyone. Eating such holy food is sense enjoyment but it is on the basis of service to God. It is different than eating roasted animals who were killed against their will and which are not suitable to be offered to God. A meat offering and a devotees’ veggie offerings to God are very different. One is made in lust and the other in love. One is made for material profit and the other for love of God.

    We engage our senses and mind in extensive material work, suffering insomnia at night because our troubled intelligence breaks up our sleep with various mental speculations for more sense enjoyment. We are always frustrated in our various plans by supernatural power. As long as we remain adverse to the supremacy of God, we rotate in an unending cycle of material miseries and confusing duality.

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  • ardakinov mee tadherr voyyeveh mart
    ahmen mart ounee eeryen hahdouk dahrd

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  • Ouhr tzaveeneh, hon hokeet eh

    There is another Armenian proverb that says, “Lezoun tzavadz akrahyeen gertah” the tongue goes to the tooth that hurts. Pain, whether physical or mental, seizes our attention especially when the pain is caused by some great loss like a loved one or great material loss.

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