After advising, "It is necessary for a sadhaka leading domestic life to be very careful," ShriMaharaj continued, "In public a sadhaka takes care of practices for attainment of God. That is not very difficult. All people are used to conducting themselves with some degree of restraint when amongst strangers. But a sadhaka's lust and ire boil and spill over at home, particularly in dealing with his wife. Therefore, he whose wife calls him a saintly person, must be a genuinely saintly person."
Thursday, September 30, 2010
ShriMaharaj had gone to Mysore. The group accompanying him had one day returned after seeing ore in a gold mine. ShriMaharaj asked, "What did you see ?" Someone said, "We saw ore in a gold mine. There are pieces of stone containing a small speck of gold; only that speck of gold is extracted and the rest of the stone is thrown away." Upon this ShriMaharaj said, "I too do likewise. I accept only the small speck of love for God that is present in the heart of a man coming to me. The rest of him is nothing but trash."
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Once a devotee asked, "Maharaj, when we come to Gondavale we feel great enthusiasm for namasmarana for the first week or so. Gradually the intensity diminishes. Why is this ?" ShriMaharaj said, "Nowadays boys and girls from all sections of society go to schools and colleges. A fisherman's handsome daughter was studying in a college. She married a rich, perfumer's son studying in her class. After the marriage she went to live with her husband's family. There being a perfumery right at home, for the first week or so she felt good because of the fragrance. But later she began to lose appetite and ate poorly. She thinned. Her father-in-law noticed this and he asked her what the matter was. She told him, 'For the first few days I very much liked the strongly fragrant atmosphere. But later it became overpowering to me. From my childhood, I am used to the smell of fishes and I now yearn for it. It is because I cannot get that smell here that I cannot eat well.' On hearing this her father-in-law said to her, "Look here, do you not now belong to our family ? Now you will have to rid your mind of the memory of the smell of fishes. You have now to spend your life here in this house." ShriMaharaj further said, "Your condition is simi
lar to that of the fisherman's daughter. You are reminded of worldly pleasures by your earlier conditioning, and thereby the ardour for sadhana gradually diminishes. You should now .tell your mind that now that you belong to Rama, it must now find happiness in the service and memory of Rama. It will not do to be reminded of worldly pleasures."
... 119 ...
Monday, September 27, 2010
A learned professor came to see ShriMaharaj and said, "You are a mystic with miraculous powers. You should frequently perform miracles to convert people to spiritualism." Upon this ShriMaharaj said, "Who told you that I am a mystic with miraculous powers ? By Rama's grace, I possess the art of chanting nama and making contented-ness endure. I teach it to people. If you so wish I will teach it to you, too. Now let us assume that mystics do perform miracles. They have the ability to bring about a transformation in the quality of the minds of persons going to them; because of which many persons are attracted to attainment of God; and this is their enduring miracle. In attainment of God, performing of any other miracles is an accomplishment of a very lowly kind, as trivial as a common magician's performance. Miracles by saints 'occur', but are not 'performed' on purpose. You have passed the highest examination, Ph. D.; how would you feel if asked to sit for the matriculation examination now? A saint would feel similarly if asked to 'perform' a miracle. Remember that faith established by a miracle can be easily dislodged by another miracle, while faith born of genuine trust is ever-lasting
Sunday, September 26, 2010
An astrologer examined ShriMaharaj's horoscope. ShriMaharaj asked, "What did you find in it ?" The astrologer said, "Maharaj, at present you are under the inauspicious influence of Saturn." ShriMaharaj said, "Well, let it take its course ! We adhere to ours." The astrologer said, "Your horoscope indicates poverty." ShriMaharaj said, "Truly so. But how can one discern from it that in spite of poverty, I have spent liberally enough for a king to emulate?" The astrologer said, "The horoscope indicates great intelligence." Upon this ShriMaharaj said, Thehouse of intelligence (Jupiter) must be under Guru's influence." After saying this much, he further said, "The sway of planets extends over only the physical body. He who has lost his awareness of the body does not suffer harm from the planets. Likewise, for him who has surrendered himself to the sadguru's authority, the tribulations in the body's lot are not contingent upon the movement of planets, but are determind by the wishes of the sadguru. The tribulations in a disciple's lot, the guru can adjust so as to be suffered when convenient."
Saturday, September 25, 2010
A social worker once asked ShriMaharaj, "I have observed you for so many days. People of many different types visit you, but you behave with them in the same loving manner. How can you manage it ?" Upon this ShriMaharaj said, "I do not understand philanthropy. But I always feel a longing to lighten the sorrow of every one; you may, if you so wish, term it philanthropy. Persons coming to me belong to one of four types. The first type is extremely selfish; persons who seek to use the world to fulfil their own selfish interests. The second type is pragmatically selfish: persons who help fulfil others' interests while also fulfilling their own. The third type is unselfish; persons who set aside their own interest to fulfil others'; and the fourth type is persons led by Divine will, persons who use up their 'selves' for the upliftment of the world, in the belief that God is their master and the world belongs to Him. My object is that a person meeting me should be helped to rise from where he stands today to a higher type."s
Friday, September 24, 2010
ShriMaharaj had given a pair of his wooden padukas (sandals) to Shri. Ambegaonkar. Because of regular bathing during daily worship, one of them split. It deeply wounded his heart. He expressed regrets to ShriMaharaj. ShriMaharaj said, "I am now crippled because of one leg getting broken. Now I cannot leave even if you were to think of driving me away. Therefore, what has happened is to your advantage. The worship of the remaining paduka will reach me, will suffice for me."
Someone asked, 'In a temple there is a tortoise carved in stone, on the floor, and a bell suspended from the ceiling. What do they signify ?' ShriMaharaj said, "The tortoise is at the entrance of the sanctum sanctorum. A tortoise can withdraw its limbs into its shell whenever it wants. A sadhaka should, similarly, withdraw all thoughts from mundane subjects and concentrate on God, before proceeding for a darshan of the Deity. The sound of the bell is the articulated Aum.* It is, of course, identical with nama. It is after ringing the bell that the darshan of the deity is to be taken. Also, it is only after thundering the name of God that a devotee advances for a darshan of the deity."
* Aum (ॐ ) -The Mystic name of the Deity prefacing all the prayers. It is formed of 'a' a name of Vishnu, 'v' a name of Shiva, and 'm' of Brahma.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
In ShriMaharaj's days the banking system was available only in large towns, and people used to give their money to ShriMaharaj for safe custody. ShriMaharaj used to accept it and used to give it back as and when the depositor asked for it. At times some even took more money than they had deposited; but that too did not bother ShriMaharaj. For about a year before he cast off the mortal body ShriMaharaj used to say frequently, 'Beware ! My bank is going to close down soon. So whosoever has kept a deposit should withdraw it in good time; if not, I am not responsible if anyone suffers a loss.' Treating the warning as a joke, people who used to deposit money took no notice. ShriMaharaj cast off the mortal body on 23rd December 1913; and then everyone realized the meaning of his words. ShriBrahmanandamaharaj called all those who claimed that they had deposited money with ShriMaharaj, and refunded their claims to them.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
The village of Naravane is about a dozen kilometres from Gondavale. ShriMaharaj wanted to go there for some business. ShriMaharaj started soon after the midday meal.
Shri. Damle and Shri Manjire were asked to accompany him. They climbed into the coach. ShriMaharaj asked ShriBrahmanandamaharaj to accompany, too. After ShriMaharaj himself climbed into the coach and the coach started on its journey, ShriBrahmanandamaharaj began running after it. As the sun was shining fiercely ShriMaharaj clearly indicated to him to sit in the coach; ShriBrahmanandamaharaj,-however, continued running after it. ShriMaharaj threw down his slippers and told him to put them on and follow; ShriBrahmanandamaharaj held those slippers over his head and again continued running, barefooted. After reaching Naravane, ShriMaharaj finished his business and started back for Gondavale. ShriBrahmanandamaharaj followed in the same manner while returning. On reaching Gondavale a misgiving arose in the minds of Damle and Manjire that ShriBrahmanandamaharaj had disobeyed his guru's injunction. Shri. Bhausaheb Ketkar dispelled it. He said, 'You committed a gross mistake in that you hurriedly scrambled into the coach before ShriMaharaj. The second mistake was that you sat beside him as equals. No breach of command took place on ShriBrahmananda's part. But on the other hand you lost a big opportunity.' In this matter ShriBrahmanandamaharaj said; 'It is true that I suffered from scorching of the feet till some distance had been gone. But ShriMaharaj threw down his slippers and I held them over my head, and my pain immediately disappeared. I began to feel as if I was walking in moonlight. I had no consciousness of myself. If you had run after the coach you too would certainly have had a similar experience.'
Monday, September 20, 2010
Dr. Kurtakoti had great respect for ShriBrahmanandamaharaj. When ShriMaharaj was visiting Kurtakoti, ShriBrahmanadamaharaj arranged for Dr. Kurtakoti to meet Shri Maharaj. When they were alone together, Dr. Kurtakoti asked ShriMaharaj two questions. The first question was, 'Have you obtained everlasting bliss ?' and the second question was, If you have obtained it, can you bestow it on me?' ShriMaharaj did not reply 'yes' or 'no' to the first question. He said, 'I do not know if I have obtained everlasting bliss. But I sincerely wish that every living being should obtain love for Rama and become fully happy and contented.' In reply to the second question he merely placed his hand on Dr. Kurtakoti's head. Dr. Kurtakoti immediately went into a trance and lost consciousness of his body. When, after some ten minutes, he regained consciousness of his body ShriMaharaj asked him, 'What did you feel ? He said, 1 was extremely happy.' Upon this ShriMaharaj said, 'Is your second question answered ? It is not difficult to reach this state, but it is very difficult to maintain it. It is necessary to make continuous efforts for it over a long period of time.'
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Sri Maharaj was visiting Hubli. A businessman named Nanjundaya from Chintamani village came to meet him, and urged him to visit Chintamani. Upon which ShriMaharaj said, "I will most probably come, let me see how I can manage. You go ahead." At this he said, "I do not want your 'Krishna's word' that you will 'most probably' come, I want a 'Rama's word.' " ShriMaharaj smiled and said, "Take it to be 'Rama's word'." Turning to the others gathered there, ShriMaharaj said, "What he has said is correct. Shri Krishna's life is full of God's playful doings. These doings are not understood even by eminent persons, they confound them. His ways, His words, are comprehended only by His devotees, they cannot be comprehended by ordinary persons. So one should reflect upon them with admiration, but not emulate them. In contrast, Rama is maryadapurushottama,* and provides the ideal for the ordinary person. One obtains deliverance by emulating Him."
Saturday, September 18, 2010
A devotee asked, 'In our temples, the idols usually depict the deity as standing. Why do they not show Him to be sitting ?' ShriMaharaj said, 'All idols show God to be in the standing posture so that when a devotee in distress calls for help, he does not need to waste even the one extra moment that is necessary for rising from a sitting position. The unfortunate thing is that devotees who call God with a deep yearning are rarely to be found.'
Friday, September 17, 2010
A devotee asked, 'Maharaj, how do saints respond to the illusory material world ?' ShriMaharaj said, "If a log falls into the sea, it rises and falls with the waves. It is sure that no matter how turbulent the sea gets, it definitely will not sink, and is therefore absolutely free of any apprehension. Saints respond to the illusoriness of the world in a like manner. Or, imagine that there is a big lake and one is walking on its shore. One's shadow travels over the water. Even then one does not believe that one is drowning, and one is therefore not frightened in the least. A worldly-minded person imagines the shadow to be the real self and flounders to stay afloat, screaming 'I am drowning'. A saint is completely assured that just as the shadow is not a real thing, the material world's appearance is also not a reality. Therefore he is not distracted or frightened by the buffets and blows of the illusory material world."
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Someone asked ShriMaharaj, 'Why is it that the money given as dakshina at the time of treating someone to a meal is first wetted?' ShriMaharaj said, "There are two reasons for this. Firstly, the dakshina is given after its being wetted in the tears of joy that well up because the heart feels gratified from a sentiment that Rama's grace has caused the serving of food at one's hands, and from a hope that such occasions come about often; and secondly, one unknowingly gets a feeling of pride that one has been instrumental in giving away food, so the money is first wetted to wash off that pride. The feeling of pride of the donor would otherwise cling to the coin and be passed on to the recipient. Water is interposed so that it may not prove harmful to one who accepts the money."
* Dakshina: A money - gift given to a person who is being fed out of charity.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
A professor said to ShriMaharaj, *I study a great deal but I cannot manage the same naturalness in what I tell as in what you tell. Why should it happen so ?* ShriMaharaj said, The answer is very simple. You need
to recollect and then speak. By Rama's grace, I do not so have to recollect and speak.' (The knowledge gained from the awareness of the material self relies upon the faculty of recollection, while the knowledge gained from the awareness of the Spiritual Self is of inspirational nature. The former needs to be recollected while the latter issues spontaneously.)
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
The second wife of ShriMaharaj, Aaisaheb, was born blind, and used to chant nama with every breath. She was clairvoyant. Two ladies had been assigned to attend upon her. ShriMaharaj had gone to Harda, leaving Aaisaheb in Gondavale. One day about nine o' clock in the morning, one of the ladies in attendance casually asked Aaisaheb, "What is Maharaj doing at this time ?' Aaisaheb promptly replied, 'He is busy initiating your son.' ShriMaharaj returned to Gondavale after a week or so. At that time, Aaisaheb had gone to Aatpadi to meet someone who was seriously ill in her parents' household. The attending lady managed to find time to ask ShriMaharaj, 'Maharaj, what were you doing at Harda on that particular day ?' Upon which ShriMaharaj smiled and only said, "I was doing the very thing that 'the blind one' has already told you."
Monday, September 13, 2010
Around March - April ShriMaharaj said to my *father, 'Kaka, I want to speak to you about something of prime importance,' At intervals ShriMaharaj repeated these words to him three times. My father was waiting for ShriMaharaj to speak to him. He said to ShriMaharaj, 'I am ready any time. Call me whenever you please.' The matter rested there. On twentieth August, my mother passed away after delivery. Fifteen minutes before she passed away she sent for the doctor and told him, 'I am going to pass away after fifteen minutes.' The doctor felt embarrassed. On being asked whether her son and husband be sent for immediately, my mother said, 'No; it is not necessary to call anyone. I am very happy and I am passing away quite contented.' Her contented state at the time of passing away greatly affected the doctor's mind. After my mother passed away ShriMaharaj came specially to see my father to condole with him. At that time he said to my father, 'Kaka, it was about this matter that I had told you thrice that I wanted to speak to you. But I felt embarrassed to tell you about it, and I remained tongue - tied.'
* Shri. L. G. Marath's.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
On the first four occasions, pregnancy of one woman had ended in miscarriage. The fifth time, she was four months pregnant. She went to see ShriMaharaj to seek his blessings so that the delivery may take place normally. ShriMaharaj said, 'Do not worry. What you wish is sure to happen. Visit Maruti every day and tell Him of your desire. Recite Ramaraksha every day and anoint yourself with the sacred ash from the temple every night before going to bed. Stop worrying. He is going to be very-fortunate.' The pregnancy progressed well and entered the eighth month. Acquaintances complimented her. Someone jocularly said that she was going to have a daughter. Upon which the lady said with confidence, "Maharaj has uttered the words that 'he' is going to be very fortunate. As such I am definitely going to get a son." Later she safely delivered a boy. When asked as to how he knew about it, ShriMaharaj said, When one can know which soul has transmigrated into the embryo, what is the difficulty in foretelling whether it will be a boy or a girl?'
Saturday, September 11, 2010
A disciple of ShriMaharaj lived at a place not far from Bombay. He invited ShriMaharaj to attend the thread ceremony of his son and ShriMaharaj agreed to be present. The grandmother of the son lived in Pune, The father went there to invite her. At that juncture the grandmother was seriously ill, suffering from asthma. The doctor definitely declared that she would survive for barely eight or ten days. Hence deciding to postpone the thread ceremony,the father returned to inform ShriMaharaj accordingly. On hearing the entire story, ShriMaharaj said, 'Why is the doctor in a hurry to dispatch the grandmother? Who can confidently say that a particular person will die at a particular time ? He alone, who has the power to postpone death, should such a situation arise, may declare thus. Where is the guarantee for the doctor about his own self being alive even tomorrow ? So his prediction is not very reliable. Do perform the thread ceremony on the day fixed.' The celebration accordingly came to be concluded satisfactorily.The grand mother left for her heavenly abode nine months later.
Friday, September 10, 2010
There was a doctor who sincerely loved ShriMaharaj. His wife's heart had become considerably dilated. An eminent doctor opined that she would live barely three or four years. When this was mentioned to ShriMaharaj, he said, 'Doctor, there is no cause for you to worry about your wife's health. You will not suffer the sorrow of her passing away; however, take proper care according to medical advice.' Later, after four years, the doctor himself suddenly died; his wife died eighteen years there-after. It was after the doctor died that the true significance of the statement 'You will not suffer the sorrow of your wife's passing away' was realized.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
A gentleman was visiting Gondavale. He deposited his luggage in his room and went to see ShriMaharaj. ShriMaharaj expressed pleasure, and enquired,' Where are you putting up? He said that he was putting up in his own room. Upon this Shri Maharaj said rather jokingly, "One comes to Godnavale to lose the feeling of I and 'mine'. but you seem to have brought them along with you!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
A sadhaka asked, 'Maharaj, why is so much importance attached to companionship of the virtuous in attainment of God ?' ShriMaharaj said, 'The mind is fickle, and it is very difficult for it to remain firm. God's grace plays an important part in it. So one should not associate with hypocritical persons and atheists. Because of them, resoluteness is shattered, and when that occurs, one cannot restrain oneself. It is possible only for the very advanced to maintain one's stand even in bad company. A very minor cause can suffice for the shattering of resoluteness, and that brings about one's ruin. That is why importance is attached to companionship of the virtuous. One should not let one's devotedness to nama diminish even if Brahmadev (the Creator) himself were to descend to confront one.'
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Someone asked, 'Maharaj, is the business of life easy, or is attainment of God easy ?' ShriMaharaj said, 'Attain-
ment of God is easier than the business of life. In the business of life one deals with many, while in attainment of God, one has to deal with the one God. No one has attained happiness by pursuing the business of life, and no one has been sorry for having pursued attainment of God.'
ShriMaharaj once said, 'My guru has bestowed upon me the knowledge of three arts. Firstly, whichever knowledge I want at a given time, occurs to me at that time spontaneously. Secondly, I can be at whichever place I want at whatever time I want. And thirdly, I can ensure deliverance precisely in one's hour of death,' On hearing this, a devotee asked, 'Maharaj, what is it that you do when you ensure deliverance in the hour of death ?' Upon this ShriMaharaj said, 'He who, throughout his life, chants nama imparted by me, journeys beyond heaven to a better world. I elevate him who chants nama off and on, to a better state, so that he feels as when being promoted from a lower class to an upper one.'
Monday, September 6, 2010
A well - to - do lady met ShriMaharaj and said, 'My husband has an irascible nature. My nature is also similar. Therefore when he gets angry, I too lose my temper, and there follows an exchange of harsh words. What to do about it ?' ShriMaharaj said,' Losing your temper when your husband loses his is like lighting a torch in the house when it is on fire. It is necessary that one of the two withdraws and remains calm. At the time you should remember Rama and firmly carry on namasmarana. Thereby your reaction will remain under control, and equanimity can be preserved. After some days, he will feel ashamed that he gets angry for trivial reasons. Then his irritability will also gradually diminish, and peace will reign at home.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
A sadhaka asked ShriMaharaj, 'Maharaj, in spite of everything, one has sometimes to lie in everyday dealings. How much may a person working for attainment of God while engaged in the business of life, lie?' Upon this ShriMaharaj said, "It is not at all a moral fall to lie a little in case of a deed which will have a good and benefactory result, and in which one has no selfish interest. On the contrary, it is even more proper to do so. A little copper is required to be added when making a gold ornament. In practical life one is permitted to lie in a proportion like the proportion of such added copper."
Friday, September 3, 2010
A man from a village called Uksan contracted leprosy. As a matter of chance he met ShriMaharaj. ShriMaharaj got him to resolve, with a formal ritual, to chant nama three and a half crores of times, and asked him to remain in Gondavale. He completed this amount of chanting in six years. As the amount of chanting began nearing the final figure, the man's disease began abating rapidly. He began to feel that he would soon be free from the fell disease. One day he said to ShriMaharaj, 'Maharaj, I have begun to feel that by your grace I will completely recover. But I do not want my disease to be cured by using up the deserts of the three and one-half crore repetitions of nama. I am willing to bear to its end whatever is the body's lot, but let the merit of three-and-a-half crore namasmarana form the basis of further namasmarana'. ShriMaharaj was very pleased to hear this, and said, "This is a clear instance of namasmarana completely annihilating the 'body-am-I feeling." Turning to that man ShriMaharaj said, "When someone serves exceedingly well, there is not only an increment in salary at diwali , but the employer also gives some bonus for diwali. Rama is very pleased with your worship and is freeing you from 'the disease by way of a Diwali bonus. . Accept it heartily. Rest assured that whatever merit you have earned by namasmarana remains intact for your spiritual progress.*
Thursday, September 2, 2010
After the festivities for Ramanavami were over, ShriMaharaj started for another village. At that time he said, 'So long as one is here one should practise the art of worship of Rama while at close quarters*, and while leaving, one should carry with one the art of worship while in separation**. Lakshmana lived in Rama's companionship for fourteen years and won Him over by means of worship while at close quarters. Likewise, Bharata won His favour by being engaged in worship for fourteen years while in separation. It is a little difficult to engage in worship while in separation. Separation causes an interruption in direct companionship. Love is born out of companionship. So it is necessary for love for God to have arisen beforehand. Namasmarana is one sure way for love to arise.That nama should be chanted by all.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
A well - educated man said to ShriMaharaj, "These days, everywhere, but particularly in the Hindu society, fake saints are rampant. While it is true that there can be no attainment of God without a guru, if one comes upon an impostor in trying to choose a guru, both worldly life and attainment of God are ruined. So can one do without choosing a guru ?" In reply to this question ShriMaharaj said, "Some women die after marriage in their very first confinement. But has anyone given up marrying ? Or, because some women die from getting burnt while cooking, has anyone stopped cooking ? Likewise, because one came upon an impostor on one occa-sion, one should not entertain the thought of not at all having a guru. Primarily, one should find out whether one has a need for God in one's worldly life. If one decides that there is no such need, one should conduct one's worldly life as best as one can. Then one should not at all think about the spiritual path. But if one is convinced that lasting happiness cannot be obtained without God, one should place before oneself a picture of one's favourite deity and set about practicing chanting its nama. Later one will feel a deep yearning that one should encounter God. When that happens the sadguru* will himself come to him, and one's mission will be accomplished. In the meantime, if someone tells one that some place is first -rate, one should go there and minutely observe the so -called guru there. One should observe whether or not detachment from money and women prevails. Besides, if one's mental attitude undergoes a change for the better in the company of that person, one should presume that there is something uncommon there. If someone performs im unusual trick or works a miracle but speaks against nama, one should definitely conclude that he has not encountered God. It is to a person who passes all such tests that one should decide whether or not to assign the position of a guru. After having taken so much care, there is no fear of coming across an impostor."
Sadguru ( a spiritual instructor and director)
The number of ShriMaharaj's disciples was very large, and a good deal of food happened to be served regularly at Gondavale. Noticing this, a skeptical person said to Shri Maharaj, 'This is a time of shortages, but even then food is being served here as well as at any time before. This must be taking place not naturally but by the use of siddhis (supernatural powers). The tenets of religion deprecate the use of supernatural powers. How is this admissible?' Upon this ShriMaharaj said, 'A supernatural faculty is not being used here as you claim. Whatever takes place here is entirely by Rama's will. If you conduct your worldly affairs with a like sentiment, your worldly life will also keep going the same way it keeps going here. But let us assume for a moment that a supernatural faculty is being used here. When one pilgrimages to a holy place one affirms a resolve. In the ritual, one returns to the
Ganga the water one has taken from her. In a like manner, there is no wrongdoing in taking help of God to fimd and satiate the God residing in the hearts of the multitude. This suspicion of yours is a product of your identity with the material self, Dehabuddhi.'