Implicit Surrender to the SadguruEveryone is toiling hard to make a living; but do we come across anyone who can say, "I am getting enough and to my satisfaction?" The plain answer is, "No." So I ask you, if you toil so hard for a futile objective, why should you hesitate to work hard for attaining God, who is the home, the repository of pure bliss? At least give a fair trial to the path indicated by the saints. Make up your mind once and for all about the sadguru to be followed, and then stick to the sadhana he advises. To expect to see the sadguru necessarily in a corporeal body is not correct. In fact, the sadguru should be considered as nothing short of God Himself, and the sadhana prescribed by him should be pursued with implicit faith. This will positively lead to God. Nama-smarana is the only sadhana that any true sadguru will prescribe, and this we should practise with assiduity and perseverance. To him who honestly follows the sadguru's behest, the stages of advancement come naturally. A true seeker should implicitly surrender himself to the sadguru, ascribe all doership to him, and be contented and happy in whatever happens. To feel a burning, intense yearning for God is a matter of great good fortune. A sadguru is highly pleased to come across such a genuine seeker, as was the sage Vasishtha when King Ramachandra approached him, seeking divine knowledge. The saints all stuck steadfastly to their own sadguru, adhered to the prescribed sadhana, and saw God in a particular form of divine manifestation; so we, too, should perseveringly stick to nama-smarana. A father sports with the son while he is in a playful mood, and relinquishes him to the mother as soon as the child becomes petulant , whereas the mother coddles and pacifies him when he is out of mood. Saints are like the mother; God Himself behaves like the father. Remove water from a block of ice, and nothing remains; so are saints nothing but love for God. Association with saints is the royal road to attaining the Ultimate Reality without the trouble of sadhana. True association with the saint or sadguru, can be only by acting on his instruction, and the true effect of it is that the devotee's heart is fully purified. * * * * *
Monday, July 24, 2017
Sunday, July 23, 2017
First Faith, then Action, and Lastly Experience
One who has firm faith that the sadguru is backing him, one who implicitly obeys him and ensures his never-failing support, will never find himself in want. One has to walk back to take a start for a long jump; the set-back which a disciple may occasionally find in his life is like that walking back for a start. A father teaching his son to swim occasionally withdraws his support, but the son is confident that his father will never let him sink and get drowned. One should keep the same unshakable faith in the sadguru.
When a man falls ill, he pays the doctor and yet places trust in him, takes the prescribed medicine though he is ignorant about its properties and effects. The obvious reason is that we earnestly wish to live on, and to be well, and trust the doctor to arrange it. Similarly, we shall only place trust in nama and sadguru if we earnestly aspire to meet God. We should adopt the same procedure as in worldly life, namely, first trust, then act, and then expect the result to justify the trust.
We reserve a berth in a railway sleeper coach and travel sleeping, with full trust in the driver and the train, although we know full well that neither is infallible. Why, then, should we hesitate to put at least an equal amount of trust in God? Is He not even as trustworthy? No one expects you to begin with blind trust, but a certain minimum degree of faith is certainly indispensable for paramartha.
Begin with unquestioning faith in a saint and his teaching. To possess such implicit faith is indeed given to a fortunate few, and their progress is really fast. If we are not among those few, let us at least be honest to ourselves, and fix our objective of life and the path with faith and determination.
Pray to the Lord, "Give me full contentment in the situation you choose to place me in. Rid me of my ego. Let me never forget your presence, never desire to ask anything of you; give me love for nama and unswerving faith in You."
* * * * *
Labels: Picture, Sri Maharaj's Pravachan in English, Sri Maharajs pravachan compiled by Shri G.S.Gokhale
Saturday, July 22, 2017
The Sadguru Leads us to Ultimate, Eternal Bliss
A boy stood on the parapet of a well, ready to jump in to recover his ball which had fallen in. A person who was standing by tried to dissuade him, warning him that he may sink in the deep water and be drowned. The boy's father happened to be passing by and did his best to reason with the lad. Finding him stubbornly bent on jumping, the father gave a smart slap and drove him home. Would you here blame the father as unkind to his son?
Precisely similar is what happens between the disciple and his sadguru. The disciple, in his ignorance, goes on asking for fulfillment of mundane desires. The sadguru reasons with him to dissuade him. If the disciple still insists stubbornly, the sadguru uses more stringent deterrents such as obstacles and calamities, and tries his best to save him despite his protests. We profess to be educated, grown up, wise, and yet are eager for fulfillment of mundane desires. The sadguru may advise the disciple, in his own interest, not to marry, while the latter asks imploringly and persistently when he will find a wife; he may finally go to the length of saying that the guru is an ignoramus. This is because we see and seek happiness only in the sense perceptions. The sadguru, on the other hand, knowing as he does where true happiness lies, tries to dissuade us from following our fanciful notion of happiness. It is therefore in our own interest to listen to his advice. We shall attain true happiness by implicit obedience to his behests. What he does in advising us is to extricate our mind from wherever it may have got stuck with false fancies.
When it is said that God protects the devotee, it does not mean that He destroys the calamities; rather, He so fortifies the devotee’s mind that he can meet them calmly and courageously, with a contented mind. He ensures that the devotee is ever mindful of God. It is such devotees that eventually attain sainthood.
To feel respect for a learned man one must oneself be learned to some extent; to recognize a saint one must oneself possess at least some saintliness. The main essential quality is devotion. The external appearance and behaviour may differ according to the place and times, but love for God is an unvarying quality common to all saints.
* * * * *
Friday, July 21, 2017
Nama is Eternal and Divine, Just Like the Vedas
It is stated in the scriptures that in the Kritayuga God could be attained by long and deep contemplation; in the Tretayuga by performing arduous sacrifices; and in the Dwaparayuga by elaborate worship, In the present, Kaliyuga, none of them is possible, but God can be attained by the simple means of chanting nama, provided it is done sincerely and ceaselessly. Saints verified for themselves the truth of this, and assured all that repeating nama three-and-a-half crore times will purify the heart, and a thirteen-crore repetition will unfailingly bring about a darshana of God. You may not take my word for it, but I vouch this in the name of Jnyaneshwar Maharaj, Ekanath Maharaj, Tukarama Maharaj, and Samartha Ramadasa Swami, whose word is unimpeachable. The Ultimate Reality, which is inaccessible even to the Vedas, is realized by the saints by becoming it. Religious and moral restrictions are but scantily respected and observed in the present degenerate age, and therefore the saints exhort us to take to nama.
The Vedas seek to describe God, the Ultimate Reality; nama, too, delineates His existence. Every vedic hymn commences with 'Hari Om', which is nothing but nama. The origin of the vedas is beyond known antiquity; so is the origin of nama beyond antiquity. Both, equally, are eternal and divine, nama is resorted to by none less than Lord Shiva; so it is obviously the most ancient of sadhanas. Restrictions of diet and behaviour control restrict vedic and other sadhanas, while chanting of nama is singularly free of restrictions and restraints of any kind.
When the Ultimate God gave voice to the vedas, He first uttered the Elemental Syllable 'Om'. Nama is identical with Om. The true import of the vedas can only be comprehended by chanting nama. The vedas are essentially praises of God. While reciting the vedas, therefore, attention should be centred on the meaning rather than on the words. Even if we do not understand the meaning, our attention should be on God, whose praises we are singing. The pity is, we forget God and mechanically do all the rest.
For purification of the heart, vedic acts do not suffice; they must be accompanied by nama-smarana to make up for shortcomings.
* * * * *
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Unbroken Contentment in Nama, Sadguru's Grace
One who keeps his mind riveted at the feet of Rama has really no other sadhana to perform. No one can escape the destined travails of the body, but a Ramabhakta will not feel troubled by them. You, who have now found a sadguru, may rest assured you have nothing further to strive for, beyond maintaining faith in Rama. The true sign of a sadguru is that he, and whoever becomes his, find complete peace and contentment in nama alone.
Surrender wholly to Rama; rest assured that He will shower His grace on you. Leave the body to its lot, keeping the mind at peace and in happiness. Everything in the perceptible world should be treated as shadowy, unreal; and the mind should always be held fixed at the feet of Rama. Ask of God nothing but the love of nama; Rama will assuredly shower His grace on you. Never let anything disturb your peace of mind. Hold to nama dearly, just as a miser clings to money. While not chanting nama, one should feel restless like a fish out of water.
There is no sadhana but tacit obedience to the sadguru. There is no need to mortify the body by undertaking the trouble of any other sadhana. Only keep the mind fixed in Rama and in nama, day and night. One who trusts in Rama and Rama alone, will not expect danger of any kind from any quarter.
One who treats Rama as the only true friend and succour will never feel fear, nor anxiety, nor pain of any kind. There is no better service to one's self than serving Rama. He alone achieves the real aim and purpose of human life who surrenders his mind in its entirety to God. To ascribe all doership to Rama destroys all possible cause for anxiety. Chanting nama ceaselessly will impart a sense of satiation. Contemplating nama without cessation, living in the presence of God, and implicitly obeying the sadguru -- these constitute the mark of a true disciple. There is no other way to attain permanent contentment. One who firmly adheres to these things need do no other sadhana ; for him God is never far. Never for a moment think that anything but nama will secure your ultimate interest. Seek not to find me in anything but nama, for it is in nama that I reside; indeed, I am one with nama.
* * * * *
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
The Four Parts of Sadhana
When performing bhajan, I used to be oblivious of everything except God. I want you to be so, too, when you perform bhajan; and I say this with the full confidence that you can develop this single-pointed concentration.
You should frequently introspect to find out your own faults and defects, and realizing their mountainous proportions, make strenuous efforts to eradicate them. It is common human nature quickly to notice faults in others, and to belittle, even justify and condone one's own. Two things should be done to counter this tendency. One is, to stop forthwith making any calumnious reference to others. The other is, to take stock, at bed-time every night, of the time and energy spent during the day on the effort to attain God and, conversely, that spent on maligning others. This two-pronged effort will quickly purify the mind.
Associating with the godly is another means to purify the heart. Now, it is by no means easy to spot a saint in life. An easier and surer thing is to take recourse to a saint's discourses or book, such as the Dasabodha. Shree Samartha has categorically assured the reader, that one who reads it with complete faith will get the benefit of association with him (that is, Shree Samartha himself). Saints, indeed do not truly manifest themselves in the corporeal body so much as in their teaching, the sadhana they advocate. Shree Samartha has advised four-fold sadhana. One aspect is that we should adopt saguna worship, which alone can eventually lead us to realizing nirguna; for, though it is the Ultimate Reality, nirguna cannot be directly encompassed or realized. The second aspect of sadhana is humility of spirit. Pride puts God away, while one who approaches Him with humility becomes dear to Him. The third part of sadhana is distribution of food, anna-daan, to the best of one's capacity; this is most essential in the present degenerate age. The fourth part is ceaseless remembrance of nama. This is the invaluable gift the saints have devised for us.
One who has in the true sense met a saint, a sadguru, will cease to feel that he has anything yet to achieve. He has no sadhana to perform except doing what the sadguru orders or desires. That, in fact, constitutes a pilgrimage or paramartha for him. Nothing else ever even enters his mind.
* * * * *
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
A Detached Outlook Makes Life Free from Pain
So long as the 'body-am-I' feeling persists, that is, so long as a person identifies himself with the body, he must suffer from anxiety. He can conquer all feeling of anxiety only if and when he ceases to be subjective, and acquires an objective outlook on himself and the world. This he can do only when there is entrenched in him the conviction that God is his sole and never-failing support.
The planets and their positions in a horoscope can influence the body and the mundane matters which pertain to it. Thus, an astrologer may predict how much money one is destined to acquire in his life. He may even be able to indicate whether the person has a devotional inclination, and how much; but whether he will attain to God cannot be foretold, for the stars have no control in this regard. And if one fails to realize God, it is really a dire tragedy for the precious human life. Indeed, all other achievements and acquisitions count for nothing so far as the soul is concerned.
The yearning to realize God has to be genuine and of a high intensity, if it is to be fruitful. Real yearning, borders on franticness, and makes a man overwrought; he is only calmed down when he meets a saint.
Saints do not avert the calamities or unpleasant incidents for their devotees; what they do is to eradicate the fear of them; or, it is this apprehension of calamity that more deeply unnerves a person than even the calamity itself.
Saints do not yield to passions and sense-pleasures, but control them, rule over them as masters. This conquest of one's own self is far more arduous than even subjugating the whole world. Thus freed of serfdom to mundane attractions, they are able to look at themselves and the world objectively, and thus remain unaffected both by pain and pleasure.
We should leave office and business thoughts and worries at the workplace, and not carry them home. The domestic atmosphere should be free from fear and suspicion. Simplicity and straightforwardness of mind are a great asset; they are an inheritance from a previous life as sadhaka.
* * * * *
Monday, July 17, 2017
Implicit Observance of the Guru's Dictates
Once it so happened that a boy was removed from his mother immediately on birth, and reared elsewhere. When the two chanced to meet after several years, they could not even recognize each other. We humans are in a similar situation. We are in utter ignorance about the purpose of our life, which, in reality, is to realize God, of whom we are part and parcel. What has happened is that we are so thoroughly given to the senses and their pleasures, that we never stop to think of anything else. The senses and the objects to which we look for pleasures are themselves transitory, and therefore incapable of yielding real, permanent pleasure. Consequently, devotion to God, who is eternal, is impossible unless and until we cultivate complete detachment from these transitory, unreal pleasures.
What is it that a guru does? He leads us to the conviction that sense-pleasures are transitory, that is, impermanent, and unreal. Consequently, it is in our interest to obey him implicitly. Whatever spiritual exercise you undertake, if it has not been prescribed by him, will only be so much futile trouble; it will not be of avail. The reason is simple; it means that we consider that the guru has prescribed something inadequate for us; that is, in other words, the guru's dictates, that is, his knowledge and judgement, fall short of perfection. We should never swerve from the conviction that the guru is omniscient, nothing short of God Himself; for it is this conviction that is the foundation of firm faith. The essence of what the guru tells is that nama is the palpable manifestation of the one Ultimate Reality, that is, God; and that nama-smarana is so perfect as a spiritual exercise that it does not need anything to supplement it. It is a hundred-per-cent truth that nama is the most perfect sadhana as well as the ultimate goal.
We should be as intently loyal to the sadhana prescribed by the sadguru as a chaste, devoted wife is to her husband. A person who does his sadhana with such loyalty, can alone be said to be devoted to it, and he invariably comes by unalloyed bliss.
If only we approach God with the yearning and expectation that we apply to mundane objectives, we will not fail to realize true bliss.
* * * * *
Sunday, July 16, 2017
The Highest Duty is to Obey the Sadguru
Many are the means to attain to God, but one should only follow the path prescribed by the sadguru. If you follow it for a while and then shift to another, you will not reach the goal. If you change your doctor, naturally the responsibility of the first ends. The moment you are initiated by a sadguru, all your worldly and spiritual responsibilities become his, and all you have to do thenceforward is to obey him, provided of course, you sincerely feel so.
A poison is a poison, whether fed through this dish or that; similarly, self-conceit is harmful in practical as in spiritual life. If you realize your real self you have realized God, for the two are the same. God is infinite and attributeless, and we must also become so if we want to realize Him. In other words, we have to give up the sense of our individual self, or ego. To understand anything thoroughly requires that we identify ourselves with it, merge completely into it. To realize God, therefore, we should equip ourselves with similar characteristics, and put away those that are different, divergent. If by spiritual practice and discipline, we divest ourselves of all sin, we shall see the world also as sinless.
If we concentrate on God as having a certain form and certain qualities, we may realize Him in that form and possessing those characteristics; but by repeating and concentrating on the nama, we shall realize Him in his entirety. The nama therefore, is superior to all other types of sadhanas or spiritual practices.
Let us, then, live in nama, for therein we find all bliss. And what do we strive for in life but unalloyed, permanent bliss? I myself strove and searched for such bliss, and I found it, so I can say with the confidence of self-experience, that such bliss can only arise where there is unbroken awareness of God. I am perfectly, undisturbedly contented and so should you, be. I repeat, in conclusion, what I said at the beginning: whatever you may be, never give up nama, never forget nama. Do as much nama-smarana as you can; and what you cannot do leave to the care of Rama. He will certainly come forward to fulfil this desire.
* * * * *
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Earnest Yearning Brings Sadguru's Meeting
Man does know what to do and what not to, but he is controlled by the dictates of desire, to which he succumbs. We enjoy sense pleasures, but when we come to their unpleasant consequences, we feel overwhelmed. This is due to a misconception, a delusion, which can be overcome by, (1) good, godly thoughts, (2) nama-smarana, and (3) company of saints. A saint, however, is not easy to recognize, unless we belong to that class ourselves. It is easier to gather and entertain good thoughts. A good thought is one that has a bearing on God. It is easiest, however, to engage oneself in nama-smarana. If you manage to bring yourself to repeating nama incessantly, you need not go to search for a guru, for he will come of his own accord, even from the remotest part of the Himalayas. It is as natural as ants swarming to a lump of candy.
You may protest inability to maintain incessant repetition of nama. Now just consider what you do when your child fails to make the grade at school. Do we not force him to try again more seriously? We force him out of our anxiety to equip him to make a living. Why do we not show the same anxiety to meet a sadguru? If we do, he will even emerge from below the ground, for be sure he is eagerly waiting, watching, to assist you.
A mother's care for the child is limited to her life-time, but a sadguru's guardianship covers life after life of the disciple. The sadguru may have laid down his body, but he continues to exist and extend his protection and guidance to the disciple in one incarnation after another. When the, disciple becomes restless, so does the sadguru. So if you do not want the sadguru to lose his peace of mind, you should always keep your mind at rest, contented. Whether the body is subjected to pleasure or pain, keep the mind equable, undisturbed, happy. To have found the sadguru is the all in all of life, and you have nothing to do further. You will lose your separate existence, your ego, provided you surrender yourself to him completely unreservedly.
A yearning for God is the very life of a sadhaka. So think of Rama, whether you are awake or sleeping. Let nama be ever on your lips.
* * * * *
Friday, July 14, 2017
Whatever the Guru Prescribes is Sadhana
Let me tell you in a nutshell what paramartha is. It is, in essence, going through worldly life without having a sense of attachment for any worldly thing or matter. We remain unaffected by pleasure and pain when we realize that what we call our prapancha really belongs to God, who gave it us. This can be easily achieved by constantly keeping on the lips the nama given to us by the sadguru.
That person alone can be called a sadguru who himself has and will lead us to, a permanent sense of contentment. This applies to all sadgurus in all places at all times. Do not attach value to his look and physique, but judge him by his teaching. The sadhana he prescribes should be carried out diligently. To do so is, indeed, paramartha. If you make an alteration in the prescribed thing, it will only mean that your ego still persists, and anything done egoistically is doomed to failure. So first bury your ego and place complete trust in the sadguru.
True paramartha does not consist in empty prattle or lofty preaching to others; it is for one's own sake. In fact, the less known it is to others the better. Public esteem is of no use, actually harmful. To be misled into feeling false greatness is injurious to our purpose.
One person opens a confectionery shop, another may sell coal. What difference does it make, so long as the business is profitable? Similarly, worldly status is of no count; what matters is the advancement in paramartha.
Any worldly situation can be put to use in paramartha, so long as our approach is same and steady. Control of mind coupled with strong devotion is what is of real consequence.
Paramartha, in fact, is easy to achieve. The fun is that it is neglected, not seriously attempted, merely because of its very simplicity. Remember that prapancha is by no means an impediment to paramartha; it can, in fact, be turned into a good aid. All that a sadhaka has to do is to accept his duties as prarabdha and carry them out to the best of his ability, and apply the mind devotedly to God. Let Him be ever in your heart, His name on your lips, and the body employed in doing your duties in prapancha: this, is, in essence, paramartha.
* * * * *
Thursday, July 13, 2017
God and Nama are Indivisibly One
Do we learn even from our own experience? Do we show the practical sense of avoiding doing what our own experience has shown to be against our interest? It is this that is our most glaring, most serious fault. The great, however, behave otherwise. They put their experience to practical use, and rose to their present high status. Worldly pleasures are transitory and illusory; they are, in reality, misery masquerading as happiness. When the saints discovered this, they turned their back on this sham, and proceeded to search for true happiness, which, they discovered, lies only with God. They also found that the simplest means for attainment of God is namasmarana. From vedic times down to this day saints have been advocating nama as a matter of personal experience. The nama given by the sadguru, if repeated with love, devotion, and single-mindedness, inevitably leads to realization; this is the experience narrated invariably by all saints. Does our nama-smarana have that quality? Do we do it for the sake of nama alone or with some other, ulterior desire?
If we repeat nama with complete exclusion of any vritti, God is not far at all. Indeed, nama and God being identical, if the one is on your lips, the other cannot remain away. Children fly kites. Sometimes the kite rises so high in the sky that it gets lost to sight. And yet, the boy says, "1 have it at my command," for he holds the string. Similarly, so long as we maintain the string of continuous nama-smarana, God is assuredly with us. The moment that is broken, God slips away.
The one thing that is necessary to maintain the continuity of nama-smarana is the feeling that I cannot live without Him, I need Him so badly. The feeling that it is He that sustains my life, that I simply cannot live without Him, gives nama-smarana the edge of sincerity. We, on the other hand, treat nama as a superfluity. How should God respond to this? If we treat nama as essential for our living, our very existence, God will certainly respond positively, and we shall have achieved the highest aim of human life. So let us always carry with us the conviction that nama will never fail to take us to God. This alone can be termed genuine nama-smarana.
* * * * *
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Obey the Sadguru Implicitly
A pure motive is that which looks for neither return nor reward. That is what true devotion must be. Building temples, worshipping, and similar service, japa, and such other things, do not of themselves constitute true devotion if there is the least thought of any return. It should all be for its own sake. With most people devotional duties are merely routine, mechanical acts, carried out by practice, or because of tradition; they should spring from genuine, burning love for God. Action without genuine feeling is as useless as feeling not put into action. We try to carry out whatever is prescribed by the scriptures or the sadguru without imbibing the spirit of them. Such things, therefore, fail to wear out the ego; on the contrary, they feed and fatten it. We should, therefore, implicitly and honestly, carry out the sadhana prescribed by the sadguru. Merely doing something out of the way is of no avail.
Spiritualism does not mean giving up normalcy of conduct; it simply means not getting mentally or emotionally involved in worldly matters. What did Arjuna do? He took Lord Krishna not only as the chariot-driver, but as a guide and mentor; and wherever He took the chariot, Arjuna simply shot arrows at the target indicated. So, too, should we do; we should hand over the reins of our life and being to the sadguru, and thenceforward do nothing more than obey him.
Remember that one who expects nothing from the world, neither money nor recognition, will always stand distinguished from the rest. When we pick up a coin, we have both the obverse and the reverse in hand; so, when we take up prapancha, following paramartha becomes obligatory. Paramartha pre-supposes faith in God; this the sadguru grants and confirms by giving us nama. It is essential that we repeat this nama with perseverance and faith. Paramartha is brought to fruition by ceaseless nama-smarana; it gives contentment in prapancha, and fulfils the very purpose of human life.
One who lives in the ecstasy of nama enjoys the peace and bliss that is God. Repeating nama puts all anxiety away; it conquers the very concept of death, leads one to timelessness.
* * * * *
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Desire cannot Endure where God is
If we come across a very cruel person, we often dub him as "a butcher in his past life." This, however, is not correct; a man is not reborn according to his professional activity but according to his propensity, or passions. We have, therefore, to be careful in regard to motives. It is not the act but the motivating cause that justifies it or condemns it. We reinforce sensory pleasures with our desire, and get stuck in the mire of these. Desire will decay and will finally die only by living in the company of saintly persons. Association influences likes and dislikes. The resultant desire motivates all actions. Desire affects young and old alike. Even if a man feels fed up with desire, it clings tenaciously to him, even through death and go on into the next birth. It is, like God, eternal.
Desire occurs in three phases: the wish to have, if possible; the will to possess; and the yearning to have at any cost, the phase in which the yearning occupies the entire mind, and makes the mind uneasy without it. Now, what do we do when we want to remove a tree? We lop off the outer branches first and work towards the trunk and roots. Similarly when we want to destroy desire, we begin by plugging minor likes and dislikes, and working backward to loftier desires. In the beginning, pray to God for what you want. If He does not grant the prayer, acquiesce, as not being eventually good for you. Progressively, the very desires will die, and your mind will become agreeable to accept what He provides altogether giving up all desire.
It is puerile to think that God can be attained merely for the asking. Should we not at least make the effort to suppress unjustifiable desires? Even 'justifiable' desires should be indulged only so far as are permitted by moral and religious limitations. The desires of the wealthy generally become 'necessities', because they are accustomed to commanding them with their wealth; so, generally, they never get rid of desires.
Time hooks people with false hopes, and lures them on till death. So one who gets free from the clutches of desires liberates himself from both pleasures and pain. To live in one's own home with the unconcern of a guest will enable to mitigate desires.
* * * * *
Monday, July 10, 2017
Surrender to Sadguru
One who accepts with contentment the situation that Rama grants, is a true virakta, a spiritualist who is truly disinterested. Viveka or true spirit of discrimination, is evident in one who holds his mind away from whatever militates against Rama. When the mind feels interest in worldly things and passions, one may conclude that spiritual discrimination is disappearing. The way of thinking is influenced by the ego, which always tries to detract the mind from awareness of God. The only way to counteract this effect is to try to be ever mindful of Raghuveera. Indeed, learn to think that everything that comes to the mind is Rama. The only thing that will dispel the pitch-darkness of a thickly clouded moonless night is sunrise; similarly, the invariable conviction that Rama is the doer of everything, dispels all doubts and distractions of the mind.
Keep the mind pure, untainted by prejudice or passion, as would be loved by the God-fearing; this will please God. That selfishness rules the world can be evident from a search of our own heart. Therefore, detach your thoughts from all worldly things, and then courageously face all tendencies with a firm conviction that God is the real doer.
Disabuse your mind of all doubt, and go to the sadguru in all humility. Keep repeating nama free of doubt and distraction, for that is the foundation of true, lasting happiness. Rest assured that God will never hold Himself away from one whose heart is pure, whose conduct is morally irreproachable, and who wants God for His own sake. Such a person may go about worldly affairs but without being mentally involved.
God must manifest Himself where there is love for Him. Keep ever aware of God, the Prime Mover for the body itself and the universe. Good, godfearing people always treat it as good fortune to have yearning for God. One who lives like worldly men but is internally aloof from all such things with the help of nama, corresponds to turbid water clarified by alum. The great prowess of nama is that it absorbs the poison of worldly attractions. So let your mind think of nama and nama alone. It should, indeed, percolate deep, even beyond the four types of vani or speech. Always be on guard lest any urge but nama arise in the mind.
* * * * *
Sunday, July 9, 2017
Shree Guru-Pournima – 1
In the name of God I solemnly affirm that I always feel that everyone is activated by Rama, even the one approaching to me for initiation. The disciple may be inferior, deficient, humble, ignorant, and yet I have looked upon him as no less than Rama. I see no one as evil-minded.
I prefer little children and retired persons because both have no inhibitions. I have respect for the learned, but little love or preference for them; I respect the Goddess of learning, Saraswati, that inspires them. I have scant regard for the rich, because they tend to lean on the strength of wealth and to connive at God. Simple-minded, little-learned people are dearer to me than pedants. I prefer village life to urban life. I have stated my preferences, but these may vary from person to person. If you ask a person to set his eye aside before coming to see you, he can not comply. Similarly, I simply cannot exist in the absence of nama. Wherever nama exists, I am there. If there is anything to learn from me, it is to give up worry, in the faith that God is the sole doer. To young boys and girls, my exhortation is that they should obey parents and elders, learn to be sincere in whatever they do, never swerve from honesty and integrity, and never lose sight of God. Good, disciplined conduct in young age will make a really responsible unit of society in due course.
I know what goes on in the innermost thoughts of a visitor. I listen to everything with your ears. When anyone of you feels depressed, I feel disturbed; then I search for and discover source. I sincerely feel sorry when anyone of my people worries; everyone who calls himself mine should have unquestioning trust in me. I say as a matter of personal experience that if you conduct yourself in life with trust in God, you will lose nothing. Resolve to follow my guidance, and leave all care and worry to me. When I assure you that I am by your side, I do not mean that I am there in physical form; it means that God Himself is with you. Be sure that I am doing everything needed by you. On your part do what you can, but never pine for anything. Why not believe that I reside in your heart and prompt you in your thought and action? You should have firm faith that whatever you do is by my will, by me. I never feel despondent about anybody, for anyone born as a human being is bound to attain to God one day or another.
* * * * *
Resolve to Repeat Nama Continuously
Whatever is perceptible to the senses perishes sooner or later. It can never be independent; it is always subject to control by God, and so we should understand that everything that happens is purely by divine dispensation. Our body is also perceptible, and is animated by God; we should therefore maintain constant awareness of Him. It is, by nama-smarana that this can be achieved. So you should resolve to live in nama. If the mind devotes itself to nama, one finds no difficulty in leaving the body to the vicissitudes that prarabdha may bring, without being affected by either pleasure or pain. Even saints cannot escape prarabdha, but they face it with equanimity because they have freed themselves from the 'body-am-I' feeling.
Go about your worldly business, but never lose sight of nama. Whatever may come as the result of your effort should be accepted cheerfully as divine dispensation. We are men of the world, after all, so we should never spare putting in appropriate effort, but never be carried away by it and forsake nama. Righteous behaviour is a sine qua non for spiritual uplift.
Do not follow any Tom, Dick, or Harry, or any person who may be a hypocrite, nor stray from the righteous path. Trust only in a genuine saint, keep nama ever on the lips, and go through prapancha with due regard to righteousness. I assure you that one who conducts himself thus will be blessed by Rama.
It is a pity that most people profess devotion with an eye on some mundane objective. Few, indeed, want God for His own sake.
Who is a good doctor? One who cures a sickness which has been given up by others as incurable. Similarly, a genuine saint is one who rescues persons who are steeped in passion. To such a saint one has only to go in utter surrender.
Prapancha today is about the same as it was in bygone times; the most significant difference, however, is that most people then were devout and god-fearing, whereas today they are less broad-minded, more self-centred, less helpful to each other, less self-sacrificing.
Resolve to do what I ask you to do, no more, no less, and say 'good-bye' to all worry in life, for I undertake all responsibility for you.
* * * * *
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Anusandhana, and how to Maintain it
Whatever stands highest in our affection and closest to the heart's attachment, naturally becomes part and parcel of our very being. It is so deeply ingrained that it occupies not only our subconscious self but lies in the unconscious, and we are not even aware that it is there. We are literally one with it, it so thoroughly pervades our existence. Imagine that we are going in great hurry with mind preoccupied, and somebody hails us by name; we invariably turn the head to look; so completely are we one with the body and the name. We do not have to be tutored for it; we love the body with the highest intensity, as a matter of course. This is a result of our ego, which makes us ignorant of the fact that we are basically identical, not with this mortal body, but with the elemental, eternal Cosmic Soul. It requires supreme effort to re-kindle this true knowledge. Indeed, the true goal of human life is to realize this identity; this can be achieved only by keeping God in the foreground ceaselessly, in every act and thought, filling our entire being with an indelible awareness of God.
At a circus show, we watch animals do their various acts. We marvel at their skilful performance, express our admiration by clapping. But the performing animals themselves pay scant attention to our applause. Their attention is wholly focussed on the signals the trainer makes with his whip. And what do we humans do? We consider with the utmost concern the reaction of other people, completely ignoring God, the real Manager of the entire universe. If we reverse our concern, we shall easily understand what He would like or approve. If we keep Him ever uppermost in mind, we shall automatically be doing what He desires. All that is needed is never to lose sight or awareness of Him, and physically act as duty demands. This can be achieved, solely, easily, naturally, by extreme, unswerving, single-pointed love for Him. Such love alone gives true anusandhana or super-awareness, unconscious awareness.
A mother having bathed and fed the child, lulls it to sleep, puts it into the cradle, and then proceeds with the usual household chores. Apparently engrossed in work, she is still alive to the puniest little wail of her baby. We should love God with similar intensity, and similarly maintain constant, dominant awareness of Him; that is anusandhana.
* * * * *
Friday, July 7, 2017
Approach God with a Childlike Heart
Who lives in this world without doing some action, even if it were nothing more than breathing? And yet, none of these actions is thoroughly complete, because it lacks the correct basis. We perform many actions mechanically, perfunctorily, without knowing why. Both knowledge and devotion are necessary for correctly and fully understanding who or what 'I' am. One may discuss threadbare the philosophical statement 'it is brahman alone which is the true Reality; all else, all creation, is but a shadow'; and yet, experiencing that Reality involves some action.
Religious service only becomes effective if we recognize the true nature of God. This calls for an undoubting faith in the sadguru or a saint, faith just like that of a child feeding at the mother's breast. What can be achieved by such simple, unadulterated, 'blind' faith cannot be attained through the eyes of 'knowledge'. So approach God with the trust of an infant in its mother. What hinders such an approach is my 'knowledge', my 'wisdom'. God enfolds devotees freely because they approach Him with a childlike mind.
Many are the ways to attain God. The saints advocate the simple way of constant awareness of God; that is, we may go through worldly life so far as the body is concerned, provided we give our heart and soul entirely to God. Nothing will be of real avail unless the mind becomes steadfast, and that can happen only when it has an objective which is itself steady and everlasting, and the faith in it is unshakable. Faith is necessary for achieving anything in paramartha, just as love is necessary if prapancha is at all to be worthwhile.
A man is what his faith is, irrespective of his station in life. We should trust in God and follow our worldly duties fearlessly, without fighting shy of them.
If the queen bee of a hive is removed, the thousands of workers and drones that inhabit the hive automatically leave it; so, too, if the 'body-am-I' feeling is got rid of, the host of thoughts, fancies, doubts, that throng the mind will automatically vanish. The knowledge that comes when one is free of the 'body-am-I' feeling, is alone true and all-pervading; and it is this knowledge that brings perpetual, self-sustaining contentment; and this pure contentment is the true vision of God.
* * * * *
Thursday, July 6, 2017
You Should Feel the Support of Sadguru
We must face any situation that arises, with an undaunted, unaffected mind. The mind is unmoved by any extraneous thing or circumstance if it remains absorbed in contemplation of God. We can achieve this by dint of steady practice, but without worrying about it. Think lovingly of God, leave your cares to His able shoulders, and keep your mind in unperturbed restfulness, joyfulness. Inherent propensities are not controlled by command; they are purified and ennobled by diverting them towards God. Remember always that everything that happens is by His will. Ascribe calamities as well as pleasing happenings to Him, and be contented to live as He wills you to.
Some kind of apparent cause is required to stimulate the love of God that is dormant in the heart. Pilgrimage to holy places, and association with holy persons, are such a common cause. Even shree Rama performed such pilgrimages and met holy persons.
To associate with saints and the saintly, with some ulterior motive at the back of the mind, is not the proper thing to do. A saint may occasionally grant a mundane wish, but by and large, his object is to create in you disgust for worldly interests, and thereby, the heart may be purified and elevated by mere association with such noble minds. The divine name itself provides such association, because at the back of it stands God Himself. An upsurge of mundane desire is the effect of maya, or forgetting God; whereas, remembering the divine name is a sign of remembrance of God.
The ultimate aim of all religious austerities, all penance, is a burning desire to surrender unreservedly to God. One who so utterly surrenders himself no longer remains distinct and separate; his identity merges into God. To achieve this is the goal of paramartha.
You should never feel hesitation in admitting that you are the disciple of your sadguru. You may be sure you are under my protection. I am immune to both pleasure and pain; and yet I feel sorry when you feel distressed or depressed. So take care never to feel distress or depression. I am perfectly aware of the common man's worries; and it is with this full awareness that I exhort you to devote yourself to nama-smarana. I have said it before and I say it again, be what you may, but never give up the Lord's name.
* * * * *
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Narrate Your Problems to Shrirama
I would urge you to persist in your spiritual quest with a firm faith that this quest is for your true ultimate good. Do not mind the cavils and quibbles of disbelievers. God is infinite, limitless in every way, and the quest for Him is bound to be arduous. Your spiritual strength must be of a high order if you desire to attain to Him. We certainly possess the potentiality to acquire that strength even if we do not have it today. Gradual heightening of devotion gives that strength; and ceaseless nama-smarana is the correct means to acquire it.
Treat Rama as your kith and kin. Narrate freely to Him your woes and worries; think of Him as your confidant. Stand before Him at least once a day in utter surrender; you will then pass the day in the joy of your faith and think lightly of worries. Our knowledge, might, authority, glory, are insignificant in comparison with His. So forget everything, surrender unreservedly to Him, and pray for His grace. Say to Him, "O Lord, I can see You only superficially, not essentially. I am full of defects and sin. The degree of my devotion is but small. Forgive me, I pray You and, utterly unworthy as I am, mercifully accept me as Yours. Difficulties and calamities may come, as a result of my prarabdha; I shall face them cheerfully, with Your name as my sheet-anchor. Please stand by me and see that my contentment and my faith in Your name remain unimpaired."
God is omnipresent; He is therefore with everyone, but is only perceptible if the faith is impregnable. One who possesses such faith is always confident of God’s support.
Two ways are open to man: faith, and self-experience. Faith is like a foot-track, short and direct. The path of experience is circuitous, like a motorway; just as progress is balked in case the vehicle breaks down or if there is an obstruction on the way, anything that goes wrong in the path of experience holds up progress. The common man should walk with perfect, undoubting faith in the words of the sadguru, and take to nama-smarana with affection and unquestioning trust.
Establishing God's name as a means of liberation is the greatest obligation which the saints have conferred on humanity.
* * * * *
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Human Body: an Instrument for God Realization
The saints caution us if we happen to follow the wrong path, and show us the proper way. They always remain in the ecstasy of the awareness of God, always thinking of Him and talking of Him. True, lasting joy is obtained only by those who see everything as part of God's sport. That we sow a single seed of corn and reap an ear as harvest – is this not an evidence of God's merciful sportiveness?
In essence we have in us all that God is and has. We have the divine spark in us no less than Maruti had; only He fully developed it, whereas we smother it. Let us therefore hold Him as our ideal – His continence, devotion and service to Rama, and way of obliging others; these characteristics we should try to imitate and imbibe.
Maruti lives for all time; one with the proper degree of faith may still see Him. He viewed all creation as the image of Rama. It is this that true devotion seeks to achieve. When devotion reaches the degree where one forgets one's self, the devotee will find his abstract ideal take shape and assume life.
Whenever thinking of or doing anything ask yourself whether God will approve of it. To feel thus at all times is what devotion seeks to achieve. When you attain the conviction that God is the doer and dispenser of everything, that He is your well-wisher and support, then everything that comes or happens will be meekly accepted as His will, and complete contentment will result. This contentment and the joy it brings surpass all other kinds of wealth. There should be a veritable fountain of joy in our heart, so that anyone who has a mood of cheerlessness should seek our company to drive away that mood. Worldly riches can be given away and exhausted; but joy is a thing that improves by giving. A joyful nature is, indeed, a divine gift.
Man is endowed with the invaluable faculties of a logical mind, a discerning intellect, and a highly capable speech for communication of thoughts and ideas. But we abuse these gifts employing them for obtaining bodily pleasures and sentimental gratification, instead of directing them to the attainment of God. In our own interest we should desist from this misapplication and employ these faculties in the service of devotion to God.
* * * * *
Monday, July 3, 2017
What the Sadguru Does for the Disciple
What does the guru do in reality? He asks you to wipe the dust off the face of the mirror, to cleanse the mind; he makes us aware of our misconceptions and mistakes. If a man dreams that he is drowning in a tank, he shouts for help; he becomes quiet when he is woken. The guru wakes us up from our painful dream of ignorance and makes us aware of the Reality.
Only he can be said to have truly found a sadguru who feels that he has reached the end of his quest and that there is nothing more to be achieved. A man in good worldly circumstances may feel there is nothing more to be desired, but there is no real respite for a mind which continues to hover over and hanker after one worldly thing and another.
The guru, after all, is what the disciple thinks of him. If the disciple approaches him in unreserved surrender, he takes the disciple under his unreserved guidance and protection. The guru is, indeed, the divine name Incarnate. True sadhana consists in obeying him implicitly, literally.
No saint lives in the body for all time. What is important about a saint is his yearning for God. Many people do meet a saint, but derive no benefit because they fail to understand the importance of association with him. Duty performed selflessly leads eventually to complete annihilation of all expectation. The sadguru indicates to us what our duty is.
You may own a motor car, but, if it is without a proper driver, it may run into trouble. Even a simple bullock cart cannot be driven by a raw novice, even if he owns it. Man conducts his worldly affairs without proper guidance, and lands himself into trouble. If you place the sadguru at the helm, he steers you safely, clear of all obstructions. All you have to do is to keep yourself constantly absorbed in consciousness of God, and rest carefree with trust in the sadguru; then you will be protected by him from danger. You will come to realise that whatever you are destined to get will automatically come -- no more, no less; and this will eventually destroy all desire to have or not to have. Thereby you will realise that everything happens by divine will and dispensation. This will give you complete contentment. But all this can only happen if you are pure at heart.
* * * * *
Sunday, July 2, 2017
True Service to the Guru
What after all, is the object of meditation, prayer, religious mortification, rules, sacrifices, etc. ? The attainment of God, or guru. If He Himself comes to you, where is the need for all the effort of sadhanas? Not only is all that not required but, if undertaken, it may only lead to pride of doership, which will actually injure the purpose. Now that you have submitted to guru, accept with gladness whatever happens, treating everything as his doing and will. See my hand in everything that happens, everything you do.
What do you think is real devotion to the guru? It does not consist only in bodily service, but, in implicit obedience to him. Of those who come to me, most have in their mind some worldly object --like financial betterment, a child, cure from illness, and so on. In effect, they come not to serve but to be served. You should come not for having a worldly desire fulfilled, but to seek the true fruition of human life. Occasionally I may grant a little of what a disciple desires, but it may be only like beguiling a child with candy to make it take a medicine.
That you ascribe omniscience to me is only superficial; if it were earnest, you would take care to do nothing underhand or sinful. Only he who has completely identified himself with me can really feel that I am truly omniscient. Surrendering yourself to the guru implies, nay, necessitates, that your mind completely merges with mine; if you achieve that you are in effect with me even if you are physically away, at a distance. I would like you to be free and frank with me, like a child with its mother. Open your heart to me. What trouble and expense you undergo to come here to meet me! And yet, when you return 'home', you go with empty hands; and it is this that pains me most. What you have really to pick up from me is love for God; and this is what you cannot obtain elsewhere.
True relief from the toils of prapancha can only come from nama-smarana. He who wants to meet me, be with me, must come with the utmost regard for nama; indeed, to love me is to love nama, and vice versa.
* * * * *
Saturday, July 1, 2017
The Need for a Guru
The need for some kind of guide or guru is often felt even in this obvious, everyday world; how, then, can we dispute the need for a guru in the abstract and unknown field of spiritual knowledge? One who has had to bear the ups and downs of fortune, and has failed to discover genuine contentment in life, alone will yearn for someone to guide him, will earnestly look for a guru. The need for a guru arises only for him who knows the bitter side of life. One who pines for guidance is a worthy disciple; he who becomes aware of his own ignorance and incapacity can alone be really in search for a guru.
A person may argue that he does not follow the wrong or forbidden path, and does repeat the Lord's name, and therefore, needs no guru. The answer is that, even so, he does need a guru to preclude the rise of the feeling of doership in sadhana itself, because even a trace of such feeling strikes at the very root of spiritualism; indeed, spiritualism means acknowledging God as the sole power and doer. Saint Namadeo could converse with God, but even he was asked to surrender himself to a guru to remove the last barrier to his complete emancipation.
There is a general tendency to call a person a saint if he performs some miracle or arranges to have some mundane desire granted. A saint cannot be recognized merely from his appearance, dress, or even physical action. Only he can adjudge a saint who sees God in everything. We can call him a saint who purges the mind of mundane feelings and expectations.
Who can be called a true disciple? One who genuinely pines to find God, and treats the guru as the sole means to attain God; he thinks of the guru as his religion, his all in all, and never transgresses the guru's command, committing himself entirely to the guru's care.
Endless are the shastras and the vedas. The length of human life and its capacities are too limited to cope with them and grasp their teaching. The sadguru, the saints, have given us their cream in the form of nama as the sadhana; if we assiduously apply ourselves to nama, love for God is bound to arise. Let us take to it and live happily.
* * * * *