Thursday, December 30, 2010
Gondavalekar Sri Brahmachaithanya Maharaj
The 97th Aradhana of Sri Maharaj is celebrated all over India to-day.
Sri Maharaj propagated chanting Ram-nam as the panacea to remove all the human weaknesses.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Sri Rama Samartha
97th Aradhana of Sri Maharaj started to-day (24-12-10) in the Mandir at Chintamani, with Kakadararthi,Akhanda Japanushtaan, and inauguration by noted philanthropic Sri Shadakshari . Evening, There was Sri Lalitha Sahasra naama pooja and Sankashta Ganapathi Pooja. -- a few pictures....
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Chant Ramanama, The Most Comprehensive Panacea
Many persons had gathered and just when ShriMaharaj stopped after having spoken with them, a gentleman reached there, and advancing quickly, he rested his head at ShriMaharaj's feet. Without giving him any opportunity to speak, ShriMaharaj began speaking himself. He said, "There was a doctor. Many patients used to visit him. There were in his cupboard bottles full of potions from which he used to dispense appropriate medicines. One day his own son fell ill; thereupon the doctor called him and placed on his palm a pinch of dried ginger powder, and said, "Swallow this." Likewise, I have so far told many things to many, but let me tell you in brief, 'Chant Ramanama. That contains, comprehends, everything to be done in human life, everything."
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
A sadhaka should observe the following ten maxims. He should bring his mind to bear upon the subtle difference between the two things mentioned in each.
(1) One should be humble, but not servile.
(2) One should have self- regard, but not conceit.
(3) One be humorous but not sarcastic.
(4) One should be deferential but not acquiescent.
(5) One may love but not be attached and involved.
(6) One may be competitive but not rancorous.
(7) One should be frugal, but not miserly.
(8) One should be generous without being prodigal.
(9) One should be meticulous in one's actions but not rigid.
(10) One should have loyalty for one's religion but not be a fanatic.There is an assurance from the sadguru that if one practises namasmarana uninterruptedly these virtues will automatically become a part of one's nature.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Nama JapaSaptaha can be observed by an individual, a family, or a group, and may extend over a day, or three days, or seven days. The following is an outline of the routine recommended by ShriMaharaj.
Get up at four in the morning. Pray briefly -------- say for five minutes, bow at the feet of god, and proceed with toilet, bath, etc. From half past five to six chant the matins ( Bhupalis ,), but don't make these too long ----- that in praise of Rama, Shree Samartha Ramadas, and the Sadguru, will suffice. These should befollowed by the pooja (Worship) and the singing of five psalms. There can be a brief religious discourse if a person who loves God, and is devoted to nama, is available. On the first day of the Japa, a whole coconut should be placed in front of a picture of Sadguru as is common when commencing any religious undertaking. And with that and a prayer, the Japa should commence. The lunch should be finished by about noon. If much delayed, lethargy overtakes everybody. The foods should be simple and the quantity a little short of stomach-full. Boiled rice, wheat or bajra or jowar pancake (bhakari), one simple vegetable (simple to dress and simple to cook), and some dry chutney, should suffice. Jaggery should be served as a delicacy, for it is naturally sweet.
All persons, including the women who cook and serve, should finish their work, and sit down for Japa till about five o'clock, ending with reading from some religious book. This should be followed by a discourse on love for God and nama, if a suitable lecturer is available. He should speak agreeably, excluding slander and criticism of anyone, nor should he attack any one's faith or belief.
When the evening pooja is finished, a light evening meal should be served. It should be light to digest, and very limited in quantity, so that there is no possibility of indolence creeping in to obstruct japa. This will also enable the kitchen chores to be minimised, so that even the women can easily participate in the night session of japa. Then the evening aarati and again a brief, half-hour of japa, so that everyone can retire to bed around ten, and there is no difficulty in getting up at four the next morning.
During the Saptaha talking should be avoided, mouna (Silence) observed as far as possible. Just as change of climate invigorates and there is a gain in weight, a japa-saptaha should result in nama pervading the life and thought and awareness to an increasing extent.
ShriMaharaj added, "The main object is to provide a chance for the indulgence of those who have an enthusiasm for nama. The host should have so much faith in nama that those who happen to take food or drink at his place should feel a desire or stimulation for nama. Imagine a number of men and women who are peacefully engrossed in namasmarana, and all with their attention focussed on God: need I describe how much I should like to hang around the place, to linger around with pleasure ?"
There are some persons who are so well-placed that they can, without obstruction, follow some of the hints even as every-day routine and live in namasmarana.
... 179 ...
Monday, December 20, 2010
A couple fell into the habit of frequent bickering with each other. Finally the quarrels came to such a pass that they decided to divorce each other and marry some other person that they would get on better with. Some well-wisher suggested that they had better see ShriMaharaj before taking the extreme step. ShriMaharaj asked, 'What will you do after the divorce ?' 'We shall re-marry a fresh person'. "Is there a guarantee that you will never disagree with that person? 'Both kept mum in answer. ShriMaharaj queried, "If disagreement develops, will the same situation not repeat itself ? Will you then have any recourse but to adapt yourselves to each other ? Then why not do the same today ? Accept each other and learn to adjust to each other's way of life and thought. Place your trust in Rama, think more about Him, pay more and more attention to chanting His nama; by and by you will come to attach less and less value to differences. Rama will be kind; lead happy lives in
thought of Him.
In course of time, the couple adjusted themselves to each other, and came to be known as a happily- married couple.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Some persons bound for Pandharpur halted at Gondavale en route, to see ShriMaharaj, who, in the course of conversation, asked them to partake of prasad before proceeding. The party was basically keen about the business deal they had in mind at Pandharpur, and decided to proceed immediately, rather than wait for prasad. On reaching there they found that they had forgotten at Gondavale the wallet containing the requisite documents. So they had to return to Gondavale. This time they did not neglect to take prasad before leaving for Pandharpur
Friday, December 17, 2010
Two persons were due to superannuate at about the same time. Of them, one was in sound health, had a wife and children, and was in every way fit. His superior offered him extension of service. His reply was that, as heretofore, he would consult his sadguru and follow his advice. So he asked ShriMaharaj, and, as advised, declined to accept the extension.
The advice was surprisingly against dictates of practical 'common sense1 and the employer pitied the man who blindly obeyed such a Sadguru . As it turned out, the man's son got employed, and there was no loss in the total earning of the family.
The other man who was superannuating about the same time was a widower, without children, and a weakling. ShriMaharaj advised him to apply and try for an extension, and after a deal of importunity got it.
There was, in the eyes of a common, worldly man, a clear contradiction in the advice given by ShriMaharaj. A devotee later sought an explanation. ShriMaharaj explained, ' The second party, already a bereaved one with a frail body, would have only brooded over his ' poor' luck, and made himself more miserable, so it was in his interest to have some occupation in old age; whereas it was only proper for the other person, comfortable in all ways, to spend his leisure in contemplation and service of Rama, rather than continue to serve and employ his physical strength in earning more and superfluous money.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
A Sadhaka once said, to ShriMaharaj, We approach you for advice in case of difficulty. Sometimes, however, the matter is pressing, and there isn't time to consult you. What should we do in such a case ?"
ShriMaharaj replied, " In practice we often tender correct guidance to a friend or relative. It is often correct because our view of the situation is objective, impartial. There was a young man who entered business, and was prospering therein. However, a ship which was bringing his merchandise was seized by the enemy's navy, and so he suffered a crushing loss, and became very despondent about the financial loss he was unprepared for. He had an elderly uncle, also in business, in another town. When the uncle came to learn of the young nephew's plight, he wrote to pep up the young man. The letter had a salutary effect, the young man gathered courage, and, eventually, he became a successful businessman.
"A number of years passed, and by coincidence, the elderly merchant suffered a great loss, involving both money and reputation which had been built up over the years. Aged, and therefore seeking security, he was completely floored, and thoughts of suicide entered his mind. He despondently turned over the papers in his records. He chanced to come across the copy of the letter he had written to the nephew. Idly he read it again and found himself pondering over it. It struck him that the advice he had given to his nephew years ago equally applied to himself
now. So he took courage, and eventually he regained his
After narrating this, ShriMaharaj added, ' If one learns to look at oneself objectively, there will be a proper assessment of any situation, and the correct solution will suggest itself,'
ShriMaharaj narrated this story to illustrate the point that a 'seeker' should always beware of the possibility of ever being touched by lust:
"In a certain town there lived a god-fearing man whom many took to as a guru. Among them was a man who lived elsewhere, but had a sister who was a young, comely widow living in that town. Once the man felt that the sister, like himself, should accept his guru's discipleship and ensure her future welfare. He mentioned this idea to her; on which she said,' Brother, I agree with you, but in my condition I am apprehensive.' The man thought it strange that she should show lack of faith in the good man, and eventually he mentioned it to his guru. The guru only said,' I note what you say." Later, when the time came for the guru to bid the world the final farewell, he told his disciples accordingly, instructing them to place his body untied to the bier, and carry it along a particular street —— the one in which the widow lived. Everything happened as the guru had predicted and instructed . The whole town turned out, and those living on the route of the funeral, stood in the doorways, balconies, windows, etc. to have a last darshan of the saint. So, too the disciple's sister, stood in her doorway. As soon as the funeral procession came to that point, the ' dead ' saint sat up on the bier, and asked the bearers to stop. He jumped down, made straight for the doorway where the widow stood, and touched her feet in salutation, saying,' Mother, it was extremely correct of you to have said to your brother what you did, and a good caution that reminded me of the care I ought to take. Now I am really on my last journey, and you can place trust in me.' So saying, he returned to the bier and lay on it, really lifeless."
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Around 1904, ShriMaharaj one day called Tatyasaheb Ketkar to his room. ShriBrahmanand Maharaj saw this, and later asked Tatyasaheb what he had been told. Tatyasaheb said,' I have been told to worship Shree Rama in the 'Manaspuja ( Mental Worship ). ShriBrahmanand clarified the point and said,' That means you should worship ShriMaharaj himself. This is his way of speaking; remember, he is identical with Shree Rama.1
Monday, December 13, 2010
The intercalary month was in progress, and so a devotee presented ShriMaharaj with a silver bowl, which he kept in a niche. Next day, the barber came to shave him, and ShriMaharaj asked him to use not his usual brass bowl but the silver one in the niche. The barber docilely obeyed. As usual, he kept the bowl in the usual, convenient place, namely, at his right hand, that is, to ShriMaharaj's left. The poor man's mind naturally dwelt on the silver bowl with a covetous feeling, which ShriMaharaj easily divined. When the shaving ended, ShriMaharaj picked up the bowl, which stood on his left, with the nearest, that is, left hand, and immediately handed it over to the barber, with the words,' Take this as yours.' This was watched by a learned pundit who was standing there, and he raised the academic objection that a grant with the left hand is ultra vires. ShriMaharaj said,' It may be so, but I did it lest, during the brief time of transferring the bowl to the right hand,my mind yielded to covetousness and changed the action.'
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Once the manager of a match-manufacturing factory saw ShriMaharaj. In the course of conversation, he asked, ' Is it absolutely necessay to have aSadguru ?' ShriMaharaj replied, ' You need a special quality of wood to make matches from. You then treat it in a particular way. Then you split it to a particular size and impregnate the pieces in a particular solution. In a similar manner, one must first observe a certain discipline to train the mind, and saturate it with devoutness. You then provide a particular inflammable tip to the matches. Even that, however, needs a roughened surface against which it has to be 'struck'. Your supervision to ensure all this is necessary. In a similar manner a Sadguru's direction and supervision are necessary in the spiritual quest.1
Saturday, December 11, 2010
"In lives of many saints, we come across instances of their having brought dead bodies back to life; but you say. that saints do not interfere with the rules of destiny. Where is the consistency in this ?" When someone asked this question, ShriMaharaj replied, "It is of course true that saints do not interfere with the set progression of destiny. But one sees in everyday life that when an employee is in need, the employer gives him an advance from future earnings; a loan can also be given from the provident fund; one can also obtain a loan on term deposits. Similarly, under certain special circumstances saints give as an advance a part of one's life in the next birth. They make use of this special power only if they see that that soul's spiritual well -being will be advanced only if this is done at that particular time, not otherwise. Such situations arise rarely, and therefore such incidents are also rare."
"Yet, despite the task of turning a soul towards God by draining out the poison of his love of worldly things being more difficult than that of raising a dead body, the saints are tenaciously and incessantly engaged in it."
Friday, December 10, 2010
ShriMaharaj once said, "Two main things terrify man: poverty and death. Take the case of poverty. One who
chooses to belong to my fold by leaving all his concerns and fears in my lap. I take on myself to provide him with at least a few morsels of food, albeit course, for his belly. Speaking about death, my guru has taught me perfectly well how to make his final moment fulfilling, who chants nama as per my advice, and I will not fail in that.'
On the way to Kashi, ShriMaharaj stayed at Harda, for several days. During that time, a person doing the work of trapping parrots and selling them came to ShriMaharaj with a parrot, and praising it for its smartness, he urged ShriMaharaj to buy it. At his insistence, ShriMaharaj bought it. When handing over the parrot to the priest he said, "Hang up the cage in front of Rama and teach it only to say 'Shriram, Shriram." Accordingly, the priest got the parrot trained, and it used to utter nama almost uninterruptedly. Thus ShriMaharaj accomplished the well-being of that soul.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
ShriMaharaj gave a copy of Dasabodha to a gentleman going abroad for service, and advised him to read it regularly every day. After some years the gentleman returned home. Some days were spent in arranging the baggage, visiting relatives, etc., and then he went to see ShriMaharaj. After the preliminaries ShriMaharaj asked, "Is the reading of the Dasabodha continuing regularly as I had advised ?" The gentleman said, "Yes, no matter however rushed, or delayed, I did not let the routine be missed. However, now, after returning, I cannot manage it in the midst of visiting and everyday matters." Upon this ShriMaharaj said, "This is not the difference in the circumstances, but in the mental attitude. While you wereabroad, there was a fear that, possibly, if the routine were missed, something might go wrong. You wished that such a thing should not happen in a foreign place. Now there is no such pressure on your mind, and therefore negligence takes place. Let it not be so. When a routine is observed, it should be observed for one's own welfare and not out of fear. So far the reading of Dasabodha took place out of fear, now do it out of love.w
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
After saying that a good or bad disposition always exists in the mind of an ordinary person to a greater or a smaller degree, but one should try to make it chaste, pure and sublime to an increasing degree, ShriMaharaj added, " Degrading or evil thoughts do keep rising in one's mind. Immediate performing of an evil deed in accordance with them is the disposition of the lowest, or dull type. Discrimination is totally absent in such persons. Those in whose minds evil thoughts arise, but who, by practising self- control, do not let the evil deed actually take place, are of a superior type. This can be called the passionate type. The desires which arise in the minds of those who are superior to this, of a good disposition, are all of a good, philanthropic kind; there is no trace of unholy thinking in them. The highest and purely good form of disposition is not arising of any thoughts other than the sadguru and God in the mind. Saints and liberated men are like that. When a person involves himself in namasmiarana constantly, he automatically reaches perfection, climbing these steps."-
Monday, December 6, 2010
When one called upon ShriMaharaj, not only did the caller feel joy, but it used to be apparent that he himself
felt even more joy than that. When an outstanding devotee was asked the cause of this, he said, "No matter with how clean a mind one goes to see him, as one's love for the physical self has not been wiped out, there does lurk a secret, a faint desire somewhere deep in one's mind, that some difficulty or deficiency in one's worldly life should get removed, or at least that the current state of well -being should continue. Because of this the joy one feels is adulterated, impure and encumbered; it is invariably tainted by desire. On the contrary, as there exists the single, pure, unselfish yearning in his mind, that every living soul that visits him may be freed from its bonded state, that he may gain everlasting bliss by encountering God, the joy that ShriMaharaj feels is unencumbered, that of pure affection, full of tenderness. If one too wants such joy from meeting the sadguru, visiting a saint, then one should approach with a pure sentiment that one's body and one's worldly life may suffer any fate, but that one should be freed of cycles of birth and death by developing of genuine love for God.'
Sunday, December 5, 2010
When once the talk had turned to saints, ShriMaharaj said, "All these three classes are no doubt pre - eminent, but if one were to look minutely, small differences are to be observed. Although Vishwamitra was himself proficient in archery, he did not oppose the demons obstructing the performing of yajnyas;, either by arms or by his superhuman powers; on the other hand, he brought over Rama and Lakshmana, and brought about the extermination of the demons at their hands by making them proficient in archery. Rama and Lakshmana being incarnations of God, and having been born in the warrior caste, had it as their duty to destroy the wicked. Having performed it with a detached mind, it did not become a cause of bondage for them. Now what does one see when one looks at a saint ? Not even the thought that someone should suffer extermination touches a saint's mind. What did ShriJnyaneshwarmaharaj ask of God ? Did he not ask that the perverseness of the wicked, or perversity of the evil-minded be eradicated ? There is no instance of saints' having wished extermination even of those who have oppressed them. So it is seen that saints view all living beings with pure love.'
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Replying to a doctor's question ShriMaharaj said, "If the bodies of a saint and another person were to be dissected, not much difference will be observed, for both bodies are formed of the basic elements. The difference is in the mind; the mind of ordinary persons is totally oriented towards the bodily self and worldly matters; while a saints's mind is totally oriented towards God, towards the eternal. If one acquires a penetrating vision by practising a great deal of namasmarana, by the resultant subtleness of the mind one can easily know the leanings of another's mind; that is, one can recongnize a saint. So, please practise namasmarana a lot.'
Friday, December 3, 2010
ShriMaharaj always used to say that he who has placed himself in my hands should not be sorrowful; he should always be happy and contented. Upon this a lady once said, "Some occasions of loss and bereavement are so extremely unbearable that one cannot remain without grieving. What is to be done in such a case?" ShriMaharaj then said, "Lady, when a crabby woman dies, her daughter weeps and her daughter - in - law too weeps. The daughter's weeping has an edge that she is now permanently distanced from her maternal home, while a daughter - in-law's weeping is tinged by a sense that she will now get some freedom. One who has the sense that the relationships, pleasures and pains, unions and bereavements, arising in domestic life arise in accordance with earlier actions and are inescapable, and to that extent impermanent, will mind the sorrow only to a limited extent. This sense is created and consolidated by namasmarana; so all should sincerely chant nama.'
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Shri Baba Kashikar had been initiated by Shri Nrisimhasarawati Swami of Alandi; but it was as if he had made him over to ShriMaharaj's care for further guidance. Once, in accordance with ShriMaharaj's advice, Kashikar went to Alandi to pay his respects at the shrine of ShriSwami. After having had prasad at Shri Swami's hermitage, and having paid his respects at the shrine of Shri Jnyaneshwara Maharaj, he started back. At that juncture the highly revered head of the hermitage, Shri Godbole maharaj, said to him while parting, 'Kashikar, physcially you may live in any place by reason of earning a livelihood, but mentally you should reside in Alandi.' When he met ShriMaharaj at night, ShriMaharaj said, 'It is good you have visited Alandi. What did Shri Jnaneshwarmaharaj say ?' No one had said anything at that shrine, so Kashikar was puzzled. Then, repeating Shri Godboles wami's parting message in exactly the same words, ShriMaharaj said, 'Is this not what he said?'Astonished on hearing that, Kashikar said, 'Yes'. The omnipresence of ShriMaharaj was confirmed, and it became evident that all saints are, in essence, one.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
An intelligent youth attached to ShriMaharaj, returned from travelling abroad on a scholarship. When he met ShriMaharaj, ShriMaharaj said, "What unusual thing did you see there ?" The youth said, "Maharaj, I saw the leaning tower of Pisa. Upon this ShriMaharaj said, "You had to go abroad to see these three wonders. I have seen three wonders right here. Everyone is acquainted with their own 'self. One stays with him one's entire life. But one does not understand his essence; this is the first wonder. Everyone applies the mind for conducting all affairs of everyday life. Whether it is pleasure or pain, man experiences it with the help of his mind. Despite this, the mind is not under anyone's control; this is the second wonder. And everyone complains every instant that wordly life is devoid af happiness, but no one is prepared to leave it; this is the third wonder."
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The festivities of Ramanavami were over. While a group of persons was sitting around, ShriMaharaj said, You had to exert a great deal in the festivities. But the exertions in worldly affairs are far too much greater in proportion to those. I really admire your perseverance. The worldly affairs knock you time and again, but your perseverance is really astonishing. You sincerely stick fast to worldly affairs. Even if one - tenth of this perseverance is applied towards attaining God, God will be easily attained. But no one takes paramartha seriously.'
Monday, November 29, 2010
ShriMaharaj was once speaking about authority. Saying that a sadguru is invariably a saint, that we have no conception of his limitless authority, and that similarly we cannot fathom the extent of his pervasiveness, ShriMaharaj added, 'True that saints are one with God. But there is only one thing that they cannot do. Let anyone behave in any manner towards them, they will not do disservice to him. Not even the thought of doing disservice to someone touches a saint's mind. The single and sublime motivation left in their lives being the promotion of welfare of all living beings, there exists in their hearts limitless compassion for the good as well as the bad. On account of this, they do not spurn anyone."
Sunday, November 28, 2010
While residing in Ayodhya, in 1905, in the course of a casual talk, ShriMaharaj remarked that the precincts are additionally hallowed by the actual presence of Maruti. KrishnashastriUppinbetigiri's imagination was fired with a keen desire for a darshan of the Chiranjeeva ( Ever-living ) Maruti, and implored ShriMaharaj repeatedly to arrange it. The latter put it off from one day to another. One day the Shastri implored so insistently that ShriMaharaj had to agree, and took him to the other bank of the river Sharayu. There the two sat under a tree, facing each other. The Shastri was asked to close his eyes. When, after a few moments he was asked to open them,he saw the huge figure of Maruti, whose resplendence dazzled his eyes. In a flash the vision vanished and he saw the usual mild figure of ShriMaharaj, who said, "Shastriji, this vision is not lasting. The true sight is the inner vision, the spiritual realization." On returning home, the Shastri remarked to Shri. Bhausaheb Ketkar, " Bhausaheb, ShriMaharaj is not just the simple, attractive human we commonly see as him ."
Saturday, November 27, 2010
While ShriMaharaj was on a tour in the Konkan region, a gentleman named Madhavrao, then over seventy years of age, came to see him, and, much impressed by the teaching , requested that he be accepted as a disciple. .ShriMaharaj said," You do not need to be initiated by me, and I promise to look after your spiritual welfare."
After some years, Madhavrao's physical condition declined, and, finally, he came to be bedridden. His two sons, both in service in
, were summoned to his bedside, as he sank. His suffering became too painful to witness. The two sons, watching his last moments, decided to sit on either side of his bed and helplessly chant nama .At about eleven at night, one of them, Vishnupant, fell into a trance. In that state, he approached ShriMaharaj, who asked, 'Vishnupant, what brings you here at this late hour ?' ' Sir ', Vishnupant replied, ' My father's agonies are painful to watch. When will he be relieved ?'' At about half past eight tomorrow morning .' On this, Vishnupant further asked,' And what about the promise that you will always be with him ? We see no sign of that.' ShriMaharaj said in reply,' Have you witnessed any deaths before this?' Vishnupant replied in the affirmative. ' Do you not see any difference between those and now ?' Vishnupant then realized that a feature of the present case was that namasmarana was going on by the side of the death-bed. At that moment the trance ended. Eventually, at half past eight, the old man's breathing ceased. One part of the interview in the trance had thus come out true. Bombay
Vishnupant's father-in-law was, like other relatives, duly apprised of Madhavrao's death, and he decided to attend the funeral rites, as is customary, from the tenth day. He also decided to see ShriMaharaj en route. In that interview, ShriMaharaj casually mentioned that Vishnupant had called upon him about a week back. The father-in-law, though he did not controvert the statement, was stunned to hear this, for Vishnupant could not have left his father's bedside around that time.
Later, the father-in-law, in a leisurely conversation, mentioned to him the gist of his talk with ShriMaharaj. Vishnupant then narrated his trance and was convinced that he had a corroboration of the other half of his trance, and that ShriMaharaj had kept his word and been present, though in the invisible form of namasmarana