Sunday, August 31, 2008

Views of Saints on Pujya Bapuji and the Propaganda against Santana Culture

Expressing his views on the conspiracy against Sant Sri Asaramji Bapu, Shankaracharya Jagadguru Shri Jayendra Saraswati of Kanchi Kamakoti Peeth said: “The cause of the confusion is politics. May it be resolved as early as possible.”

He stressed that it is necessary to thwart the attempts of conspirators trying to shake the faith of believers, by repeatedly attacking our saints who form the foundation of Santana culture.

He added: “We are expressing our views, taking action, and yet there is much more to be done. It is very necessary for the saints to spread awareness in villages and cities. There is strength in union in Kaliyuga. All should make a collective effort. If all saints and religious leaders work together, the wicked slanderers will be put off. That is why it is necessary for everyone to try to be united.”

Sant Sri Baba Harpal Singhji Maharaj, Ratvada Sahib, Mohali (Punjab): “The allegations leveled against Pujya Bapuji are baseless. I am very closely acquainted with Bapuji and have deep love for Him, and those who level false allegations against such spiritual personalities, and great souls, are utterly contemptible. We of all the ashrams in Punjab strongly protest against this.

“Bapuji propagates religious unity for all and He has a very universal approach. Hence we strongly appeal not to slander such a great soul. Today all the Sikh people and all the Sikh organizations are united in their decision to sacrifice everything for Bapuji.”

Shri Shri 1008 Mahamandeleshwar Swami Achutanandaji Maharaj, Haridwar: “The act of slandering great souls is an attempt to break our culture, unity and integrity. May God bestow good sense upon those people who talk such false things.”

Anantshari Mahamandaleshwar Balyogi Swami Arjunpuriji Maharaj, Haridwar: “Sant Sri Asaramji Bapu is a great ascetic. He has contributed a lot to the service of the Hindu world and people have great faith in Him. Some people do not like to see the fame and prosperity of others. Such miscreants take undue advantage of such opportunities. Asaramji’s endeavors for social service are very praiseworthy.”

Shri Shri 1008 Mahamandaleshwar Sanjivdas Hariji Maharaj, Nirmal Dera, Haridwar and National President of Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Suraksha Samiti: Today, foreign powers have employed all their strength and faculties throughout the country to malign and disintegrate the Sanatana Religion. One can also sense political play behind all this as elections are nearing. The media is not playing its role properly.

A journalist of ‘Press Ki Taquat’, spoke to the local saints regarding this issue. Mahant Shri Rameshwardasji Maharaj of Jagannath Temple, Amdavad said: ‘The institution of Asaramji Bapu is being defamed. It is very bad. Those who are involved in politics defame Dharma, religious people, and as a part of their political strategy, they even plot against supporters of the civilization of the nation.’

Shri Hariharanandji Maharaj of the famous Swaminarayan Mandir, Amdavad, spoke of the role of the media: “I would like to say that some people are conspiring to destroy Hindu culture. They are unable to tolerate anyone who commands respect in society. By making allegations against them, they misrepresent facts. When the real story emerges, then you can print it.”

Shri Shivananda Saraswati of Gita Mandir, Ahemdabad told the journalist of ‘Press Ki Taquat’, in a special meeting: “These people who are committing violence, what are they burning? They are burning buses, but who bears the loss? Who has to suffer through all this? We as individuals alone will have to suffer. Taxes will be imposed, etc… Whose Government is it? It’s ours, isn’t it? Whichever Government it is, be it Congress, be it BJP, the loss will ultimately be suffered by the individuals. Inflation will occur. So, people who read the paper should discriminate between what is right and what is not and then express their thoughts. Some news is printed in the paper. You have to wait and watch till the truth emerges. Then investigate to find out what is right and what is not and oppose whatever is not right”

When Rakesh Aggarwal, a journalist of ‘Press Ki Taquat’ asked Shri Bhaskaranandaji Maharaj, Gita Mandir, Amdavad for his thoughts on the death of the two children of Pujya Asaramji’s Gurukul, he replied, ‘In the incident in which the children died, this is just an accident that could have happened at any time. Whether the ashram has a hand in this or not, the point is that there was such a violent uproar around the temple, there was destruction, there was loss within us, Hindus itself… This violent outbreak is absolutely wrong. It should not happen. Some political strategy or a political party had its hand in it. I am fully confident of this.

I’d like to tell everyone that you should not get deluded like this and make allegations against anybody. For the people who are incensed by this who are getting violent, taking our rallies – all this is very wrong.’

(By courtesy of ‘Press Ki Taquat’)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Respect the Divine blessing

If you get by divine grace, some high-ranking position, some supernatural power, a divine gift, the company of a great Guru, prasada given by Guru or a garland and you don’t respect it, you will lose it. The Guru showers his grace on you and thereby endows you with radiance, strength and joy; but if you fail to respect it, it is lost. The prasada given by Guru or God goes on multiplying if we respect it, but it disappears if we fail to appreciate it.

Mother Ganga gave an exquisite bangle to Jatashankar with instructions to hand it over to Saint Rohidas. Jatashankar gave it to the king, who in turn gave it to his queen. The queen hurdled the bangle to pressurize the king into trying to procure the other one to make a pair. As she hurdled the bangle it disappeared, as it was given by a goddess. Therefore by showing disrespect to gifts given by Guru or God, we lose them.

We see the Guru in the body, but his Atman is Divine. God abides in Gurudev’s heart. If we hurt the Guru’s heart, we hurt the Supreme Being abiding in it! Imagine where this will lead us to! God alone knows how many births our misery may continue Gurudev’s blessing works to make thousands upon thousands of hearts noble and pious; but his displeasure can also work to wreak havoc. It is not possible to propitiate the Guru through deception and cunning practices. We should never do anything that may displease the Guru because:
Gurukripa he kewalam shishyasya param manglam
Aakalpjanmakotinam yagyavratatapah kriya
Tah sarvah safala Devi gurusantoshmatratah

‘Guru’s grace alone brings supreme good to the disciple. O Devi! Merely by propitiating the Guru, all penances, sacrifices vows, austerities and scriptural rites come to fruition.

I got whatever I have by Guru’s grace. Is it easy for a pauper to become a billionaire through his own efforts? But if a pauper child is intelligent, he will get himself adopted by a billionaire and become a billionaire instantly. Similarly, the moment one is adopted by Guru’s grace, one attains Divine Peace.

Always let divine thoughts entertain your mind. Never allow negative thoughts to enter your mind. Never entertain thoughts of sorrow, worry or escapism. Don’t let dejection come near you. God’s infinite powers are with you. The consciousness that pervades each and every cell of your body, that itself is called Rama. Rama is not distant for you… the Divine consciousness is not distant for you… God is not distant from you. I unfortunate sense pleasure and passions have kept you away from God and progress. Become your own judge. For centuries you have been deceived by your weak, passionate mind, your neighborhood mind and the company of people involved in trivial matters. These reasons have led to your downfall.

Never trust the opinion of the majority. Always trust the opinion of wise persons. Don’t bother about what the majority says. Don’t get entangled in pleasing the majority. Please God; you will find the majority pleased automatically. If the majority is not pleased, that is their bad luck. Satisfy god, you will emerge out of the difficulty and the majority will also get the appropriate guidance.
(Translated Excerpts from ‘Kalyan Nidhi’ – a book published by the Ashram)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Let the Ganges of Love Flow in Every House

Ramanarayana lived with his brother Jaynarayana in Meerut (U.P.) and they had a younger sister named Prema. Their parents had died. The elder brother Ramanarayana was a landlord while the younger one Jaynarayana had become a lawyer.

Ramanarayana and Prema were inclined towards satsanga, kirtana, and devotion while Jaynarayana was influenced by the western way of life. When Prema came of marriageable age, both the brothers started looking for the suitable match for her. Ramanarayana looked for a righteous and noble bridegroom while Jaynarayana sought one who would have a way of thinking as his own. This led to antagonism between the two brothers and Jaynarayana abandoned home and started living in another locality with his wife. Ramanarayana married Prema off to a youth of noble character.

Time went by. One day Prema had come from her in-law’s house to her brother. One evening she was riding a swing when Jaynarayana who was on his way to work passed by. Thought I cma didn’t notice Jaynarayana as her back was turned towards him, Jaynarayana did see his sister. The lawyer heard Prema singing.

‘The devotional love and
Penance of Bhagiratha
brought the Ganges to the earth.
May the Ganges of love
Flow in every house,
Let no heart be empty.
Every heart will become
A temple of God if the flame
Of Guru’s Knowledge is
kindled therein.
Both my brothers are ‘Narayana’;
I am the beloved of God.’

The lawyer thought, ‘She, whom I had forgotten, remembers me even now!’
He was deeply moved. His heart now longed for his sister and brother. He had the blood of a noble family running in his veins after all! Repenting his mistake, he passed his days in remorse. He stopped paying attention to eating and drinking as well. His restlessness having grown too much, he came down with high fever one day.

A week later Prema came to know that Jaynarayana was seriously ill. She went to her elder brother’s room and said, “Younger brother is seriously ill.”

“I know that you want to see him, but Prema! You will be insulted there for no reason – know this beforehand.”

“Brother! Honor and insult are fleeting but the ethos of magnanimity and living unitedly with good terms taught by our culture are eternal. You always sing:
“May we speak truth,
never tell a lie, and develop harmony.
May we lead life divine;
and sing Thy (God’s) praises.”

“Bravo! Jaynarayana’s house too will become strong with the fragrance of your thoughts.”

On reaching Jaynarayana’s house, Prema saw him lying unconscious on bed. Her sister-in-law Rama, was standing on one side and the doctor on the other.

The doctor said, “There is severe deficiency of blood in his body. The pulse is weak.”

Rama said, “He doesn’t eat or drink anything. At times he just says,
‘Both my brothers are ‘Narayana’;
I am the beloved of God.”

“These are symptoms of delirium caused by fever.”

“Doctor! I am ready to pay all that I have. Please save his life.”

“It is in God’s hands to save a life. A doctor only try. He needs a blood transfusion urgently.”

‘Take my blood.”

“You are pregnant. It would not be advisable to take your blood!” – said Prema who was standing at the door.
Rama said, “No Prema! Leave it.”

“Why Bhabhi?”

“We have been very unfair to you. We didn’t even attend your marriage nor did we spend any money on it. Aren’t you displeased with us?”

“To be ever displeased with her brother for his mistake, is not a sister’s ideal. My Gurudeva says:

‘Let bygones be bygones;
it is not prudent to complain about fate.
Nor does it make sense to chase
the arrow once shot from the bow.’

The doctor checked Prema’s blood group, and the lawyer was given a blood transfusion.

Jaynarayana recovered within a week. He visited Ramanarayana’s house. Prema was present at that time. Jaynarayana bowed at his elder’s brother’s feet and cried bitterly. Ramanarayana lifted him up and embraced him while tears of love flowed through everyone’s eyes.

“Brother! Forgive me. Permit to live in your house.”

“Why do you want permission to live in your house?”

“Brother! You are like my father. You took care of my education and made me competent; and I….”

“Have no regrets. It is never too late to amend. Come to the house today.”

“Prema! I don’t have the courage to look you in the eye. I forgot a brother’s ideal but you did not forget the ideal of a sister.”

“I have only followed as to what should be the ideal of a sister according to Hindu culture and saints. It was my duty anyway. It is our culture and saints, and not me that you should praise.”

The next day Jaynarayana returned to that house along with his wife. The teachings of satsanga and the ideal of culture bonded the broken hearts with the glue of love.

O India! The lands of Rishis! How pious are the traits that still run in your veins! O Indians! The noble sons of divine culture! Do not forget the traits of magnanimity and love as taught by our great men. These traits have the power to manifest the Ganges of love in every heart.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Glory of Chaturmasa

The chapter ‘Chaturmasya Mahatmaya’ in the Brahma Khanda of Skanda Purana states:

In the four months of the rainy season, from the Ekadashi of the bright fortnight of Ashadha when the Sun is in the Cancer to the Ekadashi of the bright fortnight of Kartika, Lord Vishnu sleeps on the serpent-bed. This period is pious and most appropriate for devotion to Lord Vishnu. All holy waters, holy places, temples, charities and merits take shelter in Lord Vishnu. One bathing in a river in the Chaturmasa becomes accomplished, and if one bathes in holy waters, one’s sins are destroyed.

If one mixes sesame seeds and amla powder, or bilva-patras (wood-apple leaves) in water and takes a bath with this water, he will get purged of all sins. Putting a couple of bilva-patras in a bucket of water and bathing with such water after japa of ‘Om Namah Sivaya’ is particularly beneficial. It safeguards one’s health and alleviates disorders of the wind humor.

As Lord Vishnu sleeps in the water during Chaturmasa, water is impregnated with Lord Vishnu’s potency. A bath in the water so impregnated is higher in religious merit than bathing in all the holy water on earth. Apart from the time of an eclipse, one should not bathe in the evening or at night. Bathing with warm water too is interdicted.

Chaturmasa is an excellent period imbued with all virtues. One should earnestly devote oneself to garnering religious merit during this period. If one doesn’t take up the practice of yoga with faith and earnestness in Chaturmasa, one has virtually let go of a pot of nectar. One with a wiser sense should try always to keep his mind under control, for mind control is a pre-requisite for attainment of Supreme Knowledge.

Acts like misappropriation and adultery are always forbidden but should be particularly eschewed in Chaturmasa.

Compassion to living beings is particularly recommended in Chaturmasa and the giving of food, water and cows etc. reading of scriptures and fire sacrifices afford immense religious merit. Giving food bestows the highest religious merit. It can be given at any time of the day; it can be given even to one’s enemies.

It is a rare virtue to have the inclination to abide by dharma, to serve the saints, have darshana and satsanga of saints to worship Lord Vishnu and practice almsgiving in Chaturmasa.

If one, for the sake of the Lord’s pleasure, voluntarily forswears sense-enjoyments dear to one’s heart in Chaturmasa, one gets those sense-enjoyments in unlimited quantity. One doing so with full faith gets immense religious merit.

One not using metal utensils and taking food on Palasha leaves in Chaturmasa attains to Brahma Bhava (God-consciousness). One should particularly refrain from taking food in copper utensils during Chaturmasa. Wearing black and blue is harmful in Chaturmasa. One, who refrains from shaving in Chaturmasa, saves himself from the three – fold afflictions (tritapa). Sleeping on the ground, observing brahmacharya, eating on leaves, fasting, Mauna (silence), japa, meditation and charities in Chaturmasa are especially beneficial.

Slandering others should be particularly avoided in Chaturmasa. Even listening to slander regarding anybody is sinful.

Parninda mahapaapam parninda mahabhayam
Parninda mahdadukhsm na tasyah patakam param

‘Slander is a huge sin; it is great fear; it is highly distressing; there is no sin more heinous than slander.
(Skanda Purana, Brahma Khanda
Chaturmasa Mahatmya 4.25)
Observing brahmacharya is the greatest among the pious vows. Brahmacharya is the essence of all penance and bestows the highest merit. Therefore, take recourse to brahmacharya in all manners. Brahmacharya leads to the highest in austerity. There is no greater means of dharma than brahmacharya. The vow of brahmacharya is particularly more rewarding in Chaturmasa.

If one remains steadfast and takes moderate quantities of food only once in a day throughout Chaturmasa, he gets absolved of all sins and goes to Lord Vishnu’s abode. One eating only a single cereal throughout Chaturmasa is saved from diseases. One taking only one meal in a day in Chaturmasa attains religious merit of performing twelve fire sacrifices. One living on milk or fruit alone gets thousands of this sins destroyed.

Complete fasting on one out of fifteen days destroys all ailments of the body and converts all the food taken in past fourteen days into ojas. That is why fasting on Ekadashi is so highly celebrated. One living a married life can do with fasting only on the Ekadashi falling in the bright fortnight but one should fast on both Ekadashis in Chaturmasa.

Lord Vishnu sleeps in yognidra during Chaturmasa; therefore, no marriages or other ceremonies or sacrifices with desire of future reward should be performed in Chaturmasa. This four month period is for austerities.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Guru’s Teachings – The Destroyer of Grief

Instead of being crowned as expected, Lord Rama was sent into exile, Bharata went to Ayodhya, and seeing Kaushalya crying and greatly distressed, he took hold of her feet and said,

“Mother! Listen to what I say. Whatever was done by Kaikeyi at the time of the installation of Rama or whatever else took place, if I knew of it and instigated her, let the sin of killing Vasishtha and Arundhati with a sword attach to me.” Having taken this oath Bharata wept. Kauasalya having embraced him said, “Son, I know it, do not grieve.”

During this interval, and hearing of the arrival of Bharata, Vasishtha together with the other ministers went to the king’s palace. There, seeing Bharata weeping, he consoled him with his divine counsel:

“The old king Dasharatha, who was wise and of unfailing courage having enjoyed all the felicities of mortals and performed Ashwamedha and other sacrifices with large gifts, and who also got Hari as his son in the person of Rama, has gone to heaven and shares the seat of the king of the gods. Unworthy to be grieved at and deserving to attain emancipation thou art uselessly grieving over for him. The Atma is eternal, unchangeable, pure and free from birth and death.

“The body is non-intelligent, liable to death, impure and destructible. Thus thinking on the difference between self and non-self, there is no occasion at all for sorrow. Pita va tanyo vapi yadi mirityuvasham gatah. If a father or a son has come under the way of death, then it is the foolish who grieve for either by heating the body. In this world which is devoid of substance, separation from a desired object is, for the wise, a source of non-attachment and the giver of peace and happiness.

“When everyone who is born in this world is bound for death, then death is unavoidable for all embodied creatures.

Swakarmavashatah sarvazantunam prabhvaapyayoo

Appearance and disappearance of embodies creatures is due to their past Karma, knowing this, why should even he who is not wise grieve over departed relations? Brahmaandakotyo nashtah shristyo bahusho gatah – Millions of Brahmandas have disappeared, many a cycle of creation has gone, oceans have dried up, what reliance can be placed on a momentary existence?
Maranam prakriti saririnam vikratirjivitmuchyate bidheh

“As a bubble is formed in the water, its mergence with the water is natural. If it persists for some time, it is a modification of the water. So existence of the bubble is a modification of water and its dissolution is the nature of the water. Similarly life is a modification, and the death is natural. So there is no reason to grieve over death. Consider three entities in this case - the individual soul which is the witness of the world; God, who is the witness of millions of individual souls; and the self-illumined Supreme Brahman that illuminates God – where God, the individual soul and the world are one.

“It is intelligence itself, the very embodiment of bliss, the witness of the Buddhi (Intellect) and free from dissolution. The Mahavakya is imparted to modify the internal organ in the form of that Supreme Atman; and that modification too gets dissolved as it dispels nescience. One without a second, the Supreme Atman is ever homogenous – knowing it to be thus, with firm faith, do thou leave off sorrow and perform the last rites of your father.”

Thus aroused by his preceptor, Bharata gave up all sorrow, the product of nescience and did all that was ordained.

The Guru creates the modification of mind in the form of Knowledge, substantiates it with examples and reasoning and finally after destroying ignorance, sublimates even the mind modified in the form of knowledge as well. Then one comes to one’s natural state free from misery and sorrow.

Therefore the scriptures say:
Gururbrahma Gururvishnu Gururdevo Maheshawarah
Gurursakshatparambrahma tasme shrigurve namah

‘Guru is Brahma. Guru is Vishnu. Guru is Shiva. Guru is the Supreme Brahman Itself. Prostrations to that Guru.’

Monday, August 25, 2008

Development of Life Energy

3. The Effect of Music:
The classical music composers of the world are generally found to have a longer life span. The mystery behind it is that the music raises the life energy. Not only can one get this benefit by listening to music, but one also gets the benefit even when the ears are plugged, because the sound waves of the music vibrate the listener’s body which also raises the life energy. Thus music is useful for sound health too.

The natural sound of waterfalls and streams also enhances life energy, as do the chirping and singing of birds. There is an exception to this rule however. The popular rock and pop music of the western world actually diminished the life energy of the performer and the listener. Dr. Diamond proved through experiments of biokincsiology that the deltoid muscle of an ordinary’s man’s hand can lift 40-45 kg of weight, but where rock music is being played, then its capability to lift weight gets reduced to only 10-15 kg. Thus rock music diminishes the life energy, whereas the sound of pure, pious, classical music and natural sounds raise the life energy. The majestic effect of Lord’s Krishna’s flute is well known. No other musician could surpass the music of Lord Krishna. Maharishi Narada also used to sing hymns in praise of the Lord with the ‘Veena’ (Iute) and ‘Khartal’. It is difficult to find a psychologist saint like him; he had never attended any school or college of psychology. By establishing the mind in the Supreme Consciousness, the psychological capabilities develop automatically. Sri Shankaracharya said that all abilities are developed when one attains spiritual peace of the mind.

Influence of Symbols:
Various symbols exert a great effect on the life energy. Dr. Diamond found that the Roman Cross diminishes the beholder’s life energy.

Scientific investigations have also revealed that Swastik is the symbol of good fortune and prosperity. Its darshana increases the life energy.

In Germany, the Swastik was the symbol of Hitler’s Nazi party. The tyrant Hitler had massacred millions of Jews in Germany. When he was defeated, all the Jews were released from the concentration camps. It is natural that they were hateful towards Hitler and his Nazi party, and consequently the symbol of their party must have aroused the reminiscences of their cruelty towards the Jews. As a result, the symbol of Swastik should diminish the life energy of Jews, but despite this psychological fact, the experiments of Dr. Diamond proved that the darshana of Swastik actually raised the life energy of the Jews also. So powerful is the effect of the Swastik.

One can raise one’s life energy by the practice of trataka, gazing one pointedly at a picture of Swastik.

(Translated excerpts from ‘Jivan Vikas’ – a book published by the ashram)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Anecdotes from the Yogavasihistha

On coming to know that King Arishtanemi was engaged in severe austerities on Mount Gandhmadana; Indra, the kind of gods, ordered an angel, “Take a celestial car equipped with various musical instruments and bearing the celestial damsels, a band each of gandharvas, siddhas and kinnaras together with a troup of soldiers well equipped with percussions, etc. aboard to the Mount Gandhamadana, which is adorned, with various kinds of trees. Then bring King Arishtanemi aboard the celestial car to the city of Amaravati to let him enjoy the pleasures of paradise.”

The angel took the car, well equipped in every respect, to the said mountain. On reaching there, the angel went to the king’s hermitage and delivered to him the orders of Indra. On hearing the words of the angel, the doubt-stricken king said,” O angel! Tell me the merits and demerits of heaven, whereupon I shall do as I like.”

The angel said, “O King! One enjoys superior fruits in heaven according to the degree of one’s individual merits. Higher virtue leads one to higher planes of heaven. By mediocre virtue one is entitled to a middle plane, and virtue of an inferior order leads a person to a .lower plane to heaven. This is but the inviolable law.

“Sire! These who do not have the privilege of living in the higher planes of heaven cannot tolerate the excellence of their superiors. There is jealously, rivalry, hatred, etc. among the equals; and the inhabitants of higher heavens become snobbish seeing the inferior happiness of the inhabitants of the lower heavens. In this way, the inhabitants of heaven pass their time experiencing the superior, mediocre and inferior happiness till they exhaust their stuck of merits; whereupon, they again take birth in this world of mortals.

Sire! These verily are the merits and demerits of heaven.”

On hearing the merits and demerits of heaven, the supremely discriminative Arishtanemi said, “O Angel! I don’t desire such heavenly pleasures. Be you pleased, O delegate of the gods, to return with your celestial car to Indra, the king of gods, I bow to thee.”

Back in heaven, the angel narrated the whole incident to Indra. On listening to King Arishtanemi’s detachment to heaven, Indra was struck with great wonder.

An immensely pleased Indra then spoke in a sweet voice, “O angel! Go to that place again and take that dispassionate king to the hermitage of the enlightened sage. Valmikiji for the attainment of Self-knowledge and convey my message to the sage requesting him to enlighten this dispassionate and humble king, who is indifferent to the pleasures of heaven, on the knowledge of the Ultimate Truth. On listening to the instructions on Self-knowledge, the king, who is afflicted with the miseries of samsara, will gradually come to attain emancipation.”

The angel presented the king before Sage Valmikiji and conveyed Indra’s message to him. The king in turn enquired of the sage about the means of salvation. Then welcoming the king, Valmikiji asked him about the welfare of this nation and progeny as well about his wealth, austerities, etc.

The king said, “O great seer! You are versed in all the limbs of Dharma and are the knower of all that is knowable. I am blessed with your darshana and therein lies all my well being. O Lord! At present I am inquisitive and distressed by the miseries of samsara. Do enlighten me on the Ultimate Truth so that I may be liberated from the miseries of worldly bondage.”

Sage Valmikiji said, “O King! In reply to the queries you have put before me regarding the means of liberation, I will relate to you the ‘Maharamayana’ called the ‘Yogavasishtha’ consisting of 32,000 verses. It is a treatise having the Undivided Reality as its subject matter, hearing and assimilating which, you will be liberated while living.”
- (A bridge compilation from the first chapter of the ‘Vairagya Prakarana’ of the ‘Sri Yogavasistha Maharamayana.”)

This Ramayana, which presents the enlightening dialogue between Lord Rama and Sage Vasistha, is an unparalleled means to liberation and is supremely elevating as well.
(The holy scripture has been published in four volumes by the Ashram in Hindi).

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Darkness Prevails Until….

Man is mystified under the delusion of this samsara. He is not cognizant of that which does actually exist and is infatuated with that which has no real existence in all the three times (past. present and future). To consider oneself is the body that neither did exist in the past nor will exist in the future and even at present is verily moving towards non-existence and the objects as ‘my’ is avidya or ignorance. Avidya is what projects that as vidyamana, i.e. really existent, which is actually avidyamana, i.e. non-existent. This avidya alone gives rise asmita, i.e. egoism regarding the body, which in turn breeds raga and dwesha, i.e. attachment and aversion. These make the chitta impure leading to the cropping up of abhinivesha, i.e. the ‘will-to-live’. Avidya, asmita, raga, dwesha and abhinivesha –these are collectively known as ‘Panchaklesha’, i.e. the five types of afflictions. While avidya is the mother of all afflictions, the other four are verily its offshoots. The six modifications –birth, existence, growth, change, decay and death –are known as Shadvikaras and owe their apparent existence verily to avidya alone. These Shadvikaras are accompanied by the Urmis (heat, cold, hunger, thirst, attachment and greed); and tried and tormented repeatedly by them the poor jiva keeps struggling hard to find respite therefrom until finally it is overtaken by death. And this it has been doing, not just in one life, but for a number of lives in succession. Time and again it struggles and dies, struggles again and dies again… and the process is virtually endless.

One may possibly count the grains of sand lying in the river-bed of Ganga beginning from Gangotri, where it originates from, through to its mouth at Gangasagar, where it merges into the Bay of Bengal; but it is simply impossible to count the number of births the jiva has suffered only due to its ignorance or avidya. And the only way of getting rid of these sufferings is to remove this avidya with the help of vidya, i.e. Knowledge. Just as
Thirst is removed with the help of water, hunger is removed with the help of bread; darkness too is removed with the help of bread; darkness too is removed with the help of light. Swami Ramatirtha narrated a parable. There was a very long and wide ancient cave located amidst a dense forest with pythons and various wild animals as its inmates. It was pitch dark. Anyone who ventured into that cave in order to explore the darkness whether it was a ghost or a demon and also to know about its occupants, would get lost in it and fail to return. It was like a veritable maze gobbling up each of its visitors without fail. Thus, whoever went therein was finished and would turn into a ghost only to haunt therein and keep increasing their number by capturing the stray visitors.

The villagers tried many a measure to exorcise that cave. One day a number of them assembled at the cave with whatever musical instruments cymbals, tanpura, harmonica, etc. they had and started singing bhajans, while also praying to the darkness personified deity to have mercy on them and seeking refuge in her with total surrender. But the ghost did not go, nor did the darkness, which they thought was Ma Kali. As a matter of fact, Ma Kali is the Divine Mother of the world; and what did not go was the darkness of avidya.

One of them tried removing that darkness personified deity by doing japa with a mala, but without success. Once fed up with that so-called Ma Kali a few villagers took their cudgels and started thrashing the foreground of the cave, but the darkness did not go. Someone tried to please that deity by placing a dishful of palatable food over there. In this manner, they tried everything they could, but darkness personified ignorance was not to budge.

Then there came a Mahatma who enquired about the matter in detail and said, “All you have done so far is utter nonsense; I know how to remove this darkness personified deity of ignorance.”

After lighting a torch himself, he had others hold one torch each in their hands and instructed them to follow him into the cave in order to search for that darkness personified deity.

As they moved inside the cave it was revealed that there was no dark complexioned deity-Kali therein and even the creatures living there took to their heels with their tails tucked in. Similarly, when you search for avidya with the torch of Knowledge, it has no existence at all; while all other measures are simply ineffective against it.

My revered Gurudeva would often allude to this mythical story – “Once the dark night approached Lord Brahmaji and prayed, ‘O Lord! You have imparted me life, but that bully Sun is always after me always after me with a cudgel in his hand and every single day does he drive me away. I am left languishing in utter suffocation so long as he is there; and it is only after his departure that I can live once again. In a nutshell, I am extremely troubled my Lord, please help me! Brahmaji said, “Okay, I shall summon him right now.”

But she requested Brahmaji not to call him so long as she was there and prayed him to do so only after she has left. Then, as she left the place, Brahmaji summoned the Sun and asked him as to why he was pestering that poor lady – the dark night.

The sun then replied, “My Lord! I simply do not know that someone like a dark night does exist. Please call her here and I shall ask myself as to when I chased her and did wrong with her in anyway. Please call her right now my Lord!” On being told by Brahmaji that she was unable to come where he (the Sun) was present; the Sun said, “Then how can I accept the charges she has leveled against me? She must complain in my presence”. He insisted.

Lord Brahmaji said, “She exists only in your absence and whatever you are present she becomes extinct (non-existent), let alone her complaining to you in person.”

It is only when the light of Self-Knowledge is absent that the darkness of avidya or ignorance does come into existence along with its complaints in the forms of afflictions like asmita, raga, dwesha, abhinivesha, etc. Therefore, one should eliminate avidya with the help of Self-Knowledge. Those, who insist on realizing God while leading a worldly life, should devote eight hours of their day to sleeping, bating, eating, etc. and divide the rest 16 hours into two equal parts of eight hour each. Let eight hours be spent in the pursuit of earning one’s livelihood and the balance eight hours for salvation, utilizing two hours each for doing japa, meditation and study of sacred scriptures; while spending the remaining two hours in the holy company of saints and carrying our their divine works. Thereafter, as and when avidya gradually starts losing its sway over such a sadhaka, he should devote all his time in the pursuit of eliminating avidya completely.

On the other hand, those, aspiring to devote themselves completely to the pursuit of God-realization and to succeed therein at the earliest, should spend 8 hours a day in the holy company and service of saints and in carrying out their divine works. Half the avidya will be removed with just that. Then to remove the remaining half, they should engage themselves in japa, meditation study of sacred literature, etc. in the remaining 8 hours.

Listen about the Brahman, the Lord Supreme, discuss him and talk about him alone. Find some sadhaka who is superior to you in sadhana or some saint and listen to him attentively with deep faith, while sitting at his feet. Talk about the Lord while you are in the company of your equals. And when among those inferior or junior to you in sadhana, expound on the Brahman. Otherwise, when alone, try reposing in tranquility while contemplating the essential being of the supreme Lord; which the breaths.

Avidya, as such, is not something like a dark devil. That which projects the non-real as real is alone called avidya; and that which leads one to revelation of the Reality is known as Brahmavidya. You just need to develop an intense yearning for that which actually exists, the Truth personified self, and detach yourself completely from the ever changing phenomena giving no thought to it.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Glory of Satsanga

Excerpts from the nectarine precepts that emanated from the pious lips of Pujyashree during 28th and 29th August 2007 at Godhra (Gujarat): What constitutes the greatest of all austerities? Where does one find the happiness of the highest order? What is the source of the most sublime knowledge? What initiates one into the greatest form of yoga? And where does one come by all these things easily and indeed effortlessly?

The greatest of all austerities is satsanga. The biggest treasure of knowledge is available at satsanga. Satsanga open the doors to the most sublime form of happiness and verily, satsanga is the biggest of all achievements.

‘A single ghadi (24 minutes) or even a half, nay be it halved again, spent in the company of a saint, frees us from sins innumerable, says Tulsidas.’

Satsanga eradicates millions of sins and miseries at one go. Even the greatest of yoga, austerities, wealth, fame and happiness simply pale into insignificance when compared to satsanga. There is no austerity greater than satsanga. The heights of knowledge, meditation, merit and beneficence attained in satsanga are simply not available through any other form of austerity, at least I haven’t seen or hard of any, this far in my life. Hiranyakashipu carried out severe austerities for as many as 60 thousand years. He did gain Hiranyapur, but nevertheless ended up without enlightenment and love for God; he rather started tormenting (Prahlada) a devotee of God. Ravana too did come by Lanka made of gold through austerities, but his golden Lanka could not give him what Vibhishana attained from Satsanga.

Satsanga eradicates innumerable sins and hence is superior even to the most severest of austerities. Satsanga is more meritorious than even strict endurance and severe penance. One may obtain all the wealth of the world, but if he does not avail himself of satsanga and the Guru-mantra, he will only become conceited and end up getting mired in the bog of sensual pleasures. Such a one is unfortunate. Wealth, liquor, meat; anxiety and fear will relegate him to baser forms of existence. If one having wealth, does avail himself of satsanga and attains spiritual initiation, he will be ushered into the path of noble deeds and charity, earning him merits and finally leading him to God-realization.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Gita: A Universally Acclaimed Book of Religion

On 30th August 2007 the Allahabad High Court declared that the ‘Srimad Bhagvadgita’ is the essence of all religions and it has played a great inspiring role in the freedom struggle as well. Therefore, such a scripture does deserve to be accorded the exalted status of the ‘National Religious Scripture’.

In support of its decision High Court cited the articles 51-A(B) and (F) of the National Constitution that provide for a National Flag, a National Anthem, a National Bird and a National Flower. The court observed that it is the duty of each and every citizen to follow the ideals laid down in the ‘Srimad Bhagvadgita’ and protect our cultural heritage. This is not the scripture of some particular community, but instead a guiding force to all the communities and indeed the ‘Scripture of India’.

This perhaps is the first sign of this Supreme Spiritual Scripture of the Indian Culture, which has already earned the acclaim all over the world as the greatest scripture of humanity, winning political recognition in India.

Shri S.N. Shrivastava, the Honorable Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court who spelled out the above decision of the court, deserves to be thanked for this. When we don’t hesitate to make India avail herself of the benefits of the best scientific discoveries and state of the art technologies approved respectively by the eminent scientists and technical experts of the world, why do we hesitate to adorn India with the Gita, the Supreme Scripture, that has the distinction of having been acclaimed by the great philosophers and scholars of the world?

Those who have raised objections against the above counsel of the High Court have only proved their ignorance regarding the universal glory of Sanatana Dharma and the Gita, thereby laying bare their utter narrow-mindedness and cheap intellect.

Swami Vijnananandaji has said, “The religion called Hindu Dharma is in fact the Sanatana Dharma, because it is the universal religion which includes all other religious in itself.”

Shri Lakshmi Vilas Birla has said, “Unlike Islam and Christanity, the Hindu Dharma is not merely a religion. It is the Sanatana Dharma or the religion of humanity, that is it is eternal, a religion which will live forever. It is all-inclusive. In fact it is a philosophy of life.”

Politicians have deprived society of the supreme benefits of Sanatana Dharma by confining even this great religion to sectarian limits. The scholars who have studied the religions of the whole world have liberally praised the Sanatana Dharma and its scriptures. Romain Rolland, the French scholar, had said, “I have studied all the religions of Europe and Asia, but I found Hinduism to be the greatest of them all. I firmly believe that one day the whole world will have to bow its head to Hinduism.”

To look upon such Sanatana Dharma as a mere sect is but a big error. When the people of various religions all over the world can avail themselves of the benefits of yogic science of Sanatana Dharma, when people of all religions in the world can avail themselves of the benefits of Vedic mathematics based on the Vedas, and can enjoy good health by availing themselves of the benefits of the mantra ‘Om’, when the western management institutions and the western psychologists can avail themselves of the benefits of this great scripture, the Srimad Bhagvadgita, why can’t the people of all religious in India avail themselves of the benefits of this divine scripture?

This fact has been expressed by Mahatma Gandhi in clear terms: “I wish that the Gita should be taught not only in the national schools but also in every educational institution. It should be a matter of great shame for a Hindu boy or girl to be ignorant of the Gita. It indeed is a fact that the Gita is a book of universal religion.”

Zoroastrian scholars too have acknowledged the Gita as a book of universal religion:

“When a world religion will be about to be established for the whole of mankind, the Gita will be our sole refuge, for it can be said without hesitation that none of the religious scriptures of any other religion contains so beautiful a subsumption of the basic and vital elements of world as is present in the Gita.”
-Prof. Pheroze Cawasji Dawar

Wise Muslim scholars too have acknowledged the Gita as a useful scripture for the whole of mankind:

“The precepts of Lord Sri Krishna, the teacher of the Gita, are meant not just for the Aryan race but for all living being of the world.”
-Dr. Muhammad Hafiz Sayed
The glory of the Srimad Bhagvadgita had been sung by scholars all over the world. In the west-Carlyle, Walt Whitman, Thoreau and Emerson – were the first to respond to the spiritual beauty and philosophic depth of the Gita.

Burnouf, the French translator of the Gita, wrote, “No greater book had ever come from the hands of man.”

In his preface to the English edition of the Gita, by Sir Charles Wilkins, Warren Hastings, the first British Governor General of India, declared towards the end of the eighteenth century.

“The writers of the Indian philosophies will survive, when the British dominion in India shall long have ceased to exist, and when the sources which it yielded of wealth and power are lost to remembrances.”

Since then many western thinkers and poets have sung paeans to the glory of the Gita:

“How much more admirable is the Bhagvad Gita than all the ruins of the east (while talking about the pyramids of Egypt)….. In the morning, I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagvad Gita…in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial…”
-Henry David Thoreau

“The Gita is the divine song of the Supreme Lord of all gods. Irrespective of whatever religion one believes in, he is sure to gain a deep divine institution from this scripture.”
-George Sydney Arandel
“The Gita is the religious scripture of not only the Hindus but of the people of all religious in the world. Irrespective of whatever religion or religious preceptor one believes in, he should go through this immortal scripture carefully and with an unbiased attitude. It won’t be an exaggeration to call the Gita a reservoir of divine knowledge.”
-Shri Kaikhushru J. Dastoor

“Sri Krishna, the Universal Guru, has endowed the world with a unique gift in the form of the ‘Bhagvadgita’. The eternal ideals of –Knowledge, Devotion and Karma –these always go in tandem with one another. Each of them is essential for the other two.”
- The Christian Evangelist ReverendArthur

Thus, it is a matter of great fortune for India to be privileged to have as her guiding Dharma Shastra –the Gita, which has been declared as the Supreme Scripture by the scholars and philosophers of the whole world; and the benefits of which have been and are still being availed of by the people of all religions. While this won’t add anything to the glory of the Gita, it will rather prove the prudence of Indian politicians in the eyes of the scholars of the world. This will bring about the good of not just India but of the entire world. All lovers of Sanatana Dharma should make in a point to congratulate Shri S.N. Shrivastavaji through letters, etc.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Satsanga News

Rajokari (Delhi), 26th April (Incarnation Day)
The saints who are unborn and deathless, manifest themselves only to redeem mankind from the cycle of birth and death. So their incarnation day is celebrated, not their birthday, because what is born is the body. For the great men of divine incarnations, birth and death are just like a pastime. They appear to be in the physical body, but what they experience within is beyond words. Though such great men are omnipresent, they appear in human form.

The 68th ‘Incarnation day’ of Pujya Bapuji was celebrated as a ‘Service day’ throughout the country. On this occasion various programs were organized and food-prasad was distributed to children in 17000 Bal Sanskar Kendras all over the country. The 1200 Yoga Vedanta Samitis held kirtana processions in their respective cities, towns and villages. Food, water, fruits and medicines as well as cash was distributed among the poor sections of society and also among the patients in hospitals, thus spreading the fragrance of selfless service on the Incarnation Day of this illustrious saint. Millions of devotees remembered their Master on his Incarnation Day, thereby enhancing their sadhana and making their home and neighborhood pious.

Dhanya mata pita dhanyo gotram dhanyam kulodbhav
Dhanya cha vasudha Devi yatra swaad gurubhaktataa

‘Blessed are the parents of one whose heart filled with devotion to the Guru, blessed is his lineage, his descendants, and also blessed is the land where he lives.’

The beloved devotees of Sant Sri Asaramji Bapu whose hearts are filled with devotion towards him, and who are engaged in the pious endeavor of propagating the message of the Guru, are truly the supreme friends and well-wishers of humanity. They hold up high the torch of hope for the bright future of humanity.

Pujya Bapuji’s Incarnation Day was celebrated by lighting 69 lamps and chanting propitious Vedic hymns. Millions of devotees in the ashrams of India and abroad had the blissful opportunity to watch the live telecast of satsanga on ‘Janma karma cha me divyam…..’ by means of video-conferencing. Everybody wished for the long life of Pujya Bapuji, singing ‘May the earth be propitious, may water be propitious, may the sky be propitious…..!’

Chandigarh Ashram, 4th May: Pujya Bapuji outlined five points in order to derive maximum benefit from God and the saints. Pujya Bapuji said, “People of Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh are devoted not only to idols, bur also to the saints who impart knowledge of the ultimate truth.”

Devotees enhanced their devotional faith and sadhana through the pious darshana and satsanga of their Satguru.

Panchkula (Haryana), 9th and 10th May: “In Pujya Bapuji’s satsanga, one finds the key to happy, healthy and dignified life.” This was the experience of the people of Panchkula who were drenched in the nectar of Jnana, Bhakti, and bliss of the Lord’s name showered in Pujyashree’s satsanga.

Wonder of all wonders! The torrential rains on the day of initiation (diksha) couldn’t deter the satsanga lovers, let alone those who were waiting for initiation. The satsanga listeners had assimilated the principle of remaining uninfluenced by fleeting circumstances. Their preserving and even-minded attitude was indicative of the fact that they had assimilated the virtues of being care-free, fearless, and happy under all circumstances. The sublime virtues of equanimity and perseverance which are otherwise difficult to obtain even after years of spiritual practice, were observed in the lives of the diksha and satsanga lovers. How nicely has Lord Shiva explained it:

Aakalpjanmkotinaam yagyavratapah kriyah
Taah sarvah safala devi gurusantoshmatratah

‘O Devi! Merely by propitiating the Guru, all penances, sacrifices, vows, austerities and scriptural rites come to fruition.’

Greatly pleased at their equanimity and perseverance, Pujya Bapuji cast his gracious glance upon them.

Ludhiana (Punjab), 11th and 12th May: The ground of the Ashram at Sahnewal was packed with devotees. Sikhs have tremendous power of faith to see God in the form of the Guru since the days of Guru Nanak. On Pujya Bapuji’s arrival, staunch devotees imbued the atmosphere with the joy of devotion to the Guru singing a Punjabi devotional song meaning, ‘My Lord has come in the form of the Satguru: let me have his darshana.’ Pujya Bapuji advised the devotees to give up evil behavior, and instead cultivate human and divine virtues and attain the bliss of the Real Self.

Pujya Bapuji answers the call of devotees: On his car journey from Ludhiana to Dehradun, Pujyashree showered the ambrosial rain of satsanga at Ambala, Hemamjara and Saharanpur ashrams for a short time each, thus granting the long-standing prayers of devotees. The people there felt immensely blessed. Their faces were visibly beaming with joy on having had Pujya Bapuji’s holy darshana.

Dehradun, 13th and 14th May: The first session here was given to students whereby Pujyashree gave them tips to improve memory. The folk dance performed by students in Garhwal dress to the tunes of a Garhwali bhajan was captivating. Children as well as the elderly were filled with love and devotion as tears poured from their eyes. All present were easily overcome with divine emotions. Pujya Bapuji praised the children of Dehradun for their devotional spirit.

A large number of devotees came to Dehradun (the capital of the divine land of Uttarakhand) to avail themselves of the ambrosial satsanga which ensures the elimination of all misery. The Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Sri Bhuvanchandra Khandudi, also came to take benefit of the heavenly opportunity.

After listening to Pujya Bapuji’s satsanga, the Chief Minister said, “Satsanga is available only to the fortunate ones. Satsanga is greater than God. It is a very great fortune for the people of Uttarakhand that they have the opportunity to listen to the satsanga of Param Pujya Bapuji. I pray to God that the people here may continue to get this opportunity time and again. Pujya Bapuji has guided the youth of the country into the right path. His advice is of the utmost relevance in this modern age.”

The Chief Minister released ‘Divya Prerana Prakash’ a revised edition of ‘Yuvadhan Suraksha’, a booklet designed to brighten the future of the youth of the nation.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Om – the pranava-pronounced as ‘Aum’, it is the monosyllabic personification of the Supreme Being.

A – This is the pronounced as ‘aa’ like in archana, which is pronounced as archanaa.

Anushthana – japa of a nature for a mixed number on a daily basis with a fixed purpose and a fixed duration.

Bhajan – a devotional song.

Brahmajnani – a self-realized one.

Chaturmasa – the auspicious four month period, spanning from the Ekadasi of bright fortnight of Ashadha to the Ekadasi of bright fortnight of Kartika.

Harad – chebulic myrobalan, Latin name – Terminalia chebula.

Japa – repetition of a mantra or the Lord’s name, vocally or silently.

Jivanmukta – one who is liberated while still embodied.

Mantra-diksha – initiation of a disciple by the Guru through the imparting of a mantra.

Nirvikalpa Samadhi – the highest thought of Samadhi beyond all thought, attribute and description.

Ojas – inner radiance or luster of the body.

Prasada – grace of the Lord, a deity or a personage; consecrated food.

Rajas – One of the three qualities of matter, characterized by anger, action, passion, envy etc.

Smriti - the body of sacred and profane brahminical tradition as ‘remembered’ by men (as distinct from the ‘revealed’ knowledge of the Vedas).

Samsara – the material world.

Sattva – one of the three qualities of nature characterized by purity and righteousness.

Sadhaka – an aspirant on the spiritual path.

Sadhana – a spiritual endeavor.

Sathi – a short stemmed, red or dark-colored rice which ripens in some sixty days from sowing.

Sattvic – characterized by purity and luminosity.

Sloka – a verse in Sanskrit.

Tapasya – austerities for religious purpose.

Tamas – one of the three qualities of Nature characterized by darkness, lassitude, idleness and ignorance.

Vata – biological wind humor.

Yajna – a fire-sacrifice.

Divine Grace Alone Brings One To The Divine Satsanga On Self-Knowledge

“A human birth is attained only through the grace of God. The desire for liberation is attained through his supreme grace. But only when God’s supreme grace is coupled with religious merits accumulated over a number of past births does one get to listen to the kind of divine satsanga on self-knowledge as you listen to here from revered Sant Sri Asaramji Bapu.”
-Renowned Storyteller
Ms. Kanakeshwari Devi

The Magic of Lord’s name

“The largest audiences come to listen to Sant Sri Asaramji Bapu. The reason is that he possesses the magic of the Lord’s name, artless behavior, sweet affectionate eloquence, and on top of all, answers to the fundamental questions of life.”
-Leading ascetic, Shri Vamdevji Maharaj

“Swami Asaramji Bapu gives us the speculative standpoint that destroys all illusion.”
-Yogapurush Swami Parmanandji Maharaj

“Sri Asaramji Maharaj possesses such power, that through a mere glance he paves the way for lakhs of people to open their eyes of knowledge.”
-Renowned Swami Brahmanadagiri Maharaj

“Revered Sant Sri Asaramji Bapu is a great saint who revived and protected Indian culture in a very short time.”
-Acharya Shri GirirajKishoreji, Vishwa Hindu Parishad

Suffering is Caused by Fallacious Thinking

Suffering is caused by the error of the sufferer. External means only help to suppress misery, they can’t eradicate it. One merely becomes oblivious to misery for some time. The desire for pleasure deludes us and brings us pain. Misery is wiped out only by the grace of Lord who takes away misery, with his knowledge and his remembrance. Once this happens, suffering never comes to him and joy never deserts him. Don’t you want such a life free from troubles and full of eternal joy?

Even if you attain knowledge of everything in the world, even if you acquire all the wealth of the world even if the whole world is favorably disposed towards you, you cannot make your joy permanent and eradicate misery forever. But the Lord’s grace, his knowledge and his love, will bring you to a state of eternal joy beyond the reach of sorrows.

Let me do this…let me get this job…let me earn some money…This is nothing but self-deception. Better it would be to pray to the Lord with utmost humility and distress, ‘O Lord! Grant me your love! Go after the Lord. Dollars are nothing. Kingdoms amount to nothing. All the means and possessions of the world are totally insignificant.
‘This goal cannot be attained through any means.’

External means cannot eradicate misery because misery is caused by the sufferer’s error. It is another error committed to try to eliminate misery by external means. One expects one’s spouse or friend to eradicate misery, or one thinks they can eradicate misery through unfair means. These things can only suppress misery or make one oblivious to it for some time. They cannot eradicate it. Unexpectedly, they actually enhance the misery instead. Misery is eradicated by knowledge of the sorrowless Lord and Divine love. Misery is eradicated by fervently calling out to the Lord, and by the Lord’s love and grace of the saints who have attained communion with the Lord. Therefore, get established in the knowledge of the great men.

Key to All Round Development

 For the enhancement of memory:
Prepare a mixture by mixing:
(1) 15 – 20 ml Tulsi juice with one spoonful of Chyvanprash and raisins. Drink it daily after chanting the Sarasvatyamantra or Guru-Mantra. Within 40 days, you will experience miraculous benefits.
(2) After meals, chew a laddu prepared from sesame seeds, thoroughly.
(3) Grind and mix 100gms each of aniseed, almond and sugar candy. Chew 3-4gms of this mixture thoroughly every morning. You can also take milk along with this mixture, or afterwards depending upon your choice. This improves memory.

 For the retentive memory:
Before starting your studies, sit in an erect posture facing either east or north.
Do japa of Sarasvatya mantra for some time. Thereafter, touch the tip of your tongue to the palate and attentively set yourself in studies. At some intervals and at the end of studies, be quiet and try to remember what you have studied. Remember God and sit quietly.

 For increasing height
Every morning run for some time. Do pull-ups and also perform ‘Tadasana’.
Make pieces of two seeds of black pepper, mix it with butter and swallow it. The milk of an Indian cow specifically helps in increasing one’s height.

 For Robustness:
Chew harad (chebulic myrobalan) before taking meals. You can also take it along with the meals.
Squeeze one lemon in a glass of water and soak two raisins in it overnight. Drink the water in the morning after sieving it and chew the raisins.

Mantra Therapy

Seed-mantras help maintain good health in the following ways.
Seed-mantra and its benefits
Kam – Relieves one from the fear of death; is useful in skin diseases and blood disorders.
Hrim – Is beneficial in diabetes mellitus and palpitation.
Gham – Helps in nocturnal emissions and leucorrhoea.
Bham – Relief from fever.
Klim – Is useful in mental disorders.
Sam – cures piles.
Vam – Prevents hunger and thirst.
Lam – Relieves fatigue and exhaustion.

Meal – A Fire Sacrifice

Eating is not meant for stuffing the stomach. It is verily a yajna (sacrifice). As per the shruti (Vedas) it is termed Agnihotra (fire sacrifice). As a yajna is performed with piety according to scriptural injunctions, oblations in the form of food and drinks should be offered to the digestive-fire. The ‘Yogaratnakar’ says:

Sayampratarmanuashyanaam ashanam shrutichoditam
Naanantra bhojanam kuryaat agnihotrsamo vidhi

‘Meals should be taken in the morning and in the evening. No food should be consumed between the two meals. Otherwise, the undigested food taken earlier gets mixed with the food taken later and leads to indigestion and related diseases. A light meal should be taken in the evening after 6 to 8 hours of the morning meal; when the previous meal has been completely digested.

India is a hot tropical country, therefore breakfast and dinner is inadvisable from a health perspective. It is recommended to have evening meals before sunset. The greater the delay after sunset, the greater the harmful effects. Dinner should be taken in the evening rather than at night.

While dividing the stomach into three imaginary parts, one part should be filled with solid food, one with liquids and the third one should be left free for the working of the three humors.

Heavy foods which are difficult to digest should be taken in small quantities on a half empty stomach. Even light foods should be taken in moderation keeping the stomach light. Serious disorders are caused by overstuffing the stomach with excessive food intake.

The indicators of eating in the right quantity:
There should be no pressure on the stomach after the meal. The stomach should not feel heavy nor ache. There should be no strain while sitting, lying and walking. The breathing should be normal. The senses should be contented. One’s strength, complexion and physique should all be enhanced. These are indicative of food having been taken in the proper quantity.

If inadequate food is taken, one feels lack of satisfaction and listlessness. Malnutrition is detrimental as it reduces the body’s weight as well its strength, vigour and ojas. The senses and the intellect also lose their efficiency. The insufficient intake of food gives rise to 80 different kinds of vata diseases. Overeating on the other hand is the chief cause of disease.

Wholesome and unwholesome foods:

Tachch nityam prayunjeet swastham yenanuvartate

‘Have a daily intake of food that maintains the health.’
(Charaka Samhita Surasthan: 5.6)

In this shloka, Acharya Sri Charaka has laid down a dietary principle of universal application.

The foods which are wholesome and should be consumed on a regular basis are:
Sathi rice, shaali rice, wheat, mung beans, cow’s milk and ghee, apple, buttermilk, green leafy vegetables, rice, pomegranates, grapes, harad and rainwater collected before falling on the earth are always salubrious.

Foods that can be taken occasionally:
Milk cream, maawa, chhaina, curd, horse beans, beans, lotus root, foods made with fine wheat flour, germinated grains, and dried green leafy vegetables can all be taken occasionally. They are better avoided however.

Unwholesome food:
Oats, sarson ka sag (mustard leaves), sheep’s milk, burre oil, fruit of Artocarpus laucha, potatoes, porridge of sugarcane juice, and water from rivers in the rainy season should be completely avoided.

Even salubrious food should be taken with due regard to the individual’s digestive power, constitution and age, and also the time and place. Otherwise they become unwholesome.

Propagate Your Guru’s Knowledge

The greater the attachment to, or passion for anything or person, the greater the pleasure or pain experienced. People treading the path of God-realization must give up attachment. Start distributing to others the things you like to eat or enjoy. This will eliminate your attachment. If you like praise, sit at the feet of elders. If you like wealth, donate some of it. If you say, ‘I love Guruji’s then share your Guru with others. But if you reply is, ‘I will not share Guruji with others, then my response is, “Whatever you give becomes even more widespread. By spreading your Guru’s wisdom and prasada, it too will become widespread.

The words of Self-realized men emerge from their heart with the touch of divine experience. Like their loving hearts, their words bring supreme good. The Gita contains the words of Lord Sri Krishna, and while talking about its greatness Krishna has said: Gita me hridyaam paarth i.e. ‘The Geeta is my heart”.

God’s heart is constantly overflowing with good for his devotees. Similarly, the words and literature of the God-incarnate Satgurus always serve as a guide and protective shield for the believers treading the path of liberation. Therefore those who love their Guru should make him widely known through the dissemination of his literature audio cassettes, video CDs and DVDs of satsanga. As a result, they will be loved more by their Guru and will become closer to Him.

Up until the age of eighty, my Guruji would go from house to house distributing satsanga books. Swami Vivekananda shared Ramakrishna Paramhansa’s prasada all over the country and across the world. The nectar of satsanga that Sage Vasistha gave Rama to drink got compiled in the form of the book “Sri Yogavasistha Maharamayana”. Till date, this great volume is proving to be an excellent aid for inquisitive seekers of truth. Even I have been sharing my Gurudev’s prasada for a long time. Did it distance me from my Guru? No. Guruji’s wisdom and experience have become my experience. Initially, whenever Guruji would go somewhere, then I’d feel as if he had gone far away from me. But when I got his grace, I realized that my Guruji could never be distant from me.

So by sharing your Guru’s wisdom and persisting in his divine work, the attachment to the world and to worldly possessions is eliminated. The prasada of devotional love is revealed in the disciple’s heart which in turn makes them eligible to attain the state of Jivanmukta, liberated while living.

Detractors Become Dogs

Those with form determination come out victorious in the battle of life. They take the path of God-realization and attain perfection. Self-restraint and observing spiritual discipline (Niyama) leads to truthfulness. Truthfulness awakens the desire to know the absolute truth, which in turn strengthens faith and promotes sattva in the intellect; thus enabling one to repose in God.

Blessed are those who have set God-realization as the goal of life and preservere till the end of their lives. There is no one more fortunate than those who are devoted to the divine works of their Guru. They are entitles to the Ultimate Truth. Dhruva was such a blessed devotee, and so were Prahlada, Mira and Chhatrapati Shivaji. They fully availed themselves of the Guru’s divine grace and never betrayed their gurus.

Manusmriti states:

Parivadat kharo bhavati swaa ve bhavati nindakah
Paribhokta kribhibharvati kito bhavati matasari

‘By censuring his Guru one will become in his next birth an ass, by falsely defaming him, a dog; he who lives on his Guru’s substance, will become a worm, and he who is envious (of his merit), an insect.’ (2.201)

One who participates in Satguru’s divine works becomes verily a god while living on earth who, unlike the heavenly gods, realizes his divine nature and transcends the cycle of birth and death. Blessed are those who associate themselves with the Guru’s divine works! Also blessed are those who persistently remain faithful to the Guru! The deceitful, selfish, egoistic and the conceited will not be able to persist in the divine works of the Guru. Those who are altruistic, unselfish, humble, and not conceited, who have faith and no deceit, do successfully transcend this ocean of samsara.
‘One who has no deceit in the mind, who is sincere and honest, such a saintly soul can transcend the ocean of samsara, so says the poet Narayana.’

Life is short. We should engage ourselves in works that help us to transcend the transmigratory existence (successive births in the 8.4 million species) and attain freedom. One should not, under the influence of slanderers, become engaged in pursuits that may leads us to the birth of trees, insects, moths, dogs and donkeys. Swami Sivanandaji has said, “Better not to have a Guru and to wander in the desert of life, than to have a Guru and deceive and desert him.”

Sri Ramakinkara says that one who slanders a saint becomes a frog in the next life, but one who runs a nasty smear campaign against a saint becomes a bat. A bat eats and also defecates through the mouth. What a wretched state detractors of saints find themselves in! Sri Ramakinkara was a saint of very high order and had made an in-depth study of Ramayana. He has given then commentary. The detractor of saint may also become an owl. To denigrate a saint is indicative of the characteristics of an owl, (literally foolishness).

May God grant us the good sense of carrying out Guru’s divine works selflessly only for the Lord’s pleasure. We should go to the guru’s place not for an ego trip or with any selfish motive, but to offer our mind sincerely at the feet of God, the Guru. Those who criticize Gurudev or his sadhakas engaged un serving his mission honestly, face the wrath of nature sooner or later.

Jadbharata was passing through a forest where the tribals were performing a yajna which required a human sacrifice. The headman instructed his men to bring someone. They brought Jadbharata. He was given a bath, and a garland of wild flowers was placed around his neck. He was to be offered to the fire as a final oblation. As the slayer drew a sword to cut off his head to please Ma Kali for having a son, the Goddess became concerned at a saint being offered as a sacrifice and she appeared from a halo close by. It is said in the scripture that Ma kali manifested herself and said, “The yajna of course will be completed but not with the sacrifice of the saint. Rather you will be punished for attempting to offer the saint as a sacrifice.” Ma Kali chopped off the head of the slayer who was performing the yajna and offered it to the sacred fire and greeted Jadbharata.

‘Those, who torment the saints, lose their luster and strength. Their entire family is destroyed. The example of Ravana, Kauravas and Kansas is before us.’

The world knows the miserable fate of Vikram Rana, who tormented Mirabai. Those who slandered Kabir were tormented at heart and died a miserable death. This is known to those who have studied the history of that period. Envious of Tukaram’s rising fame, people leveled false and baseless allegations against him and his followers. Tukaram didn’t say anything. Being a God-realized saint, he ignored them. He thought, ‘Why should I give clarification and to how many persons? What people sow, they will reap. May God grant good sense to all! ‘ The Lord does grant good sense to all but it is received by very few. Those who fail to receive good sense are punished by nature. They die a miserable death and take birth in horrible life forms.

The scriptures warn us. The Gurubani says:

The slanderer of the saint
Is a brutal butcher;
The slanderer of the saint is
Cursed by the Transcendent Lord;
The hopes of the slanderer
Of the saint are not fulfilled;
The slanderer of the saint
Departs disappointed;
One who prays for the four
Cardinal blessings;
Should commit himself to
The service of the saints.
If you fear the cycle of birth and death,
Then seek the sanctuary of the holy.

O Gurudev I pray to thee,
May this world he as the heavens,
Let my life be most exalted
Bringing spirituality in practice.
May we never be self-centered;
But let us be caring towards all,
With the blessing of our Gurudev,
May we develop love for God.
May we always be devoted to truth,
and the command of our Gurudev.
May we cherish love, follow spiritual
routine, dharma and noble deeds.
May we refrain from falsehood;
Let us eschew injustice and egoism.
May we serve the elders
With gratitude and love,
May we not be narrow-minded.
May we be noble and high minded,
Loving the world and god.
May we love Rama and Krishna,
And the omnipresent Lord.
May we subdue all our senses,
May be patient and brave.
May our life be completely pure,
And may we do our duty always.
May we have purity of mind,
Purity of body, and conduct.
May not you deprive us of spiritual
Power even for a moment,
May we assimilate the grace of the
Satguru, and live a happy life of bliss.
Finally may we realize in this life,
The immortal self within!

The Need of Satguru

 It is essential to seek the refuge of, and live in the vicinity of a Satguru, for the search of the self; for the elimination of delusion; to relieve the burden of actions; to become immersed in the ocean of knowledge; and to enjoy the bliss of freedom.

 No amount of learning, study of the scriptures or sadhana can be accomplished without having a Satguru. Therefore it is an absolute must to have a Satguru. One faces not one or two, but thousands of problems in the battle of life. How can one protect his spiritual treasure without the shelter of a Satguru?

 Imagine the joy of a lost traveler on coming across an expert guide, or of finding some cool shade in the scorching mid-day sun in a desert. Imagine the joy of finding a torch while walking in a dark new-moon night, or of a drowning man on getting a boat, or an extremely thirsty man on finding a water-hut of cool, sweet water. Similar is the remarkable bliss experienced by a sadhaka desirous of liberation when he meets the Satguru.

 There is no place for an appeal in obedience and questioning in self-surrender.

 The chakor moonbird (a bird of the pleasant species) is enamored of the full moon and goes on contemplating it as long as the moon shines. It loves the moon and nothing else. A sati (chaste woman) has nobody in her life other than her husband. O You who are free from attachment, O spiritual Guide, O loving teacher, O Gurudeva! Pray let there be nobody other than you in my life.

 The key to all kinds of supernatural powers is the guru’s grace. All that is needed is the competence to assimilate the Guru’s grace. Then see what the Guru’s grace doesn’t do? The Guru’s grace enhances and purifies the intellect. The Guru’s grace enhances not only the power of memory, but also the power of self-study. The Guru’s grace does away with passion and fondness for the material objects, and kindles love for the Supreme Consciousness. By the Guru’s grace, attachment towards the world diminishes, while love for detachment increases. The Guru’s grace eradicates sorrow and brings joy. The Guru’s grace dries up the sea of attachment and replaces it with the ocean of equanimity.

 This body will not be worn out by rendering service to the Guru. The ashes left behind after the cremation of a body weighing about 70 kg will not even weigh around 3kg. Nor will they be of any use to anybody. Therefore a body such as this should be utilized in the service of the Guru.

 Satgurudev is the only one who brings to us the knowledge of the Absolute Truth, endows us with the experience of the Absolute Reality and the realization of the grandeur of Truth.

Stream Of Contemplation

“At dawn, I meditate within my heart on the self-effulgent supreme soul. I revere the self-god, the Gurudeva, who is reverberating in my heart. I aspire to adorn him on the throne of my heart. O the truth that is Guru, the Gurudeva! Let the kingdom of my heart now be yours. I was miserable when it was mine. My preconceived notions made me miserable robbed me and impoverished me. Oh! My inner ruler Antaryamin, the supreme atman!”

Let your each day begin with this heartfelt prayer and definitely there is bound to be spiritual progress.
Lord Shankara says:
“Gurulabhathsarvalabaho guruhinastho baalishah”

‘By the attainment of the Guru, one attains everything. One without a Guru is a fool.’
He who does not have a Guru is devoid of a true well-wisher and guide. ‘Nigura’ (uninitiated by a Guru) is verily an abusive word.

Sant Kabirji has said:
‘The uninitiated is a wandering soul,
Moving in the cycle of birth and death
(of 84 lack species)
And suffers the hellish fire,
So don’t remain uninitiated….
The uninitiated is blind at heart.
Over indulges in worldly pursuits.
Conceited of what are thou, O man!
Listen O clever and wise,
Do not remain uninitiated….’

Lord Shri Rama’s Guru was Vashishthaji, Sri Ramakrishna Pramhansaji’s Guru was Totapuriji Maharaj, Sri Lilashahji Bapu’s Guru was Sri Keshavnandaji and my Guru was Sri Lilashahji Bapu. I have not come across anyone who, without the grace of the Satguru, has known the aim of life, has accomplished it, or has been able to get the real joy of life.

‘My Satguru is a Warrior.
Who strikes with his words.
To demolish the fort of error,
With the canon ball of love.’

The words of Satguru eliminate all error. What is the error? To consider oneself to be poor or rich, man or a woman, happy or sad is the error. All this is nothing but the play of the mind. It is only when we know our real self through the knowledge imparted by the Satguru, that we become exalted and liberated from sins.

The Guru moulds his disciple. If a potter is overcautious and handles the clay very gently, it will take him a long time to make a pot. If my Gurudeva had to deal with me carefully and cautiously, it would have been most unfortunate for me. I lived in a slum area for seven years. The surroundings were such that it was difficult to even stay there, but –

‘There’s no better way to serve the Guru than to obey his instructions.’

My efforts were little compared to the enormous spiritual treasure that I received, which was only because I was earnest in following my Guru’s commands.

The Guru may take leave of the body, but cannot relinquish his place in your heart. When you feel sad, He too sighs in grief; when you take a wrong step in a fit of rage or ignorance, He too is hurt; and when you do good works, He becomes pleased. If you please your Guru early in the morning, you will have made your life fruitful.

Does the Guru need an invitation? No, He has already encamped in your heart. When you fall asleep, He keeps awake. He is always on the lookout for the day, the moment, when the disciple no longer remains a disciple, but becomes one with the Guru. He eagerly waits for the moment when the disciple becomes capable of assimilating his divine experience. His only expectation from you is that you endeavor to bring about that auspicious moment.

Just as an ocean can never dry up irrespective of the water drawn from it, so also the Guru generously gives the Supreme Knowledge, with the original reservoir remaining intact.

Sri Jnaneshwarji Maharaj has expressed his gratitude towards his Guru in these words:
“O grace of my Master! May you ever abide in my heart. Never abandon it. O God! Grant me that all the services of the Guru fall to my lot. I shall be his cook and shall serve him a meal and shall wave the lamp of my soul before his face… I want to render service in this way so long as my body lasts. But I should still wish to serve him even after I lose my body. I shall mingle the earth element of my body with the earth on which my guru treads. I shall mix the water element in the body in the water touched by my Master….”

Those who have realized the glory of the Guru, for them –
“Should the Lord and perfect Master
both appear together,
At whose feet should I then prostrate myself?
‘It would be my Master’s feet, of that be sure,
For he it was who showed
the invisible Lord to me.”

Man cries when he is born, and also when he dies. He cries even when he is not supposed to. But the Satguru transforms his cries into devotion and laughter into the love of God. This tact can only be acquired in the company of Satguru. – Pujya Bapuji

The Cardinal and Supremely Beneficent…

The celestial sage Narada says, “The seeker of Truth Absolute or the traveler on the path of Supreme Beatitude should control his body and senses. He should observe silence and restrain his mind. He should practice austerities everyday. He should strive to control his unrestrained senses and check the restlessness of the mind. He should refrain from attachment to anything. He should not rejoice in name and fame, being addressed as an enlightened one, great soul or respected personality. By remaining diligently engaged in constant self-enquiry to the exclusion of all else, one instantly attains to supreme bliss. Know him to be contented who moves as a sage unaffected by the Dwandwas (pairs of opposites) of sorrow and happiness amidst livings beings that experience the Dwandwas of pleasure and pain, gain and loss. The (only) hallmark of one satiated with knowledge is that he never grieves. By carrying out good and meritorious actions and by an abundance of such noble deeds, one is elevated to the plane of heavenly existence. Through an equilibrium of merits and sins one attains a human body, while and increase in sinful deeds relegates him to hellish planes of existence like birth in the species of animals, etc. Thus, affected by hundreds of vagaries like death, old-age and diseases, as a consequence of their good and bad deeds, the living beings are thrown into and boiled in the cauldron of samsara. Why don’t you, O Shukdeva, become alert observing the horrible state of the samsara? Why do you remain engrossed in this cosmic delusion even when you observe innumerable vertices of pleasures and misery closing in on you from all sides?

“O Shukdeva! You erroneously consider what is harmful as useful, the transient worldly objects as permanent, and harmful wealth as desirable. You are not on the alert. Why are you under such delusion? Just as a silkworm dies getting trapped in its own cocoon, so also man binds himself by his own actions and refuses to be on guard.

“There are many vices in accumulating and protecting wealth, not just one or two. Hence a seeker of the absolute truth must withdraw himself from the possession of wealth that requires hoarding and protection, because, just as a silkworm dies with its own possession, so also man is destroyed by avarice. Just as a wild old elephant which is caught in the deep swamp of a reservoir, and being unable to extricate himself from the quagmire of attachment and thus tread the path of pure knowledge and dispassion. Just as fish trapped in a net, when separated from water writhe and die, so also men bound by affection wail and writhe in the pain of separation from their desired objects and from undesirable events. Observing their pitiable state O Shuka, you ought not to be caught in the net of worldly passion and attachment.

“Wife, sons, relatives, our own body and all hoarded wealth and possessions do not belong to us. All that accompanies one is one’s own good and bad actions. Family and friends, etc. could be considered as ours only if they would accompany us after death, but when you have to depart alone one day leaving your wife, sons and relatives behind, then why do you get entangled in the bondage of lust and misfortune? Why don’t you take care of your supreme goal; the happiness that you desire? The path which you will have to follow after death has no resting place, nor will you get anything to eat on the way. One cannot perceive any direction on that path as there is total darkness all around. O Shukhdeva! How will you, after death, walk all alone on such a terrible path? When you depart from you dear body you will not be followed by your wife, sons, or any relatives at all. Only your sins and merits – your real compassion – will accompany you. Learning, actions, dharma, purity and comprehensive knowledge are often used by people for accumulating wealth. They do not know how to use them for their supreme good. If one were to employ their learning and good deeds towards attaining the supreme goal, then they would become blessed and free from all painful worldly bondages.

“The liking for settlement in a populated area is a binding rope. Virtuous people cut this rope and practice pittance in solitude, whereas sinners continue to bind themselves with this rope each passing day. For a pedestrian on the path of beatitude, it is good that they should cross by their own self-efforts this river which has forms as its banks, the mind as its current, the sense of touch as the islands, taste and objects of pleasure as the straws flowing in it, and smell and words as the quagmire and water respectively. This river falls on the way to heaven and flows in a swift torrent. Forgiveness is the navigator. Dharma is the rope for its embankment, and the boat of truth sailing on the path of renunciation takes one across the river.

Credits and Debits of Being With and Without Guru

These five golden attributes find their way into those having a Satguru:
(1) They develop the insight to safeguard their knowledge and sublime emotions.
(2) Their sufferings are mitigated.
(3) They succeed in becoming introverted to gain inner joy.
(4) Their prosperity and virtues increase automatically and effortlessly.
(5) Their life is filled with bliss, peace and joy.

Those without a Satguru suffer from the following five major troubles:
(1) However they attempt to gratify their senses, their brooding never ends. ‘I lost her…. Why did so and so do this? Why did this happen to me….’ He is always caviling always repenting.
(2) They are always clouded by desires and expectations, ‘I should get this, I should eat that, I should enjoy such and such pleasures, I should teach him a lesson….I should do that….’
‘I…..I….I…..I…..’ The darkness of egoism will engulf them.
(3) They will remain deprived of spiritual knowledge and its benefits.
(4) They have no idea of the existence of God and their fate.
(5) They are ignorant of what will happen to them after death.

One having a Guru knows that his Guru mantra will help him after death and he is sure that he will not go to lower births after death. They know that either they will go to the Lord’s abode, or by the japa of Om….Om….Om… and contemplation its meaning at the time of death, they will attain liberation.
The Lord says in the Guru

Omithyekaksharam brahma Vyaharannamanusmaran
Vah prayati tyjandeham sa yati parama gathim

“One who departs casting off his body while uttering ‘Om’, the Brahman in the form of the mono-syllable, and dwelling on me in my absolute aspect, reaches the supreme goal.’

the Lord grants Supreme Beatitude to those who chant ‘Om’ contemplating its meaning at the time of death. Even in the higher realms, one’s religious merit is not reduced. Those residing in heaven on the strength of their tapasya, charities and sacrifices, their religious merit are reduced with the passage of time and when it gets exhausted they fall from the heavens. But iof a devotee engaged in sadhana for the Lord alone, dies before realizing god, then he is granted a period of rest in the heavens. They can live there for one thousand or ten thousand years as per their sweet will.

Arjuna asked, “O Lord! If proceeds along the path of salvation and gets engaged in spiritual and devotional endeavors, and renouncing worldly pleasures and sense-enjoyments lives a frugal, self-restrained and altruistic life, but his sadhana is rent asunder by death like winds, what is the fate of such a sadhaka? They neither realize God nor enjoy worldly pleasures.” The Lord said, “No, it is not like that.

Na he kalyankritkaschdudurgati taath gutchati

“For none who strives for self-redemption (i.e. God-realizaton) ever meets with evil destiny.” (The Gita: 6.40)

You are working on a project and fall asleep in the middle of it. The impression on your mind of the mater studied or the work done are not erased by sleep. Similarly the effect of sadhana is not destroyed by the sleep of death. After enjoying the pleasures of heavens at will, such a devotee of the Lord is born again into the house of the pure and prosperous, or into the house of yogis. If he/she is an advanced sadhaka, he/she may go to the abode of Lord Brahma and live there till the life of Lord Brahma. In the end Lord Brahma will instruct them into the great aphorism, ‘I am Brahman’ and the sadhaka will attain perfection and become one with the Supreme Brahman. So don’t spare much tought for how you should live here in this world. Think rather of life after death. You need not worry about this life, as it will proceed along the lines predestined.

Even though you don’t want them to, troubles, illnesses, losses, price-inflation and taxes will come to plague you. Similarly, even without your asking, pleasant circumstances and pleasures will come. Miseries too will come and go. Your whole life will be spent this way, don’t worry about it.

So, Guruless persons who do not have a Guru are plagued by these five miseries. And one who takes mantra-diksha from a Satguru and follows the satguru’s principle is blessed indeed.

Sri Totapuriji Maharaj – An Epitome of Vedanta

Conquering Afflictions and Obstacles:
An incense stick cannot permeate the environment with fragrance unless it embraces fire. Gold glitters only after it is heated in fire. In the world full of afflictions and struggles, he alone shines who bears these afflictions and struggles.

Totapuriji was determined to evolve in higher consciousness.

Attaining the Paramhansa State:
Totapuriji told Ramakrishna about the system of selecting the Mahant of the Nagas, “Among the Nagas, only the one who had attained the Paramhansa state was appointed as the Mahant whenever the post was vacant. Otherwise, how could it have been possible to remain dispassionate having such wealth, honour and power at his disposal? It was but natural that these would affect his mental balance. Therefore, only the one who was completely free from attachment to wealth was given the post and entrusted with the financial responsibilities. Only such a one was capable of using the resources in the service of the deities and the sadhus.”

Totapuriji had attained self-realization through the path of Nirvikalpa Samadhi prior to this, when, as a wandering sadhu, he lived for a long time in solitude on the bank of the holy Narmada River and was engrossed in meditation and devotion. The oldest living sadhus of the area bore testimony to this.

Forty years of severe sadhana took Totapuriji to the pinnacle of knowledge. Yet he continued to carry on with his rigorous spiritual routine and practiced severe sadhana as before. In due course of time, Totapuriji became a successor to this Guru as Mahant of the monastery.

Coming to Dakshineshwar:
Eternally liberated souls who are equal to God in consciousness, take birth only to establish the eternal truths for the supreme good of mankind. After finishing their divine mission for which they are born, they submerge themselves in Absolute consciousness.

Totapuriji preferred to live as a wandering, jivanmukta. His routine activities – food, mode of living, work and rest etc. – were different from any ordinary man. He traveled the length and breadth of the country free from all inhibitions, and as free as the wind blows. Like the wind, he remained unaffected by the vices and virtues of the world, and he could never remain confined to any one particular place. If he came across a sincere sadhaka, he would encourage them to learn Vedanta and would impart its knowledge.

Totapuriji observed a rule never to take rest under a roof. Whether it was fierce winds or the scorching sun, he would always sleep beneath a tree or simply under the vast blue sky. During his life as a wandering monk, he never stayed at any one place for more than three days. On his way back from pilgrimage to Ganga Sagar and Puri Dham, he arrived at Dakshineshwar. In fact he was inspired by Divine Mother Kali to impart the knowledge of Vedanta to her devotee.

First meeting with Sri Rama Krishna
In the thirtieth year of his life, Sri Ramakrishna, the ‘mad priest’ of Ma Kali’s temple at Dakshineshwar, was taking rest after intense sadhana to realize the spiritual mysteries. During that time on a winter morning of January 1865, he was sitting on the steps of ghat of holy Ganga leading to the canopy of Dakshineshwar Temple. On both sides of the ghat are 6 temples of Lord Shiva in a row. Below that the Ganga is flowing from north to south. Sri Ramakrishna was seeing the beautiful scenery. Before long however, his mind which was introverted by nature became engrossed in self-bliss, which was quite natural for Sri Ramakrishna in those days.

In those days, most people called him the ‘mad priest’. Some people at the temple called him ‘Chhote Bhattacharya’, and elders and relatives would address him as ‘Gadadhar’. Very few people addressed him as ‘Ramakrishna’.

After a short time, he happened to notice a wandering sanyasin who appeared to be new to the place. The priest looked at the sanyasin observantly. The sannyasi was tall, robust and handsome. He looked to be spirited and endowed with indomitable courage. He resembled a rock in the shape of a lion. At this time, Totapuriji was about fifty years old. Behind his long beard, and below the locks of hair, was an imposing countenance shining with great peace, typical of an enlightened soul. He was a wonderful Pramhansa. He had nothing to call his own other than a pair of tongs, a brass jug and deerskin to sit on.

As soon as Totapuriji glanced at Sri Ramakrishna who was sitting in one place unmindful of his surroundings, and with a glowing countenance radiant with devotional love, Totapuriji was filled with surprise and joy.

Enhancement of Life Energy

Life energy is intimately connected with our mental and physical health. It is also known as Pran Shakti. Our life energy is raised or diminished depending upon our mode of living. Through their yogic process, intuition and a minute study of life our ancient seers and sages discovered the most profound secrets governing life energy. It is mentioned in the ‘prashnopanishad’: There are 72, 72, 10, 210 nerve channels. The word ‘approximately’ is not given here. The last digit ‘one’ shows how deep the analysis is! We eat approximately one kg. of food, drink two kilos of water, and breathe 21,600 times inhaling 9,000 liters of air. Those 9,000 liters of air provide us with energy equal to that derived from 10 kilos of food. Which is the most nutritious food for the body? Ghee, milk, pistachio nut, almond, saffron, musk or any costly eatable is not as nutritious as the air produced by fumigating the atmosphere with a spoonful of ghee poured on a burning cake of cow-dung. This produces one ton of highly life-nourishing air. If the people of the family and neighborhood sit and practice pranayama in such an environment, they would derive indescribable benefits. Maharshi Patanjali’s illustrious works on yoga philosophy and spiritual science give a brief account of great psychic powers and divine riches one can attain and lofty spiritual heights one can scale by raising this life energy through a pure, sattvic, and righteous living and systemic practice of yoga. The practice of yoga and other spiritual routines will develop the life energy to such an extent that one will not be suppressed by sorrow or become indulgent in pleasure. Rather one will utilize both sorrow and pleasure and through self-restraint and devotion to the self, become a jivanmukta. Man who is worthy of divine love, divine repose and jivanmukti which is superior even to heaven or beholding god in his manifest form, is tormented by miseries. Therefore, beware!

In order to enable the common people get the benefits, even unknowingly, of these profound secrets (laws) of yogic and spiritual sciences, the supremely wise rishis laid down a system of life suited to the realization of the eternal truth and composed scriptures and smritis to teach the code of conduct delineating the positive commands (injunctions) and the negative commands (prohibitions). If man sincerely leads his life as ordained by the scriptures, he will naturally enhance the life energy being protected against factors that cause diminution of life energy. Thus one progressively evolves and finally attains the exalted suite of self-repose.

Man of ancient times possessed a pure heart abounding with implicit faith. He would spontaneously embark on the exalted path of spiritual elevation shown by the guru and the scriptures. Modern man has a rational and scientific mindset. Many intelligent, scholarly and courageous scientists of foreign countries have, through their extensive research works based on experiments rediscovered that spiritual treasure of our ancient rishis, thereby proving its veracity as well as utility in human life for the world. Diamond has carried out intensive research and experiments on the subject of biokinaesiology. While expounding on the causes of raising and reducing life energy, he has enumerated the following factors influencing our life energy:
(1) Impact of emotional shock, stress, tension and anxiety:-

After conducting a number of experiments, Dr. Diamond came to the conclusion that when an individual hears a loud noise suddenly, his life energy is diminished instantly. He becomes dreadful. When the lion roars in the forest, the life energy of animals like deers is diminished. Panicked, they start fleeing helter-skelter. That makes it easy for the lion to catch its prey.

Suppose a patient whose prognosis is not good and he wants to see his doctor, the doctor’s life energy is reduced simply on hearing the patient’s request for appointment. Even after coming to know that it was only an experiment being conducted on him, the diminution of his life energy is observed. Through his instruments of B.K. testing, Dr. Diamond found that if the doctor touches the tip of his tongue to the palate about half a centimetre away from the teeth, the life energy is not diminished.

The life energy becomes centralized when the tip of the tongue is in contact with the palate. This seems to be the reason why the yogis have been practicing this method since time immemorial to conserve their life energy. Dr. Diamond carried out experiments upon the sadhakas who centralized their life energy through this practice found their vital force increasing, while other sadhakas who engaged in japa and meditation without recourse to the said practice felt weaker in comparison to the former sadhakas.

The touching of the tongue to the palate brings both hemispheres of the brain into balance. Such a balanced state of the brain facilitates all round development; enhances creativity and one can face adverse circumstances with considerable case.
During the times of tension, stress, anxiety and strain, one should keep the tip of his tongue touching to the palate. This prevents the diminution of life energy. This is a great way to conserve one’s energy!

What the modern scientist are proving today had already been practiced by our rishis since time immemorial. It is but deplorable that the modern man does not take due advantages of the same.

When we see nature or pictures of beautiful natural scenery, water reservoirs like rivers, lakes and seas, greenery or forests, or we look towards the sky, it raises our life energy. It is for this reason that gods and goddess are shown in the pictures with such natural backgrounds.

Recreation, reading or singing of some good peon, song, bhajan, shlokas, etc. also conserves life energy. Also, the practice of moving the hands to and fro while walking raises the life energy.

(Translated Experts from ‘Jivan Vikas’
- a book published by the ashram)