"Thought is the most potent and creative power in the world. It initially takes shape in an individual mind. When shared with others, any benevolent thought starts growing as a vibrant process encompassing more and more people. It is such collective benevolent thoughts that build up great cultural values and treasure in the society."

The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Practical Guidance

Prabhaata Rashmih talks by Poojya Swamiji
  • PR 13 June 2012 - True Spirituality is Interactional
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

    I have been discussing Bhagavad Gita, the second chapter, right from the eleventh verse onwards for a number of days now. We have come to the last portion, namely the Stithaprajna Prakarana of the second chapter. The chapter altogether consists of seventy-two verses and eighteen verses are devoted to the description of the Stithaprajna and all the details allied to the Stithaprajna and Stithadhee. Towards the conclusion Krishna says, 

    विहाय कामान्य: सर्वान्पुमांश्चरति निस्पृह: ।
    निर्ममो निरहङ्कार: स शान्तिमधिगच्छति ॥ २.७१ ॥
    vihāya kāmān-yaḥ sarvān-pumāṁś-carati niḥspṛhaḥ |
    nirmamo nirahaṅkāraḥ sa śāntim-adhigacchati || 2.71 ||
    (Bhagavad Gita 2.71)

    All of you should know very well that spiritual wisdom and spiritual pursuit have only one focus. What is that? One's own mind. In order to focus ourselves on our mind and making it the way we want, the intelligence is used because that is the only tool which can act upon the mind. Krishna speaks words of wisdom using his intelligence. Arjuna, employing his own intelligence is receiving the words of wisdom. And the impact is meant to be generated in the mind. So he concludes the Stitaprajna discussion by saying,

    विहाय कामान्य: सर्वान्पुमांश्चरति निस्पृह: ।

    The spiritual state is not just supposed to be one of absorption in meditation. Meditation and absorption are necessary no doubt, in order to understand one's own personality, its subtle complex nature, also the presence of the Self different from the body, matter and energy. One cannot always be sitting in meditation and absorption. In that case, the kārmic world will come to a stop. The entire universe is revolving like a wheel with activity of a smaller or a greater dimension. Within the atom, is the activity. The whole earth is revolving and going around the Sun. So activity is the very core and content of nature. We have to be active. Activity means interaction with the rest of the world. So our life is interactional. So spirituality also must be interactional sooner or later. Meditation, meditative absorption and the like are only to help this interactional sublimation and enrichment. So Krishna says विहाय कामान्य: सर्वान्पुमांश्चरति निस्पृह: ।

    कामान् विहाय - leaving all the desires.
    पुमान् - the human.
    चरति नि:स्पृह: - when he lives and moves about.
    नि:स्पृह: - without any kind of a hold by desire.

    In other words, when the mind becomes desire-free, he finds a naturality, a natural sequence in everything. Early in the morning we get up, we wash our teeth, maybe we have our break fast, we have our bath, we start interacting with the environments, if you have a work front, you go there, you come back in the evening, you look after your body in the matter of cleaning it, feeding it, dressing, other times you interact with persons, places and events, all these are going on. But in doing so, he does not have any desire or the stronghold of desire.

    निर्ममो निरहङ्कार: He does not have anything like a possessiveness about anything whatsoever including his own body. The body is possessed and preserved by the earth, by the air, by water and the like. We are not preserving the body. The lungs are breathing and you don't push and press the lungs every time. The heart is beating, you don't press it. They go on by themselves. It is by virtue of the biological make up of each organ that it functions in its own manner. The entire body is held by the gravity of the earth. So I don't think we possess our body. The body perhaps possesses us.

    So निर्ममः - no possessiveness.

    निरहङ्कार:- there is nothing to be claimed as “I have done, I will do, I am doing.” No, our eyes are seeing, ears are hearing, mind is thinking, intelligence is understanding, ego is asserting - all these are meant to do what they are doing. I don't think any one of them is under one's control. So, there is no ahamkara also.  

    निर्ममो निरहङ्कार: स शान्तिमधिगच्छति ॥

    Such a person attains peace and beatitude. What does it mean? True spirituality is to make you functional and interactional but while being so, you have to be free from three factors - ahankara, mamata and desire. That ego-centric feeling about whatever you do, possessiveness which dominates in the mind, and desire, the craving to possess more, more and more, these are the three psycho-intellectual constraints that we are suffering from. When they are removed and set right, the mind become a beautiful serene flow. Good thoughts will well up in the mind. Good actions will follow. Good interactions also will follow. And everything will go on well, well and well. Now this is actually the liberated man; the Stithaprajna and the Stithadhi. Just imagine, you have to focus only on three factors. Setting right your ego, avoiding all cravings unnecessarily and take away the possessiveness which you unduly are having. If these three are looked after and eliminated and it is perfectly possible, then you become a Jeevanmukta, a Knower of Truth, a Sthithaprajna and a Sthithadhi. See how it is related to our interactional life.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

  • PR 09 June 2012 - Attention for Sublimation and Refinement
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

    I was speaking about attention which normally will give rise to more and more inwardness, sublimation and refinement. How to develop this attentiveness or attention is an important question. You have to start from somewhere. Our activities are normally viewed external and sense-based, sensory. You may not be able to be attentive for all the items of work you are performing. So take one or two special items and try to put more and more inwardness and attention to it. That is how we have this pooja, chanting of hymns etc. When you chant a hymn, it is actually an oral activity. It is not a physical or a mechanical one. This oral activity results in the production of words, ideas and so many different propositions. Unless the mind is agile and attentive to bring about the right words and phrases, you will not be able to do the recitation well.

    So you can take up some very good recitation, recitation of some meaningful verses which have value, which can inspire¸ strengthen, elevate, bring expansion to you, which can make you more and more benign and benevolent. Chant these verses. While chanting the verses, be attentive to each syllable that comes out from the mouth. Try also to associate the meaning and import of the words that come out. So on the one hand, the mind is engrossed in bringing the right words, on the other hand, a deeper level of the mind or intelligence is employed to associate the necessary meaning, purpose and attitude with regard to what you recite. You also have to hear the whole recitation. Otherwise, the two processes cannot go on well. So you will find there is a multiple or multifold application from within your personality.

    First of all, we have to understand that our personality is truly inner. The biological body completes its growth at the age of maximum twenty-one. Then there is no growth, on the other hand there is steady decline. That is the time everyone becomes an adult. If at all, there is a growth, enrichment, expansion etc. it is only inward. Once you are sure of this, with all the attention and involvement, we are only trying to improve our inner personality, mainly the mind and the intelligence. Listen to what Sankara says in Vivekachudamani.

    अतीव सूक्ष्मं परमात्मतत्त्वं
    न स्थूलदृष्ट्या प्रतिपत्तुमर्हति ।
    समाधिनात्यन्तसुसूक्ष्मवृत्या
    ज्ञातव्यमार्यैरतिशुद्धबुद्धिभिः ।।
    atīva sūkṣmam paramātmatattvam
    na sthūladṛṣṭyā pratipattumarhati |
    samādhinātyantasusūkṣmavṛtyā
    jñātavyamāryairatiśuddhabuddhibhiḥ ||
    (Vivekachudamani 361)
    What does it mean? The Atma or in other words, God, is actually a सूक्ष्म तत्त्व. Not only सूक्ष्म, अतीव सूक्ष्म तत्त्व. It is a principle or a concept which is extremely subtle in nature. Ever since birth, we are interacting with only the gross objects the panchabhutas and things made up of panchabhutas. We don’t have anything like a subtle seeing or subtle introspecting habit. But actually, the Self is extremely subtle. It is inside the body. It is in the earth, water, air, different forms of energy and space, all of which constitute your body. So imagine the subtlety of the self. It is extremely subtle.

    न स्थूलदृष्ट्या प्रतिपत्तुमर्हति - Such a subtlest presence like the self, cannot be glimpsed or grasped by the usual gross-seeing habit or capacity. Then what is the way?

    समाधिना अत्यन्तसुसूक्ष्मवृत्या - You have to practice Samadhi. What is Samadhi? अत्यन्तसुसूक्ष्मवृत्या - Sit in a place, take an optional thought, spiritual thought. Start revolving it within yourself. Be attentive to the revolving process and make the process subtler, lighter, feebler, still more so, still more so, still more so, subtler, lighter, slower, feebler, still more so, still more so, until at last the manovrithi itself become very, very light and luminous. Mark my word - ‘Luminous’. It will become more and more brilliant and if it becomes subtler and subtler, stiller and stiller, feebler and feebler, you will find that the vibration is not different from the source, mother source.

    Suppose I start moving my finger, moving it something like six inches to begin with, then I reduce six inches to five, then four, then three, then two, further, one. Then I reduce it by divisions of an inch. Ultimately I move my finger only to 1/50th of an inch, I still reduce it to 1/60th, 1/100th of an inch. At that point, you will not see the movement at all. You will see only the finger, the finger, the finger. The same happens to the mind and the thought process.

    Mind is the source from which thoughts emerge. When the thoughts becomes lighter, feebler, slower, still more so, still more so, then there will come a time when the vibrant thought itself will be virtually extinct and you will find the source which vibrates. Now this cannot be done except when you are more and more inward and attentive. This attention is the secret of discipline. You can employ any discipline when you are attentive to your own body, its movements, your own tongue, its speeches, your own thoughts, their quality, breadth, loftiness and the like. So the word ‘attention’ has immense import. Every day you sit in a place and either by chanting or by studying your thought process, try to make your optional thought feebler, feebler and feebler. It will improve your attention, perception, absorption, expansion, loftiness and the like.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

  • PR 08 June 2012 - Discipline means Watchfulness II
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

    Yesterday I was speaking about discipline and also austerity. I don’t know whether you have reflected upon what was said and disclosed. Human life is distinct from the rest of the life forms upon the earth. All the others have got a certain habit, a certain way of life and they are not supposed to improve it or change it in any way. The cat behaves in a cat-ly manner, the snakes behave in a snake-ly manner, the apes behave in an ape-ly manner. Many of the animals are not associated with us. In the domestic animals, we bring about some changes sometimes. They don’t themselves change. The cow behaves in a cow-ly manner.

    In the case of human beings, right from the beginning, we are expected to be changing and improving and there is a lot of scope also. Our improvement is not in the physical make-up or characteristics of our personality. Our eyes, nose, ears, hands, feet, all of them will naturally grow in their own shapes and sizes. The change, if at all, is not even in the tone of your voice, but in the content of your voice. In the same manner, in the content of your mind and intelligence. This change can be brought about only by a process of discipline.

    What is meant by discipline? Administering whatever is necessary and desirable and eliminating whatever is undesirable. Suppose you are given to rough speech, avoid it and be given to soft speech. So eliminating the roughness and instilling the softness. This is called discipline. In fact, this is also austerity. When any form of discipline is taken to its depth and you are able to feel that the discipline comes from the mind and because it is coming from the mind, it has got an effect on the mind, its behavior and character, then it becomes austerity. Mind is not actually matter nor is it energy. Because it is different from matter and energy, we call it divine, not material and energial. Anything when you take to the mind, it becomes very, very austere and sublime. There is a verse which the Upanishads sings,

    एषोऽणुरात्मा चेतसा वेदितव्यो यस्मिन्प्राणः पञ्चधा संविवेश ।
    प्राणैश्चित्तं सर्वमोतं प्रजानां यस्मिन्विशुद्धे विभवत्येष आत्मा
    Esho'ṇurātmāchetasā veditavyo yasmin-prāṇaḥ panchadhā samviveśa |
    prāṇaiśchittham sarvamotam prajānām yasminviśuddhe vibhavatyesha ātmā ||

    एषोऽणुरात्मा चेतसा वेदितव्यो - this extremely subtle, atomic Soul is to be comprehended and realized by the mind.

    But the mind is coupled with पञ्चधा प्राणः संविवेश - because it is coupled with the pranas, the pranas start pulling them and pushing them in different directions. This entanglement with the prana should be released and the mind should become pure.

    When the mind becomes pure, यस्मिन्विशुद्धे विभवत्येष आत्मा - then the soul becomes revealed, it starts shining.

    So the distance to the Self is very very short, small and negligible. What we need is the purity and sublimity of the mind. This cannot be brought about except by discipline and austerity. The best of discipline you have when you treat the mind with spiritual and philosophical thoughts. If you read a spiritual book and in that reading, you can put your attention, identity and wholesomeness, I think that is the best discipline that you can think of. As a result ,of this discipline which is also austere, the mind sheds its impurity and grows more and more purity. If you listen to a spiritual narration, discussion with attention, attunement and identity, you will find the mind grows pure and sheds impurity.

    In a way it is very simple and easy to access, very simple and easy to access. There are so many verses being sung and Mā should be singing a number of verses for you. The mere listening to these verses, that itself will make you imbibe purity and the mind will start shedding impurity. It all depends upon the disciplined listening. The listening should be disciplined. What does it mean? Don’t move your body unnecessarily; sit in a place comfortably; pay your attention to what is recited; try to feel it apart from hearing. Hearing is done by the ears; feeling is done by the mind; if you can preferably understand with the message, then that is done in the intelligence. So the ear is involved, the mind is involved, the intelligence also is involved. If there is thus a threefold involvement in listening, I think that becomes a full-fledged austerity. This disciplined listening will make you absorbed, absorbed, absorbed. As a listener, you will not be considering that it is a sensory, intellectual process. No. It is something more than that, different from it.

    I was reciting though a little fast more than a chapter of Srimad Bhagavatam from the last message of Krishna to Uddhava. You know when I recite them and my body is fervent, my voice also is alright, I find nectar and elixir in the recitation. If I simply peruse through it, I will not get it. When I recite it and my own ears listen to it and it produces the disciplined wholesome sublimity, then instantly arises ecstasy, exhilaration. There is a great attunement that follows. This attunement when properly enhanced, will become identity and oneness.

    Discipline means you are watchful about your body and senses; watchful about your mind, watchful about your intelligence. This watchfulness comes from the mind. So if you are disciplined, understand that the mind is instantly involved and it is sublimating to the mind. Then you should further have the enrichment and empowerment from the wisdom, from the intelligence. That is why you should read spiritually exposural books, primarily the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Prakarana Grandhas, read them, read them, read them. To have a determination and to read with regularity, that requires discipline. You have to discipline your mind, discipline your day, discipline your habit, discipline the choice also.

    In this process of discipline, the senses have a part, the mind has a part, the intelligence have a part, the ego also. Unless all these things are doing what you want them to do, this will not be possible. So it is all a process of discipline my dear souls. But people generally understand discipline to be a a mechanical, physical and sensory process. No, no, it is not so. True discipline trickles into the mind, equally to the intelligence and ego and brings about such a beautiful attunement, refinement, sublimation, and enrichment that you will be wonderstruck at the way in which all these takes place. And it all starts from administering a note of discipline to everything that you do, everything that you do, that you speak, that you think, that you understand.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

 

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Poojya Swamiji says that the real focus

  • of devotional practices is not God, but the devotee's own mind and behaviour;
  • of karmayoga is not action but the attitude of the mind with which an action is performed;
  • of knowledge is not knowledge, but the purification and expansion of the seeker's mind.

Swamiji's Teachings

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Poojya Swamiji says that the real focus

  • of devotional practices is not God, but the devotee's own mind and behaviour;
  • of karmayoga is not action but the attitude of the mind with which an action is performed;
  • of knowledge is not knowledge, but the purification and expansion of the seeker's mind.

 

NSJi-HmPgSwami Nirviseshananda Tirtha

Swami Nirviseshananda Tirthaji, a renunciate disciple of Poojya Swamiji, is known for his scientific expositions which are a source of inspiration to seekers.  Read More...

MaJi-HmPg-White

Ma Gurupriya

A disciple of Poojya Swamiji, Ma is the loving mother of Poojya Swamiji's devotees around the world. Devotion and service remain the predominant forces shaping Ma's life.  Read More...

Recordings of Poojya Swamiji's Talks

Bhagavad Gita : A Topic for Research - 1

Bhagavad Gita : A Topic for Research - 2


 

Vicharsetu
Vicharasethu 
Vicharasethu is a monthly journal in English and Hindi, edited and published by Poojya Swamiji. It is also published in Malayalam by the name Vicharasarani. With Articles, Correspondance, Guidance for Sādhana and News updates from the Ashram, these monthly publications are a great guide for the earnest sādhaka. 
 
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Devotees hold periodic meetings at their own locations wherein the teachings and messages of Swamiji are heard, read and discussed with a view to comprehend and arrive at their essence and make it a functional note in their life. This section provides resources to facilitate the proceedings at such gatherings. Read More ....

How to chant Bhagavad Gita

How to chant Viṣṇusahasranāma

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