"Devotion is a means as well as its true end when it grows into a full treasure. When devotion becomes a treasure, you will need nothing more for inner fullness or affluence. As devotion grows, it will begin to free you of all desire, hatred and fear. It will relieve poverty, either by making you amply resourceful or by taking away from you the very feeling of poverty. Devotion also will remove your weakness, generating untold strength and confidence."

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 22 Apr 2016 - Use Scriptures as a Guiding Light
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

    I would like to share what is in my mind. Generally I do it. Prabhata Rashmih is a program where whatever comes to my mind, whether it is spiritual or non-spiritual, I speak about. And there is nothing for me which is non-spiritual. Everything is part of our life and our life itself is what - it is God manifest. The Jiva in us is no other than the Supreme Lord himself, you can call it a drop of the ocean. I have always been, if it all I have striven hard in my sadhana, ultimately I found it was the differential feeling that has to be set right. This is called in good cultural world, bheda-buddhi - the intelligence by virtue of which you make a difference of many things.

    In Vivekachudamani there is a verse:

    न प्रत्यग्ब्रह्मणोर्भेदं कदापि ब्रह्मसर्गयोः ।
    प्रज्ञया यो विजानाति स जीवन्मुक्तलक्षणः ॥ ४४० ॥
    na pratyagbrahmaṇorbhedaṁ kadāpi brahmasargayoḥ |
    prajñayā yo vijānāti sa jīvanmuktalakṣaṇaḥ || 440 ||
    (Vivekachudamani 440)

    The lakshana, the feature, the characteristic of a jeevan-mukta is, when in his intelligence and mind there is no difference between Pratyak and Brahma. Pratyagātma means the Self and Brahma means the Supreme Reality.

    Similarly, Brahma Sargayoh, between Brahman, the Supreme reality and world, srishtih, there should be no difference. It is like water condensed in the form of ice and heated to become vapour. The H2O does not change at all. My dear children, this is not merely said, you can have this realization provided you are earnest and you will be properly guided by your own intelligence and scriptures.

    Early in the morning, I had to cut short my walking because I wanted to write a note to our Supreme Court advocate, Ravi Mehrotra. We have filed an intervention petition in the Supreme Court with regard to the entry of women in Sabarimala temple where the overflowing majority does not want to allow it. I generally have a reformist and revolutionary thinking in these matters but I am a very, very orthodox and scriptural person. Our scriptures are quite pure, great, holy and noble. But somewhere down the line, it is the impure mind of man, corrupt mind of man that handles the scriptures and scriptural traditions. So the selfish ends take over.

    काम एष क्रोध एष रजोगुणसमुद्भवः ।
    महाशनो महापाप्मा विद्ध्येनमिह वैरिणम् ।। ३.३७ ॥
    kāma eṣa krodha eṣa rajo-guṇa-samudbhavaḥ |
    mahāśano mahā-pāpmā viddhy-enam-iha vairiṇam || 3.37 ||

    It is the desire and greed sprouting in the mind that generally makes a man commit wrong and sin. You don’t have to point your finger to anything else. When Arjuna asked, “What is the reason for anybody to do a wrong even when he does not want?” Krishna answers it in this way in the third chapter. I had explained it very well a few days back here.

    So, the scriptural position has been diluted and even contradicted in many of our practices. I say even (if) a squirrel wants to worship in a public place of worship, it cannot be prevented. You can have disciplines necessary. All the disciplines should be scriptural and everything has to be scientific and logical.  

    The Supreme Court initially, our Judge Mishra asked a question, “In the Vedic times, were the women discriminated?” Nobody has answered this question in the Court so far as I know. So I wanted to voice the Vedic pronouncements and Vedic insight. So luckily, an advocate who is also a disciple of mine, he also agreed. So I started preparing notes. Finally he has put them very nicely, all written by me.

    Now, two days back it was presented and it has been listed. So in the afternoon yesterday, he has received information from the Registrar that it has been listed today. So I am preparing some notes. I wanted to tell you something about it. The Judge repeatedly says, “We are not going to consider the point from any other aspect. What is the deity whether he is a brahmacharin, a celibate or not. We will consider the subject only under the constitution, what can stand.” 

    Now I am firmly of the opinion that the constitution is supreme in our land to govern the behavior and interaction of the people. We don’t have any other parallel law. We may have traditions, cultural elements. Was there any time when the Hindu society took up corrections and brought improvements only by themselves? Even in abolishing Sati, Rammohan Roy’s voice was not heeded by people. Finally the government had to pass a legislation. For temple entry also, the Raja had to give it in the form of a proclamation.

    What arrangement does the society have, Hindu society have, to bring about any change or reformation in them? They were managing temples and all of them were siphoned away. Finally, government had to interfere to take over the temples. Even now, there is a cry that the temples should be handed over to the society. Which society you tell me? The society of householders? Sannyasins are no exception. Suppose these people come, that will be another elected ministry. Just as that is corrupt, more corrupt will be the Hindu society leaders who man these temples.

    The best will be, after all a democratically elected government is there, and to the government you can raise your voice. Why not the society raise its voice saying that, “Our temple administration must incorporate these and these”? Now whatever offering is made, it is a religious offering, it is a devotional offering. The secular government cannot touch it. They cannot use a single pie. If they use it, it will be equivalent to Jizya  tax imposed by the Muslim emperors. It is a voluntary offering. Let them take taxes, taxes under enactments of the parliament. That money they can touch. But when I say this, the Hindu society is mute. Why don’t you join me? And I want to be followed by tens of thousands of people and if we make one or two public meetings, the government will shudder. They will never touch the money. And again, why should the temples hoard the money? We have got tonnes of gold in the temples. They are simply rusting there. The temple sastras or our scriptures do not allow any hoarding. Hoarding has to be treated as thieves and robbers and they have to be punished, says Bhagavatam. So I am always of this kind of a view.

    Now why I am taking up these issues is, why is it that the voice of the scriptures is not being discussed properly to be a guiding light? So I am writing that this equality of gender and other things which constitution speaks about is only a fractional reflection of the cultural samatva that we have been holding right from the beginning. Our society is noted for samatva and in Bhagavad Gita, Krishna speaks about samatva and samatva alone:

    विद्याविनयसंपन्ने ब्राह्मणे गवि हस्तिनि ।
    शुनि चैव श्वपाके च पण्डिताः समदर्शिनः ॥ ५.१८ ॥
    vidyā-vinaya-sampanne brāhmaṇe gavi hastini ।
    śuni caiva śva-pāke ca paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ ।। 5.18 ।।
    (Bhagavad Gita 5.18)

    A beautiful verse from the fifth chapter. And he speaks about Samatva everywhere. When we won the second Pakistan war, I believe Dr. Radhakrishnan was the President of India. While addressing the parliament he said, “We should not lose our equipoise. We should not gloat over our victory as Gita says samatvam”. What do you say? This samatva is not a discovery of our Constitution. After all, it is the people of India who invented the Constitution or formulated it and they have this cultural background.

    Our people took up “Satyameva Jayate” as the national motto. It is a quote from Mundaka-Upanishad. Now I understand the Supreme Court has got its motto, “Yato Dharmah, tato jayah”.  It is from Mahabharatam. So I want to tell the Court that ‘You need not have a preference only to keep to the constitutional provisions. After all, a large majority of our people are looking for support from the scriptures. So if the scriptures are there which are pre, pre, pre, pre-constitution, they also uphold samatva. What is the harm in your taking the stand according to the scriptures also? When there is a scriptural dispute, finally as parens patriae, you, the Supreme Court, will have to come and adjudicate the matters. There is no other provision, whenever there is a matter of propriety, no matter whether it is religion or not.’

    Now some people are saying, why Hindus alone? Let first of all, let it be pronounced in the Court that constitution is supreme and no religious law or no religious tradition can stand against it. Once this point is approved by the Supreme Court, somebody can go to the Supreme Court saying that this kind of order is not merely applicable to the Hindus sections of the society, they are equally applicable to all citizens, because the constitution is meant for all people. You will find in 41 days, somebody else will take the petition and that is how changes come. How short-sighted our people are! ‘Why they are imposing only on Hindu society?’ At least let it come, baba. We are primary members of the society. Ultimately we alone are there. So in our name, let this judgment be pronounced and that will pave the way for further corrections and further incorporations.

    So, early in the morning I got these points. Only yesterday Ravi told me something. So I was putting them, I have to write, so I have to go and give a final touch to it. So, the important points that I want to say is, the Court cannot be having a preference only to constitution. The constitution itself has got its credence to the culture, the patriotic culture of the Motherland though they have not used the word Motherland to Bharat. So that is one point.

    Secondly, when the scriptures are guiding and supporting us, what is the harm in taking their support? So they will be appeasing a number of minds who look for the voice of the Vedas. So it has been listed for today, I don’t know how it will go. I said, “You can tell the Court, if necessary I will myself come and represent the matter as a petitioner”. I am a person who talks, who has been talking. I can as well go the Supreme Court and speak, clarifying the whole points.

    I just thought of telling you all this. Because this is something very current in my mind and in all these things, I have only one aim. What is that? Our scriptural insight should be hoisted, should be upheld, should be made known. This scripture written by no specific person as we understand, this is the one binding force in India. This culture is not religious. When that was evolved by our ancient people, by our ancestors, there was no division in the society like Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. They were evolved by our common ancestors. Common means ancestors of present Muslims, present Christians and present Hindus. It is a voice of the land, culture of the land and they incorporate values. All the values relate to the mind and intelligence of people. They don’t relate to God. God is a concept evolved by the mind.

    So our values are completely based upon the individual personality. It speaks about senses and sensory control, mind and mind’s equality, intelligence and the wisdom, reason and logic it should always cling to. This is also mentioned in the constitution. In all matters, we have to develop a scientific temper. A sense of logic and reason should be there and we have to uphold the composite heritage of the land, in every matter.

    So I am presenting all these thoughts. It becomes a little difficult because I have to do the other work, this work. I am writing SIR (Science of Inner Redemption), in between this pressing proposition comes, so it becomes difficult, I thought of mentioning to you.

    Now you may wonder - why is Swamiji taking up these matters? My dear souls, anything pertaining to India is dearer to me than myself. I voice the Motherland’s heart. I have also enough dispassion to see the country ablaze. Then also, I will remain like Parikshit, after having listened to Shukamuni, he withdrew himself and before the Takshaka came and bit him, he had got completely dissolved into his inner personality. He never knew. Similarly when the whole country is ablaze, this Swamiji will be the first person to close his eyes and remain absorbed in himself. But, but till then, I will uphold our land. I will uphold the culture of the land. It is not based upon himsa, ahimsa, non-hurting. It is not based upon infidelity, total fidelity. It is based upon samatva and universal brotherhood. These are values which anybody in this world will cherish, must cherish and will be nourished by.

    So I don’t have any difference between any one act and another act. Dog and God, food and meditation, the fickle matter in the large intestines and sweet food in the stomach, both are carried by the same stomach. Similarly my mind hosts both with a beautiful fulfilling note. So I have no difference between God and world, God and myself and there is no God plus for me, there is no God minus for me. Only God is there.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

  • PR 16 Apr 2016 - Ramayana and Hindu Dharma
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru. 

    As you know, yesterday I went for inaugurating a four-day jñāna-yajña, so to say, in a temple. Yesterday was Sri Rama Navami, the birthday of Sri Rama. So I was discussing some of the elements of Ramayanam as written by Valmiki Maharishi.

    I don’t know whether all of you know how the Ramayana writing commenced. I have no time to discuss the whole subject but I would like you to at least think about it. You can ask me, I will explain it further.

    Valmiki himself was a convert. He was a dacoit. When he was told that what he was doing was wrong, “Oh! Is there any right and wrong consideration? What is the wrong?”

    It was pointed out. “Whenever you do something wrong, there is an inner consequence for it. You go and ask your wife and children whether they will share the pāpa-phala of whatever you do.”

    Innocent Ratnākara rushed to and found out that they would not share. “It is your duty to look after. By what means you gain your income, it is not our concern. You should do things properly. Impropriety in your action will rest with you and we will not share it.”

    He was very much shocked to find it. Then suddenly he decided, “Now, what shall I do to absolve myself of all the sins what I have done?”

    They said, “The only way is to do tapasya.”

    “What is the tapasya?”

    “Atleast chanting of Bhagvan’s name.”

    So he was given the name, “Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama.” He went on chanting. Initially, the chanting was loud. It became lesser and lesser noisy. It became a mutter by the lips. He closed the lips. It was mentally there. Finally the mind also stopped chanting and he was immersed in his own self-expanse.

    Nobody knows how much time had elapsed. By the time he got up, he got up from an ant hill that had covered his body. When there is something still, the ants will crawl there. That is how it is. The little plants that were around when he went into that japa, all of them had become very huge trees. So he understood what had happened to him. “Because of the contact and association with the sages which I am likely, one, a forest dweller is likely to have, I have been saved. What about the people of the plains for whom there is no possibility for a saintly contact? How to rid the human mind of all sins and sinful tendencies? What can be done? As it happened in my case, it can happen in many cases. What is the way to help and guide the process?” He was very much involved in the process.

    Every day he would think about it. He was known as Valmiki Mahararishi having come out from an ant hill. Bharadwaja and others were his disciples. One day, when he came to the Tamasa river for taking bath, the river was very, very beautiful. There was no dirty water, it was a clean water, flowing beautifully. The bottom of the river could be seen. It was so clear. He said, “This is the way our mental flow also should become clean, then you will understand the soul beneath”. Suddenly he turned his gaze sideward, there was a hunter who shot one of the two birds perching on the branch of a tree and that bird fell, hit by the arrow, bleeding. The other bird was neither able to go near the falling bird nor it was able to go away from it. You can imagine the agony the other suffered from the bereavement. This mood hit and moved Valmiki Maharishi’s mind beyond measure and the grief he expressed, it became the first poetry of our land.

    मा निषाद प्रतिष्ठां त्वमगमः शाश्वतीः समाः ।
    यत् क्रौञ्चमिथुनादेकमवधीः काममोहितम् ।। 
    (वाल्मीकीरामायणम् बालकाण्डम् १.२.१५)
    Mā niṣāda pratiṣtām tvamagamaḥ śāśwatīḥ samāḥ 
    yat krounchamithunādegamavadhīḥ kāmamohitam
    (Valmiki Ramayanam Bālakāndam 1-2-15)

    What did the birds do to the hunter? They were living, they were perching. The hunter himself would like to sit with his wife and chat. What he likes himself, he denies to another. What is this philosophy? What is this motivation?

    When he went home, went to his kuteeram back, cottage back, he started thinking about what he said. He found it was beautiful poetry. There was a lot of meaning. So he was thinking how to bring about a change in the human mind. What can be done? That was the time Narada Maharshi happened to visit him. He was very happy, he greeted the visitor and then asked him, “Oh Maharshi, You are roaming about in all the three worlds unhinderedly. So whatever transpires anywhere, you will be knowing. Tell me precisely one point. Is there anybody living now? Don’t tell me somebody lived earlier and I have heard about it. Is there anybody living now who is very righteous, good, noble, kind, considerate, at the same time who is valorous, powerful? I don’t want to know the story of a weak man. He must have all valor, strength, power to combat enemies, at the same time, good, noble and considerate.”

    I always say Bhārat is always a dharma-prasuḥ. She always delivers people of dharma. And such people were never absent in any age. Narada said, “Yes! I know. He is still a boy. He is not yet an adult. He is the first son of Dasaratha. To the extent he has grown and I have known, I will tell you. The rest you find out.” So he gave a beautiful description of what Rama was, as he knew it. He was still a boy, the Prince. The enquiry is couched in beautiful terms:

    को न्वस्मिन् साम्प्रतं लोके गुणवान् कश्च वीर्यवान् ।
    (वाल्मीकीरामायणम् बालकाण्डम् १-१-२)
    kaḥ nu asmin sāmpratam loke guṇavān kaśca vīryavān
    (Valmiki Ramayanam 1-1-2)

    Is there anybody living now, who is of qualities, at the same time, heroic and valorous? And he puts a few more words. That is how he came to know of Rama. He sat there, meditated upon his life, found out some elements. He could verify it from the palace of Ayodhya, living on the Tamasa bank and then he started composing. That is the time Brahma went to him and said, “It was my machination that I brought a hunter before you and the hunter enacted what he did, so that it will evoke an unstoppable, merciful flow in your mind. Unless you are hit by affliction and agony, you will not be able to be involved in a great work like this. So the entire work should be aimed at removal of greed, possessiveness, intolerance and the like.”

    He started writing Ramayana and Brahma said, “As long as the firmaments and the mountains last, your Ramayana will also be. It will be sung. It will be learnt. It will be disseminated by people”. This is the Ramayana that we have.

    The main point that you have to understand is the story of Ramayana is a history of our land. We have only two epics - Ramayana and Mahabharata. Ramayana penned by Valmiki in Treta-Yuga. Mahabharata penned by Vyasa Deva at the end of Dwapara-Yuga. It is something very great. An epic itself is history and depiction of history, but in a very, very interpretative manner. While enunciating the incidents which took place in the past, they also explain it, the back and forth of it, the inside and outside of it with a view to lay down and impart the values and ideals of life. Then it becomes an epic, otherwise it is only a history. Unlike the other books, this epic is read by the people, reflected upon by people, preached by the people, heard by the people, followed by the people. We have, in various degrees Ramas even now. Rama is described not as a God by Valmiki. He describes him as “maryādā purushottamma” - A model man in whom values are present in ample measure.

    While describing Rama’s story, he has always mentioned the good and great points but wherever Rama has difficulty and failure, that also he has described, he has not concealed them. If Dasharatha gave half of the pudding, the prasada he got from the sacrificial fir, half of it to Kausalya, then when he went to Sumitra and Kaikeyi, he divided it and gave one half to Sumitra i.e. one-fourth. When he went to Kaikeyi, his hand did not allow him. He divided it again. So only one-eighth, she got and the remaining he gave to Sumitra. Why did he do so? He was a great poet Valmiki. You will find explanations for it. How did he arise at the coronation? There also, there was an undue haste and hurry, that is why he got into trouble. So everything is beautifully explained there.

    So I was explaining some instances in Rama’s life and saying that the epic author always describes an incident and he also brings forth the arguments and reasoning behind it. Whether it is a wrong action, what is the reason for the wrong? Whether it is a right action, what is the reason for it? So it is always explaining the right and wrong, explaining the inner story as well as the outer event. It is a very, very educative and enlightening program. And everywhere you will find our narrations are full of rationality. Our acharyas argue that whatever is mentioned in the scriptures cannot be accepted. They have to become reasonable and proper. If they cannot stand the test of reason and propriety, it cannot be accepted. In the scriptures or scriptural writings, many things may be there.

    Now in Kerala, we had a fireworks accident. Who told you that fireworks is a religious item? It is not a religious item. It is not associated with the deity at all. Fireworks is something that has to be done meters and meters away from the idol, the sanctum sanctorum and the temple. It cannot be anywhere near because there will be splinters and other things flying. You can see if at all, a firework only from a safe distance. Everywhere, we are flouting the law.

    I feel ashamed that the Hindu Dharma has to be intercepted, corrected and halted and corrected by the Court of Law. People say, the Court should not interfere in religious matters. Let me ask you, who else will interfere? Who were doing child marriage? Who were denying widow marriage? Who were denying part of the wealth to the girls? Was there any missionary or effort on our part to correct them? Do we have any religious law in the country? Are not our civil and criminal matters under the constitution and the constitutional machineries? Can we have a religious practice which is besides the constitution?

    Many of the temples were held by Vuralas, their owners and they mismanaged. The huge temple, Tirupathi temple was run at one time by a Sannyasin I was heard, I am subject to correction. All of them had to be taken over by the government. Even in Travancore and Cochin, our Maharajas were in charge of the temples; not the Hindu society. Does the Hindu society have any mechanism by virtue of which good and noble people will be entrusted the task of administering as our administrators of the government are entrusted with?  You know the bureaucracy is very strong. Only the elected machinery changes. Somebody told me, our Prime Minister has many good things to do but the bureaucracy will not allow, it has not changed at all. So there is a very strong force.  So it is easy to say.

    You know, I am feeling ashamed that our Dharma-Sastras, Vedas, Upanishads etc. are very, very vociferous in laying down rules, regulations, fundamental principles of life, action, propriety etc. in spite of this, why is it that we finally lodge our matters to the Court to decide? And when we take it to the Court, people will say, “They should not interfere in religious matters”. Then who will see to the propriety of devotion and devotional practices? Thousands and crores and lakhs of people assemble in the name of devotion. Who will manage the crowd? Who will enforce the right discipline? Do we have any machinery? So you want the government to interfere and give you safety but they have no voice in the administration. Can it ever be? I think these are all perverted points. I am feeling very much ashamed that the Hindu Dharma which is so great, so honorable, so edifying, it is being crucified by our people.

    This elephant, a wild animal. It is not a domestic animal like the dog or the cow. Why do you want to bring it and why do you want to put the Lord on top? Where? There is an accouterment that it wears – netti-pattam and there is a cloth covering it. That cloth is folded, unfolded and put on the elephant’s head, neck etc. That is where the Tantri takes the idol and sits. And this particular cloth never is given a bath. How can the Tantri sit there with the idol? And this Tāntric says “None of you should touch me.” So he can pollute the idol and himself by sitting on the cloth which is old, full of sweat, and elephant can pass stool and urine inside the temple, that is not pollutional. But if a crow comes and discharges something, it becomes polluted. Where is it written? What do you understand by all this? Don’t you think very deep delusion and perversion are there?

    Our devotion to God should be expressed by our own. Let us take a palanquin, put the idol there and let us carry the palanquin. Let us have a chariot if necessary. But how can you catch hold of the wild animal? And what are we doing? Piercing it with a knife, hooking and pulling it with a hook, and using a spear you are hitting him. The elephant is kept under fear for obeyance. Can you not love the elephant, handle it with a lot of love? If, “My dear, come here”, it should come. “My dear, go there”, it should go. Then it is okay.  But even then, the stool and urine are not acceptable and the cloth is not acceptable. How can it be? But still our tantris and the devotees and these people say…..I cannot understand this. I was also a boy, I was a lover of elephants. I used to be after the festival but when I came to think of these things… And they are giving non-vegetarian food also to the vegetarian animal. Any nonsense is done under religion. It doesn’t have any religious sanction or purity. I was mentioning some of these points yesterday. I thought of sharing it with you.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

  • PR 05 Apr 2016 - Guru-Sanga and Guru-Bhakthi in Spiritual Pursuit
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru. 

    Our Gurudev had a totally different background. When he came, we two brothers alone were there. Our brother’s sister-in-law, that kind of a family set up was not there. That is why we could bring him and host him for such a long time. But it had the disadvantage of there being, having being no woman, female member there.

    So you can imagine how imperfect the so-called family situation in the Ashram would be, two unmarried boys managing a house and what kind of a cooking we would have done! I am not able to remember all that transpired at that time. I think we did something very wrong but that was the flow of our heart. There was no opportunity, compulsion or occasion for me to discuss this kind of a haphazard, in having hosted our Gurudev with ourselves being alone in the house. We did not give him a cot to lie. He was on the floor. What we gave him in the form of food, I don’t know. I don’t think he had a tasty food any day at all! Never did he speak or show any kind of difficulty, dislike or otherwise. I think I am thinking about it in this manner only now.

    So you can imagine what kind of an intimacy and fondness we had for him, also not knowing how a Guru has to be invited to one’s residence, how he has to be hosted. My brother, apparently was a little experienced or knowledgeable. I was too young to make any comment or anything like that. And I don’t think we ever thought about our Gurudev’s comfort or discomfort during his stay in our place.

    Now I feel it was a very unusual level of greatness, fondness, self-restraint, a great sublimation, and you can add any number of words, by virtue of which our Gurudev was able to carry on, so far as the physical environment was concerned. My brother used to be inside with him, closing the door, so I did not know what all they talked. I believe, he was talking and they were talking only about the super level of jnana, liberation, jeevanmukti and all that. I don’t think my brother would have spoken to him or discussed with him any other subject.

    I picked up my fondness and association for my Gurudev from that level and that day. So far as I was concerned, it grew in my heart with my own immature and boyish, I think, personality and all that. But all these things never interfered with my relationship with him, reliance on him, fondness. All that I can say is I liked him and I continue to like him even now.

    Then before long, I also got initiated. Gradually, soon after initiation, I plunged into the meditative austerity. I said, “I would not do anything else. I would not like to read any book. This is a line which has to be austerely pursued in the form of sadhana and the sadhana should reveal whatever was to be revealed.” He said, “Yes. Whatever book you have to read, it will come to your table”. So I was averse to reading scrupulously. At the same time, I was very much clinging to the meditative absorptional level of austerity, spending 2-2.5 hours every day, on holidays, 4 hours.

    Before long, we knew each other to some extent in our own imperfect way, at least in my own imperfect way and I used to go to him, his poornānanda-dhām. His life was not anything like what I am doing now. It was a lonely life and he was, most of the hours of the day, except sleeping, on his head. He would play harmonium and sitar and also sing. One cannot imagine a person so exclusively sedentary like my Gurudev. I don’t think even anybody in the forest environment would be like him. He would not walk, he would not get away from his room except for answering the calls of nature, taking a bath and having food. Can you imagine the 24 hours of the day, a man huddling himself to his seat in the room? He would put on the mosquito curtain and stand on the head inside that, pushing the top cloth by his feet when he was on his head.

    Now, I am thinking, analyzing etc. but at that time, none of these questions, wonder or otherwise came to me. If at all, I can only remember admiration, admiration and admiration. And whenever we went there, we only had spiritual discussions. What was the discussion about – ‘What and when is this self- realization? How will a man of self-realization be? What marks that realization? What marks that fulfillment?’ I can stretch and give you a lot of explanation now, but I don’t think I had anything like that at that time. There were occasions when I used to ask personal questions and he use to give me some answers, very few.

    Now, I became a sannyāsin from such a background. I had not visited an Ashram, I had not visited any Mahatmas; I did not have any spiritual exposure. The only exposure I had was in front of my Baba, Gurudev. Following that, the entire scriptural world in essence was exposed to me and I started reading them. Very strangely, I used to understand them and whatever I read inspired me, guided me, and enlightened me. I wonder! There was no problem of inattention, difficulty, monotony, nothing, in reading the scriptures and scriptural texts.

    Because of my brother, I happened to read a book called “Fourteen Lessons in Yogi Philosophy”, by Yogi Ramacharaka, “Advanced lessons in Yogi Philosophy” by the same author. Because my brother brought them, I read them. But you know, throughout my life, 60 years of propagation and dissemination, I have never referred to one sentence of these books and I find that they were of no relevance to me. The relevance I found only in our scriptures, Sanskrit scriptures.

    So there is something called Guru-Sishya relationship. This relationship has got two facets. One facet is the spiritual exposure, enlightenment and imbibing. Another is - How will a Mahatma, a Knower of Truth, live and move in this world? I was also going to be a knower of truth. As a knower of truth, how would I live and move? Where is the clue? So, one is that spiritual enlightenment. Another is that becoming. These two were the only points which transpired between me and my Gurudev. That led to my taking up sannyāsa, plunging into it so to say, but meanwhile I had read and questioned and evaluated whether this sannyāsa was in place or out of place. In what way does it become relevant? Where is the scriptural relevance, social relevance and in the present day world, what is its relevance? All these things, though I was a boy, I did think and know. So it was not a kind of a suddenness. It was a growth, right from the childhood which I knew later and it was supported by the scriptures on the one hand, and people like Ramakrishnadev, Vivekananda, they were very proximate to us.

    Now, this is the background from which I started and this is the background from which I happen to set up an Ashram as an abode for me, and people started coming, before that I became a very eloquent and thunderous speaker.

    So that Guru-sanga and Guru-bhakti as Mā puts it, that is the real essence of this Ashram. People who like Guru-bhakti, who want to be graced by Guru-bhakti, who consider Guru-bhakti to be the core, and everything else is a multi-faceted development from that, the nucleus is the Guru-bhakti, for them I think this Ashram is really the source as well as the terminus.

    From Guru-sanga and Guru-bhakti, we get everything, for a one who does not resist. From right Guru-sanga, everything will flow in, flow in, flow in, flow in. It is a fountain from which you will have a perennial spring. I just wanted to mention this.

    To which extent this Guru-bhakti will appeal to people and to which extent they will make use of it, to which extent they want to be fond of their Guru, it is a variable factor. It depends upon the seeker’s individual predilections, individual susceptibilities, individual aspiration, either flowing from the heart or guided by our scriptures and scriptural texts. I would like you to understand this because there are some new people here, I thought of mentioning this.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. 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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