"It is not what you do that matters, but how you do it – with what attitude and aim. The spiritual effect that a seemingly spiritual activity brings, can also be had by the domestic pursuit, provided you preserve a spiritual attitude and dedication."

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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  • Programs in USA - Global Bhagavad Gita Convention (GBGC)

    The Global Bhagavad Gita Convention for Personal Growth and Universal Well-Being will be held on 15th and 16th Sept 2018 in the George Mason University in Fairfax Virginia. Early registration is encouraged. For more information visit www.GlobalGita.org.

  • Gurupoornima - July 2018

    Holy Gurupoornima will be observed on 27th Jul. The 7-day Retreat will be from 28th Jul to 3rd Aug. 2018.  To participate in the retreat, the completed application form must reach the before 15th June. Read more ...

Practical Guidance

Prabhaata Rashmih talks by Poojya Swamiji
  • PR 29 Jan 2012 - Sanskrit Poetry for Mind Introspection
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

    Yesterday I was speaking about the quality, the habit, the ability, the gift of remembering things properly. In all these, that inner qualitative refinement is the most important factor. I speak. Many of you hear. The hearing part is almost common. No, there also there is difference. Each person may listen to it from his own insight. Maybe the ear drums fulfill their role. But the ear drums exist only for the sake of the mind. So, in the mind part, the listening maybe of an assorted nature. Some people will listen to it with a lot of attention, with a view to absorb what is said, to be identified with what is heard and to incorporate it in their life, in their system.

    So far as the hearing is concerned, you can say ear has a role to play. But once it becomes a question of receiving the words, receiving and absorbing the ideas, I think the ear keeps away. Everything is done by the mind. So, the qualitative listening will depend upon the attunement the mind is able to develop. Attunement itself as I said will depend upon the extent and depth of interest you have in any subject whatsoever. Whenever I began to read spiritual literature, luckily I found that whatever I wanted to read was invariably in poetry. Poetry is the only kind of literature which you can remember.

    You know in our country, when children are being taught Sanskrit, the first thing that they are taught is Amarakosam. This Amarakosam, if I remember correct, it is partly in Malayalam and partly in English also. We have got a dictionary in Sanskrit. The dictionary of all the names used in Sanskrit - it is all in poetry. And this dictionary used to be by-hearted by the students because there was no other way. They had to learn it, learn it, learn it and be impressed by it. Similarly, the entire grammar, Panini sutras, they also used to be by-hearted. This was the way. Suppose it was not poetry, I don’t think we will be able to by-heart prose to that extent. I don’t know whether anybody will be able to do it.

    Poetry has got a kind of closely knit nature by virtue of which it is all governed by chandas, metre. So the metre will not allow any kind of a deflection or a replacement so easily. So every letter will bring the other letter, the second letter will bring the third letter, the third letter will bring the fourth word, like that. There are some children who come to the Ashram, maybe six years, seven years or five years even. You know, they recite quite a number of verses at such a tender age.

    So what I have to tell you is that how can you learn, by-heart a particular verse? Only by reading it, reciting it, reading it, reciting it, making mistakes and then feeling “No, this is not the word.” When you start chanting a verse, it will not come to you properly. So you have to relearn it. So the extent of mind hours or mind minutes you put on a subject, can you imagine?

    I would like to ask all our Brahmacharis and Brahmacharinis, "Are you spending such mind hours on a subject?" I am telling them "You learn.” But they are not learning. I was telling them that “I would teach you something like one hundred verses.” I began with fifty and at one time I went up to one hundred. Except Yogavasishta Ramayana, all the verses necessary for them to know the subject of Vedanta, right from the beginning of the theory and the end of realization, I had covered in about 100 verses. If they were to by-heart these verses, every time the verse will come to them. And by appearing in the mind in the form of memory, you get an opportunity to match your behaviour, match your thoughts, match your reaction with whatever is said there. Now this process of inner examination, inner verification, inner correction will be automatic. This is all accomplished only by the poetic rendering of the values, principles and goals of our life.

    Our ‘X’ knows quite a number of verses. She knows Gita very well. If she has that kind of a memory which I also don’t have because I have not spent time in that manner, which verse belongs to which chapter etc. So, how can she say that “I don’t remember”? Whatever she wants to remember, she must spend time for it. I told you that ‘Lokesa chaitanya mayaadi deva’. That beginning word will never occur to me. So I was trying and trying and trying, now it is almost alright.

    Some of the verses which I have learnt long back, suddenly sometimes I remember it. For Muktisudhakaram, I have to spend a little time. When I read the verses, the mind will connect whatever else is there somewhere. So, it takes time. I must give time to that. Invariably I remember connections while taking bath in the bathroom, maybe in the toilet also. So I think it is question of mind application. I would like you to examine and find out whether you are applying your mind to what you are learning or want to learn.

    Yesterday I was speaking –

    मनो हि द्विविधं प्रोक्तं शुद्धं चाशुद्धमेव च ।
    अशुद्धं कामसङ्कल्पं शुद्धं कामविवर्जितम् ॥ १ ॥
    mano hi dvividham proktam suddham ca-asuddhameva ca ।
    asuddham kāma-sankalpam suddham kāmavivarjitam ।।
    (Amritabindu Upanishad 1)

    What does it say? The human mind is twofold – It is pure and impure. So, this is what you have to know in Vedanta. Mind has got two kinds – one is pure, another is impure. What is pure and what is impure? Aśuddham kāma-saṅkalpam. The impurity is kama and sankalpa and shuddha is kama-vivarjitam.

    You learn this verse, you remember it. And every day you match your mind with this statement made here, evaluation made here. I don’t know how much time it will take. Learning only 24 letters. To learn 24 letters, how much time will you take? Even if you take in the course of 10 days, 10 hours, I think that is the long and short of the whole sādhana. And then you start applying it. Suppose you don’t have this information, then it becomes difficult. And by rendering it in poetry, we also have the additional benefit of getting a lot of ecstasy, exhilaration, joy and delight by chanting it because it is partly music. For everything we have got Sanskrit verses. What is self-realization? What is Jeevan-mukti? When does a sādhaka completes his sādhanā? Will he become free and liberated from sādhanā also? Yes. He will become a siddha, a sādhanā-nirmuktah. All these are mentioned there. Why not we open the book, learn and keep that learning in your mind readily available? I think it is all a question of spending mind minutes, mind hours, mind days.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

  • PR 12 Mar 2012 - Atma Jnana to Resolve Confrontations of Mind and Intelligence
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

    On many occasions, I used to say this Atma Jnana is just like the fire we are using. The fire has got manifold application. It can be used for making pudding for offering to the Lord. It can burn the dead body and refuse. It can heat the water. It can sterilize many things. It can heat up the Earth. It will give you warmth. So many different applications are there. Similarly, this atma jnana is also of manifold application. The application of Atma Jnana is primarily and solely to resolve the problems and confrontations of the mind and intelligence. Whenever the mind is confronted with anything, the intelligence also is confronted. In the case of intelligence, it will be ignorance, delusion and doubt. In the case of the mind, it will be unpleasantness, unhappiness, suffering and what not! Atma Jnana can completely remove all these. When I say this, I am sure that most of you will not be listening to and absorbing what is said.

    We have the most illustrious application of Atma Jnana in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Generally, this jnana is sought by people who are dispassionate in the world, who develop a dispassion or even a repulsion for the world. And such dispassionate people perhaps go to the forest or kutiras, say something like this, this Ashram also and they seek atma jnana not to get involved in this world but to retire from this world and to be solely occupied with. So, it is a very peaceful application, that too austere and absorbing application of atma jnana. This is the context in which we know. But I would like you to understand that it is not at all so. It maybe so for practical purposes with many of the seekers but don’t restrict atma jnana only for that. It is supposed to treat the mind and set it right so far as any problems, interactional problems are concerned.

    So you will find in Bhagavad Gita, Krishna treating Arjuna’s mind and intelligence with the same soul wisdom, no other soul wisdom, the same wisdom and then making him get up with his bow and arrow and resolve to fight the bloody war of eighteen days, in which the first people he had to confront were his own grandfather and teacher, between whom and himself there was no enmity or dislike at all. Bhishma and Drona were blessing him, the Pandavas. And the Pandavas had the utmost regard for Bhishma and Drona. As the fight progressed also, Yudhishthira was sent by Krishna to ask Bhishma. “As long as you are alive, we won’t be able to do anything with this Duryodhana army. So, please tell us how you can be subdued and you can be de-seated from the chariot.” Bhishma himself told them the method of doing so.

    So, you can understand that this Mahabharata war is such a cruel war in one sense, though it was a dhārmic war. And such a severe, excruciating impact of the war, Atma Jnana resolved it. Resolved it and said what? “Arjuna, you need not fight. Get away from here. Let us go to the forest and dissolve our mind and intelligence. Remain immersed in the self.” That was not the advice given. Arjuna wanted to do it. Krishna denounced it completely and said “Whatever you will achieve by meditative absorption in the forest and in the cottages, achieve it here and now. I have got a formula got Yoga-buddhi”. Very good.

    Sri Rama was confronted after a pilgrimage. He was unable to live even because of the impact of suffering caused by whatever he saw during the pilgrimage. It was a widespread exposure for him. What happened? He was very young, sixteen years old. He never sought any cottage or a hermit living in the forest. Vasishtha was luckily in the palace. He called Sri Rama and then remaining in the palace hall, Vasishtha went on giving spiritual and philosophical instructions. The same Atma Jnana, Sri Rama absorbed it, got himself meditatively absorbed while the discussion was going on and then his problems were resolved, he began to do. The summary advice of Vasishtha intermittently was “Rama, Rama, you have to sit on the throne. Rule efficiently with loyalty but never have possessiveness or ego.” So what is the summary effect of Atma Jnana? Dis-possessiveness and non-ego. These are the two important ingredients of Atma Jnana.

    Now let us go to some other occasions. What are the occasions? Parikshit. Parikshit was fated to die on the seventh day. The great King decided that “I am going to die on the seventh day. I will prepare myself for death right from today by denying and refusing food and drink. I will not have my food, I will not drink even water. Prayopavesham. But my ears have to be feasted with Tattva-Kathana and devotional Kathana.” Luckily, the young sixteen-year old Suka muni came there with no apparel on his body, indicating that whatever he was going to say was as naked and open as the body was. So with all nudity outside and openness inside, he exposed the chamber of the self to Parikshit. Parikshit went on absorbing it and before Takshaka came and administered his poisonous bite, Parikshit had already internally got absorbed, forgetting the whole body.

    Which are the other occasions? You will find Saunaka going to Angiras with a doubt. That was a very peaceful situation, the Upanishadic situation. And Angiras exposed to him the mystery of self-knowledge.

    Rukmini wrote a letter to Krishna asking him to kidnap her. “Krishna, literally do so.” Then all the Kings assembled there felt very bad and Rukmini’s brother Rukmi confronted and obstructed Krishna. The battle began. Krishna caught hold of him and He was about to behead Rukmi. Suddenly Rukmini fell at his feet and said “Oh! My dear Lord, please don’t do so. He is my brother. I will not be able to bear the agony.” So He cut off the hair and the mustache or so and then sent him away. Immediately Balarama came and started advising her. “What is it? It is because it was your brother that you obstructed Krishna. Suppose it was somebody else, you would not have said anything. You certainly wanted Krishna to confront the enemies. But because the enemy happened to be your brother, you pleaded before him not to kill him. This feeling of one is my brother, another is not so, this is brought about by delusion. Because you don’t know the truth about the singularity of the soul. This is clearly moha and delusion. Rukmini, do not give vent to this. Today or tomorrow, your brother will have to be confronted and will have to be killed.” See the occasion there. Rukmini confronted by her mind and then Balarama advising the same Atma Jnana.

    What is the other instance? The other instance is Hiranyakashipu, seeing that his brother Hiranyaksha was killed by Lord Hari, felt angry on the one hand but he went to the sister-in -law and the mother to console them. He consoled them by exposing to them the philosophy of the indestructible self, Atma Jnana.

    What is the other example that comes to my mind? Devaki. All the children of Devaki except one were killed mercilessly by Kamsa. After delivery, Vasudeva faithfully took one child after the other. The seventh, there was a miscarriage. The eighth child was born, Krishna. Krishna was transported to Vrindavan, a girl was brought instead. This girl was taken away by Kamsa and when he about to smash her, it simply escaped from Kamsa’s fist and remaining in the sky it said that “I am not your enemy. Your enemy is born elsewhere. Find him out if you can”. Kamsa felt very disappointed. In spite of all heavy preparations, whatever he wanted to do, he could not do, he did not succeed. He straightaway goes to Devaki and consoles her with the spiritual and Atmic philosophy saying that “Gods also have started speaking lies. What shall I do? However, my dear sister, I am sorry for whatever I have done, but you should understand that the soul is different from the body. When the body is killed, the soul is not dying. Every one of us is under a fate. Prakrti is supreme here and let us not worry about it. Though instrumentally I might have killed your children, in reality I did not act of my own volition. Prakrti is behind everything. We are really a football hit by Prakrti this side and that side. So don’t worry.”

    What do you understand from all this? My dear souls, please know it for certain, this atma jnana is sought by a meditational and absorptional process, I agree. But meditation and absorption are only one way of it. For people who are not given to introspection, meditation and absorption alone will make them introspective. But once you become introspectional, your moments and hours of meditation will have to be larger and longer. In meditation, the mind becomes sharper, the intelligence become subtle, the mano-vrttis, the chitta-vrttis become subtler and subtler and at last they disappear like the matter particles before a scientist’s microscope. They simply disappear and the chittha will become chit. This is true.

    But Atma Jnana is not exhausted by meditation or absorption. It has to be applied in every life situation. If you are displeased by ‘x’ or ‘y’, that displeasure will be treated by atma jnana. If you are disturbed by jealousy towards anybody, that is also a disturbance of the mind. That will also be treated by atma jnana. If you have a fear, the fear also will be treated. If you have an ambition, the ambition will be treated. If you have hatred, that also will be treated. So, this Atma Jnana has got an all-fold application and that application is on no other factors than the emotional mind and the enquiring intelligence. I thought I would explain this proposition. I think it is a kind of a unique contribution from my side.

    Krishna made the greatest revolution by presenting the sublime and peaceful message of the self in a manner that was very active and vibrant in order to empower Arjuna to fight the most notorious and bloody war where human emotions were highly assailed almost to a point of irretrievable level. This is the greatness of this culture. Try to think about it.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

  • PR 10 Mar 2012 - Srimad Bhagavatam is a compendium of all aspects of human life
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

    When I saw the children together with their parents ‘A’ and ‘B’ , I was wondering why suddenly they have come here. Then I thought today must be Saturday or Sunday. I think today is Saturday, so they have no school. So the parents have decided to bring the children here. I think they do so every weekend. I also saw earlier, ‘C’ also has come in a very traditional Kerala dress. She is pregnant and the pregnancy and the growth of the child, pregnancy is growing, the growth of the child is taking place. So, my mind runs into an imagination.

    I was thinking about Srimad Bhagavatam and trying to tell in my own mind that this Srimad Bhagavatam is a compendium, given to an elaborate discussion of human life with its all-fold bearing and relationship. When I say all-fold bearing and relationship, it does not stop with merely our life in the house or in a professional front, getting married, having children, grandchildren, observing some of the social events, festivals etc. No, not at all! It necessarily must involve a discussion of the environments in which our life is thriving. We are all upon the Earth. Why are we upon the Earth? Not because of us. We are earth’s own products, earth’s own children. That does not mean that we are necessarily given to living upon the Earth. Earth has got its gravity. That gravitational force acts upon us. And that is why we don’t fly and flee from the Earth, we remain here. So, whenever you think of your life, existence, movements, interactions and the like, you cannot ignore the fact that it is the gravity of the Earth that enables you to live and move.

    In our own biological body, there are forces generated by the biological process by virtue of which we can counteract this gravity and start moving. When you lift your hand and stretch it, automatically gravity will be pulling it down. So we can generate a force from within ourselves so that the gravity is neutralized and we are able to keep our hand erect and high at least for some time. So the system is so beautiful and intricate that there is a lot of science and process in it, we should understand it very well. People don’t take any time for it.

    Why I said this? Our existence itself is because of the gravitational force of the earth, I said. What about the water we drink, air we breathe, the sunlight and moonlight we have and the different items of food products we produce? All these are from the Earth and from the surrounding factors. We call them panchabhutas. Out of the panchabhutas, the bhoomi comes first, water next, air next and different forms of energy represented by fire, still next. And we also are surrounded and penetrated by space. So, a study or consideration of human life will necessarily take us to an understanding of the Earth and what all is thriving there. Similarly, an understanding of water, its place in our life, the understanding of air in our life, sunlight, moonlight, various other lights coming from the sky through luminaries, all these will have to be considered. Thus you will find Srimad Bhagavatam discusses human life but spreads itself to all the allied factors like the Geology and Geophysics of the Earth, maybe aerodynamics also. It speaks to us about vegetation extensively, about a number of animals and birds, the earth, the trees and plants, the different kinds of rivers, rocks, so many jewels which are available. It speaks exhaustively about environment, the cosmology on the one hand, psychology on the other, philosophy on the other, societal sciences, interaction, behavior, character, what all are necessary to keep a healthy life, healthy mind, healthy intelligence. So many things are discussed there.

    There is an occasion where Srimad Bhagavatam discusses the Trikūtāchala mountain in the Gajendra story, how many trees they are referring to and what all flowers they are referring to! So, the author cannot simply discuss one aspect of it. So the entire! Similarly, how the Earth has come, how the planets have come, what existed at first, what is going to be at the end, what are the first primary constituents, all these are very important. It also discusses about the birth and growth and fulfillment of human life. The discussion, wherefrom should it start? We generally say a child is born and the day is calculated, time is calculated, astrologically also. But is that marking the real birth of the child or formation of the child? No. It starts from pregnancy. When pregnancy, garbhādhāna takes place, that is a time a child is going to get formed, the initial step. Right from then on, the child has to be nursed, the foetus has to be nursed.

    So, my imagination ran, this girl has been coming here for a long time. So she is carrying now. I wanted to ask her, “Do you talk to your child in the womb? What kind of a child do you want? What do you think should be his or her qualities? Have you thought about them? Or you will start thinking of the child only after it is born?” One great man in this world seems to have said that “What I learned in my primary classes, that alone I will find at the end of my life also.” In the same manner, how the garbhādhāna takes place, how the child grows in the womb, I think this is going to determine his character, behavior, interaction, achievement, excellence and the like.

    So I wanted to tell ‘C’ that this is a very, very creative period in your life. You are looking alright. You should understand that you are mothering a child. It is invisible now but still it is getting formed. The brain is first formed, through the brain the other parts are getting formed. What is the structure of the brain? In the same manner that the formations of the parts already take place in the womb, the formation and even quality of the brain will be inside the womb. So you should think about as the child physically grows inside, mentally you should start mothering it, communicating with it. That is why we have the story of Abhimanyu in Mahabharata and Bhagavatam where he says that “I can only enter into the Chakravyuha, I cannot get out because I heard the conversation which my father had about the Chakravyuha and entry into it. But the exit point was not discussed, so I did not hear, I was in my mother’s womb.” This story tells you how the child, the foetus is listening to and reacting to whatever the mother or the others say. Whatever the mother reads, sees, hears, thinks, touches, everything will have to be in a refined manner. This girl should understand that she is carrying and giving shape to a child in her womb. As she will tend the child when the child is born, in the same manner she should tend the child when she is in the womb also. I think Srimad Bhagavata discusses quite a number of things, not only Srimad Bhagavata, Mahabharatam, Ramayana also to some extent but in Bhagavata it is in a more developed and methodical manner.

    So the long and short of what I wanted to say is Srimad Bhagavatam is a compendium which discusses the birth, growth and fulfillment of human life in the context of the environments which are hosting it. The environments include the Earth, the water, the air, the different forms of energy, space, the luminaries in the sky. Every plant has got its place. Every creature has got its place, everything around us, I think these are discussed. That is how it becomes a discussion of the cosmology, the very genesis of creation. Then it discusses psychology, the science of the mind; Philosophy, the science of the intelligence; Spirituality, the science of the soul; then character, the formation and display of one’s own inner qualities; behaviour, the manner in which one expresses himself outwardly with himself and with the others; then interaction, we interact with people at home, people outside, youngsters, elders, people of the same group, known people, unknown people. We also interact with the environments. All these things become a subject of discussion in Srimad Bhagavatam. I thought of mentioning it to you. We should be able to read the text and understand it sometime in our life. Today I have to speak to generate the matter for ‘Inner Spiritual Splendour’, naturally the thoughts of what section I am going to deal with, those thoughts also are in my mind.

    My mind is in Dwaraka. How the Dwaraka was built and what all architectural details are mentioned there. There is a surrounding wall. There are many ring roads, diametrical roads, intersectional islands, a number of gardens, subsidiary forests, there are special pathways and highways, express highways meant for chariots, elephants, animals, beautiful parks are there, there are some jogging and walking places, all of them are laden with marakatha stones, chips and powders. They are compressed and rolled well and they are glittering with the green colour, a luxurious item. I don’t think we have seen it or heard it anywhere in the Earth. Such beautiful pathways have been made. There are parks there. And all the communities – Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Sudras, all of them are there including the tribal people. There are regular arrangements whereby all these people will be exposed to the others so that each can learn by observation. All facilities are there. Krishna’s palace, the palace of Vasudeva, the palace of Ugrasena, a number of Brahmanas, surrounding all these things how many palaces are there - 16008 for the 16008 women. Beginning from Rukmini to the last person who was sent from the prison of Narakasura after liberating the whole lot. They were sent in palanquins. All these are there. I think Vishwakarma has given shape to Dwaraka in a very beautiful manner. It was a masterly creation. All these things are coming to my mind.

    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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    When the heart is sincerely yearning for liberation, a fortunate soul reaches the feet of a Sadguru. A Sadguru is one who is capable of giving relief to this seeker seeking liberation from the worldly miseries. He is the one who can show the way to go across the worldly ocean remaining afloat in the midst of vicissitudes. The Guru is the one who bestows fearlessness.

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