"Self-realization is meant to ensure fulfilment for one’s own self. It is not reaching somewhere or getting at something external, like going to the peak of a mountain. The attainment is in dissolving the mind and intelligence, and getting into the very core of oneself. In other words, it is like multiplying everything with zero."

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 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.

  • PR 07 June 2012 - Discipline means Watchfulness I
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

    Yesterday I was speaking something about discipline. I would like to continue the same discussion.

    Discipline is actually in every expression of your life and activity. Normally, speech is an expression from within. Like that, every activity whether it is physical, oral, mental or intellectual is an expression from within. When this expression is moderated, refined and meant to be sublimated, then it becomes discipline. Our activities, thoughts, speeches, all are generally wavered. This wavered-ness should be watched and some regulation and refinement should be brought about.

    Normally people speak about discipline in a very superficial manner. Mostly it is a physical process also. But if you think deeply about discipline, every time you want to discipline yourself, you have to enter from within the sensory sphere and plane to your inner plane, maybe primarily the mind plane, then the intelligential plane. Every time you do so, there is an inevitable sublimity taking place, refinement also. I would like to say there is also a divinity building up.

    Whenever I see a book well printed, well designed, well colored like the one I showed, “Restoration of values”, very beautifully done. The very sight gives me much more of a divine feeling than I could get from a picture, like any kind of a Godly picture.

    Any work that is well done, I think it gives us a divine touch. Divinity is actually an in-depth feeling, a lofty feeling that you can have with regard to anything whatsoever. Let us take this pushpa-samarpanam. The manner in which you go to Mā, receive the flowers, the manner in which you proceed after that and there is place where all such recipients come and first stand. Without disturbing the others, the preceding people, in making their offering and prostrating after that, each person prostrates in his or her own manner and then after that person goes you proceed, and offer the flowers, bend your head and forehead, touch the floor and get up, walk, prostrate before the others. You know, if it is well done, when I look at it, I feel very sublime, divine and beautiful, then what should be the extent of feeling you have?

    Some will come, hurriedly walk, hurriedly receive, and haphazardly come and stand somewhere, then hastily offer, get up. Even in collecting the flowers at the end, it can be done in a very, very sublime manner. Before that the flowers, the petals are cleaned up and if necessary some water is sprinkled over them, then stirred properly.

    In everything, what I find is you have to be watchful. Discipline means watchfulness. You are not watching the others, you are watching yourself. So it is a kind of indrawn-ness, infusion, self-instilling process. Don’t you think this is what you propose to do in meditation and meditative absorption also? You stop all activities, physical activities, close your eyes, sit in a place crossed-legged, interlock your fingers, place the palms on your lap, then what do you do? You try to get into yourself where the mind is thinking, get inside the thinking process, regulate the whole thinking, make it concentric or centric and finally let the whole mind and mind process dissolve, dissolve, dissolve. This is what we are supposed to do in meditative absorption.

    By discipline and disciplinal sublimity, the same thing is achieved in conjunction with whatever you do. You may not be so disciplined and refined in everything throughout the day. At least some of the activities you perform should conform to this disciplinal sublimity. As I speak to you reducing my voice, making the speech slower, I find a kind of a creeping effect on my body. That radiance from the body normally in the form of heat about which I don’t know, now I am able to understand from the mass of my body, a radiance is proceeding. I am speaking on the one hand, on the other, this radiance is being felt by me. I feel my whole being is full. There is a sense of abundance. That is felt only because there is a vibrance in it. This vibrance is generated and also felt because of the absorptional effect of what I say and whatever inner processes are there along with the speech. I feel my body is almost afloat in the air. Suppose I speak a little fast, louder then the whole process will not become so sublime.

    So don’t undervalue discipline. Understand that is the first path in your spiritual sadhana, progress, and fulfillment. How much infusion you can have while doing your work! That is why every day we are asked to have some kind of a religio-spiritual routine, chant some prayers. In doing the prayers also the same thing applies. Pray paying attention to the sound, syllable, the long and short vowels, the combined letters. Let all these sounds come from your mouth with watchfulness, attention and absorption.

    Your mind has to be sensitive to pronounce the words well. Your ears have to be sensitive to listen to them. See whether they are in order or not. And the mind and intelligence have to be sensitive to associate the meaning and import of the words uttered by the mouth. Thus, there is a fourfold application. If all the four elements combine themselves beautifully, I think that itself becomes yogic fruition. It will produce a lot of ecstasy, exhilaration and fullness in you spiritual within namely the mind and the intelligence. So discipline is something very, very sublime and when properly understood and pursued, it becomes more and more divine also.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

  • PR 06 Jun 2012 - Spiritual Austerity or Tapas
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

    I was speaking about Yajna, Dana and Tapas. These are the three items meant to bring sublimation, regulation, reformation, refinement, divinization or divinity in our life. Without yajna, dana and tapas, I don’t think human life will ever become sublime, divine. You will not be able to rejoice over your own inner personality, over your mind, its qualities, intelligence, its subtlety. I spoke something about Yajna and Dana, a little about Tapas. Today I thought I would mention to you about Tapas, particularly one form of it.

    Tapas is generally a religious practice, a religious concept. But is Tapas only that? In Bhagavad Gita, you find Krishna has given a broad definition to Karma. Normally by Karma we mean only rituals and ceremonies, acts of worship. But Krishna does not distinguish between a secular activity and a religious or spiritual activity. He says all activities are equally to be considered and made divine, spiritual, religious or sublime. And this happens when the activity becomes an offer to the Supreme or it is done without any delusional clinging called sanga. In the same manner, don’t think that Tapas is always and only religious. I feel that any act of discipline and refinement will become a Tapas or Austerity. And discipline is something that we need every time. When a child is born and the child begins to walk, he will start to wash his teeth, gum, he is asked to run, then gradually write, speak etc. What is it that the mother or the elders do with the child? They are teaching the child various forms of discipline and refinement.

    See, a cloth is spread under my feet. The chair is placed over it at one edge of it. How the chair is placed? Is it placed well, parallelly to the cloth or the cloth spread parallelly to the chair? And what about the angles, the right angles of the cloth? Are they parallel to the floor? Are they even parallel to the door and the wall? All these are considerations which go in setting up a place or even spreading a cloth. After wiping the feet, if the cloth is to be folded back, there are already some folds existing in the cloth, look at them and fold them in the same manner. Then it will be very compact. And place it in a symmetrical manner on the foot rest. When you do it, say when I look at the cloth and when I look the manner in which it is folded, kept, I feel so divine and sublime.

    If you can incorporate discipline in this manner, when you wear a cloth, wear it very well. Look at the cloth if it has a border, the border has to be properly displayed, I don’t call it a display, it should be properly done, whether it is the upper garment or the lower garment. Suppose you wear a tilak on your forehead, the size of the tilak should be proportionate to your forehead. There are some people for, who nominally put a tilak. It is so small that nobody can see it. Well, if your purpose is to put on a tilak, at the same time make it invisible, that is also a discipline. But what I am wondering is that the purpose of putting a tilak should be understood. And do it in a nice and sublime manner. Even in wearing the cloth, depending upon you complexion, age and other factors, the color of the cloth, the stripes in the cloth etc. should be suitable to that. Let the body look better and more sattvik and let the dress also look more sattvik in your body. That should be the idea.

    I think this kind of a discipline if you accept it, you will find it goes on sublimating, sublimating, sublimating your whole personality. It brings more and more refinement, refinement, attunement, attunement, and all these are nothing but divinization. We always think that the religious poojas are a separate class, group and kind. And all our secular activities are entirely different. I would like you to take away this differentiation between secular and religious. And make the whole personality of yours along with all the activities, one wholesome sublime pursuit, prevalence. The last thing in spirituality is to overcome and dispense with this differentiation, it is called Bheda Buddhi. The entire world is Godly. You, included in this world, are also Godly.

    Our Vedanta finally says, you yourself are the Supreme Truth. Your identity is Brahman, Atma, God. Every thing is Godly. You are also Godly. Whatever you see is Godly. Whatever you hear is Godly, whatever you taste. So if you start thinking in this manner you will find, when you cook food in your kitchen, it will not be a secular act, it will become a divine and spiritual one.

    When we take upon Sannyasa, the overriding principle is that the moment you become a Sannyasin, the whole world becomes Brahman for you. Many Sannyasins are not doing so. That is a different matter. We all belong to the Parama-Hamsa-Parivrajaka category.  Hamsa is the individual Soul. That individual soul should rise itself to the level of Parama Hamsa, the Supreme one. That Supremeness is had when you overcome the differentiation between world and God, God and your soul. There should be no Bheda Buddhi or differential outlook with regard to anything and everything.

    You know, after I became a Sannyasin, I have never done any worship. I have not lit a lamp in front of any God. I have no worship at all. There are some people who think that in the Ashram there should be a temple. Our Ashram is one where there is no temple at all. And I believe that it should not be. What we do here is to think about God, speak about God, interact with God every time, everywhere in all possible ways.

    Unless you dispense with the differential worship, you will not be able to get to the uniform worship of God throughout the twenty four hours. I don’t know whether I speak something big or something practical. No sannyasin is supposed to hunt or look for temples and places of pilgrimage. He should simply keep quiet where he is. So it is not just discipline; it is spiritual refinement, spiritual attunement, spiritual sublimation, and spiritual wholesomeness. If you start adopting this new attitude and start behaving and interacting with the world, you will find, you will start feeling a new note of sublimity which is almost bordering inner ecstasy. Try it.

    Anything that you do, do it with attention, attunement, sublimation and refinement. As I am uttering these words, I seem to be more and more getting indrawn. It is so sublime to speak in this manner. It is not discipline, it is spiritual austerity meant for refinement, attunement, sublimation. When these are had, you will find the mind changes its quality, it becomes pure. And as the mind becomes pure, as the mind becomes pure, you will find the thoughts, responses and reactions become different. They become purer, more and more sublime, more and more divine.

    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

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