"In acquiring material wealth all are not equally blessed. But in gaining mental and spiritual wealth, every one has an equal chance. Beginning from character and disciplines and ending with supreme kindness and goodness, the wealth of the mind is displayed in abundance before all. The question is only who wants, and, to which measure !"

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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You call something to be a pleasure when it is opposed to displeasure. So the pleasure is a relative term. Your mind is undergoing pleasure and displeasure. Follow me very well. The mind undergoes a condition called pleasure. Equally it undergoes another opposite condition called displeasure. So the mind remains neutral so that it can create and transit from pleasure as well as displeasure. Suppose you were to get into the mind itself and experience its transcendental note, that is true pleasantness. People don’t know that there can be such a situation.

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

I was mentioning yesterday about the necessity for cultivating and getting enriched by the necessary spiritual qualities so that the spiritual wisdom will start shining in you as a knowledge and revealing in you as a pleasant experience. What kind of an experience? A pleasant experience which is neither pleasure nor displeasure. Whenever we refer to something called pleasure, it is the sensory pleasure. Suppose a tasty food item is placed on the tongue in the mouth, you feel very delicious and happy. Similarly if you see some pleasing sight, that also will give you a joy. So these are joys created by the sensory instruments in you. And all these are by comparison and contrast.

You call something to be a pleasure when it is opposed to displeasure. So the pleasure is a relative term. Your mind is undergoing pleasure and displeasure. Follow me very well. The mind undergoes a condition called pleasure. Equally it undergoes another opposite condition called displeasure. So the mind remains neutral so that it can create and transit from pleasure as well as displeasure.

Suppose you were to get into the mind itself and experience its transcendental note, that is true pleasantness. People don’t know that there can be such a situation. It is something like the sky laden with dense, dark clouds. During the summer and especially other months, dry months of the time, you will find the same sky laden with blue, red, purple and even white clouds. Now you tell me – what is the sky in reality? It is neither dark, dense nor white, purple, blue, it is laden with a rainbow, so many different colours. So there is the sky prop up in which all these clouds surge forth and disappear. What does it mean? It means something very specific – what is that? Sky has got a colour. Initially you say “I like the blue colour. I like the dense colour. I like this. I like that.” But if your discrimination grows, there will come a time when you will say “I have seen and experienced all these changeful colours. Just like I am seeing the colourful sky, I would now like to see the colour free sky.” It does not give us any comparison or contrast as such. So the ability to enjoy and experience the original, not the pleasurable mind or the displeasurable mind but the mind prop up. Now this is called the true pleasantness.

In Yoga Vasishta Ramayana, there is a verse, I noticed it but I did not mark it. You show the plain mirror upward in front of the absolutely free sky, and in what manner is it reflected in the mirror below, that will be the nature of the self, it says. Can we imagine? It requires a lot of keenness to understand that any kind of a joy in this world experienced through the senses or even by the mind is transitory. Any kind of a joy, marriage, married partner, children, father, mother, brother, sister, friends, gold, silver, money, fixed deposit, land - ultimately our mind is enjoying these things. Any enjoyment means corrosion, corrosion, corrosion.

Is there any mind which does not get tired? Our Bhishma, the great-grandfather, unconquerable hero, on the ninth day he tells Yudhishthira. “My dear child, I am tired of killing. Please bring about my downfall. Let me no more be in the chariot with my bow and arrow. Let me say goodbye. I am tired. How many people have I killed? I will not kill you, I agree. But I have killed all your army.” So even the victor, victorious fighter feels tired. India is a country where a number of kings have left their throne saying that we are tired of punishing people. “Punishment, punishment, punishment! So let me withdraw from here.” And they went to the forest. Why I am saying this? Dispassion is a great virtue and trait. In front of dispassion, nothing in this world can stand. Nothing, nothing!

There was a devotee called Poonthānam who was always associated with the Guruvayur temple whose picture is kept in the temple. He was a very innocent, simple, poor devotee of the Lord but in devotion, he was super. He had a child. Traditionally in a Brahmin house, he belonged to that family, they were observing the birthday of the child. So many people arrived on the birthday and some people gave some presents. Invariably the presents will be in the form of some dress. So all the presents were received, received, received, received and heaped, heaped, heaped. People will generally like to see the child. So the child was also lying there on a small bed. You know, the presents were received and heaped, in that hurry-burry, the child was covered by the heap and the child breathed the last. Can you imagine? And here is a great lofty devotee of the Lord.

He started singing, “When Balagopal is playing in my heart, of what use is a child outside?” This is what he sang. Can you understand the strength, depth and grace of dispassion? We generally experience passion. I say, a good businessman is one who is not merely able to make profit and enjoy it, who must be able to withstand losses also. Then only he will be a good businessman.  The market may fail, his own efforts may fail, there will be some adversity, some accident, a ship may sink, many things may happen. So unless you are able to withstand losses, you are not a successful businessman. The moment we incur a loss, “Ah! Loss has come! My heart! My lungs!” No. That is not a good businessman. Market will vary. How to survive this loss? How can I cut short my expenditure? Send away some employees if necessary, finally survive. And all the people must have been hit by the adversity. If you can survive, you will find many of the competitors or all of them would have gone and you would have almost a monopoly of the market.

So please understand that all the qualities that we are discussing under the caption of spirituality are really graceful, enriching, empowering. So when Sankara says in Vivekachoodamani,

मन्दमध्यमरूपापि वैराग्येण शमादिना ।
प्रसादेन गुरोः सेयं प्रवृद्धा सूयते फलम् ।।
mandamadhyamarūpāpi vairāgyeṇa śamādinā
prasādena guroḥ seyaṁ pravṛddhā sūyate phalam
(Vivekachoodamani 28)

This enriching the mind with dispassion is something very, very important. This dispassion is not something that should be cultivated but by renouncing everything. Physical renouncement is the last step. But the mind should sufficiently get trained by the value, the virtue, the greatness of dispassion. That will come when you repeatedly dwell in your mind about the transitoriness of human life.

Sankara puts in Aparokshānubhūti,

ब्रह्मादिस्थावरान्तेषु वैराग्यं विषयेष्वनु ।
यथैव काकविष्ठायां वैराग्यं तद्धि निर्मलम् ।। ४
Brahmādi sthāvarānteṣu vairāgyam viṣayeṣvanu
Yathaiva kākaviṣṭāyām vairāgyam taddhi nirmalam
(Aparokshānubhūti 4)

Right from Brahma, the highest heavenly reward that you can have after death by performing rituals, from that lofty state downward, sthamba paryantam, maybe something like a stone or a lump of earth, everything is transitory, transitory. 

Thinking in this manner, Yathaiva kākaviṣṭāyām, just like what you think about the excreta of a crow, in the same manner you must have the feeling of dispassion towards all these things.

You know, when I read it years back, immediately, immediately, the idea got impressed in my mind. Now this is the acid test of dispassion. So when you start feeding the mind with this lesson, Yathaiva kākaviṣṭāyām, brahmādi sthāvarānteṣu, right from Brahma onwards to even a small blade of grass upon the earth, just like what you feel towards the excreta of a crow, that should be your attitude.

When you start dwelling upon this virtue, will not the mind be graced by it? Will it not be impressed by it? So in the way of passion, dispassion will start dancing, dancing and singing in your mind.

When such qualities, there are others also, these qualities grace the mind, spiritual wisdom becomes meaningful and relevant. Patience, patience to tolerate, to forbear all the different kinds of experiences, fortune and misfortune in life, straightforwardness, innocence, stunning innocence, to admit what one has, to say what you feel, compassion maximum overflowing.

Kṣamārjava-dayātoṣa, remain contented. I always tell our inmates. See, when people look at you, you should be smiling, very peaceful and joyous. That joyousness - take it as a sādhana. “Whatever comes and goes, I will not look gloomy. I will be contented.” You maybe thoughtful and grave - that is different. But you cannot give expression to anything like discontentment.

So these are all some of the qualities which we should cultivate. These qualities alone will enable you to experience the majesty, the magnificence and the ecstasy, serenity of spiritual wisdom. All these are experiences that surge in your mind and knowledge dawns in the intelligence.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.