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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.
My sādhana has been a poetic sādhana. In my office,’Z’ was telling me “Swamiji, as you find this poetry and poetic sādhana very simple and easy, will all people take it to be so? Can it be so?” she was asking. I was wondering what makes her ask like this.
I have been explaining anywhere and everywhere whatever be the subject I discuss, a kind of a reasonable, rational, compulsive type of description about whatever we try to understand. Whenever we speak about spirituality and sādhana, I always make sure that this spirituality is something very endearing, sweet, it makes your mind light, it makes you cheerful, it makes you worriless. The agitation, anxiety, unnecessary tension, all these negative factors of the mind simply drop the more and more you understand spirituality and you pursue it. Such a spirituality why is it that people are not interested in is a great mystery actually. I can only ultimately say that only the most fortunate people will take to spirituality. People are not fortunate. What can be done? That is why Krishna says..
Out of thousands of people, rarely one tries for some kind of a spiritual perfection or spiritual advancement. This rarity is not because the path is difficult. Perhaps the path is very rare in its fortune.
Why is gold so much short in the world? Because the gold has so much of property, usefulness and value, that value-oriented character of that metal, it makes it very, very rare. Actually iron is more functional and more needed for our life. That is why it is available in a larger measure. We can live without gold but perhaps we may not be able to live without iron. That is why nature has made iron more sumptuous and gold much rare. But nevertheless the price of gold is too much, the usefulness in every way.
In the same manner, because spirituality is extremely nice, good and endearing, sweet, many people are not able to take to it. It is only because of the lack of fortune. That’s all what I can say. Everywhere I have been trying to explain spirituality is very rare, very rare and people agree also. Still there is a reluctance. The only reason is our senses are very powerful. Even Sita you see? What a great lady she was! She decided to accompany Rama insistingly saying that “With you everywhere is heaven for me. Without you even the Ayodhya palace is a cremation ground.” She went on, stayed with Rama for thirteen years in Daṇḍakāraṇya. Fourteenth year Rama said “Let us have an austere life for one year before going back.”
There was a cottage made, Sita also made a little garden and suddenly came a golden deer. It was not a silver or a brass or a wooden deer. It was a golden deer. Everybody knows that golden deer can never be, it maybe golden in appearance, that’s all. But still Sita suddenly fell in love with it and wanted to have it. Rama also agreed. Lakshmana warned. That warning had no effect. Finally Rama went. Within a matter of moments, Sita was a slave of Ravana.
Why should this happen? Was she not happy with Rama? Was not her cottage quite comfortable for her? She was already living in the palace of Ayodhya, she will again go back to. So some kind of an attraction is there in the senses, or senses cause the attraction and we are tapped by it. Not that spirituality is not good and sweet but this attraction somehow overpowers.
Now why I took up this subject? I am counting all together hundred verses maximum you have to learn in Sanskrit. Every verse will have an average of fifty letters. So just see? Hundred verses means 5000 letters. As against this, suppose you are reading book after book, book after book, book after book, people are reading voluminously, voraciously they read. Spirituality also has got so much of reading. After reading, what will you remember? Is there anybody who commits to memory something like an average book like Vicharasetu pages? It will be about 24 lines, 500 letters. 500 letters * 10 = 5000 letters. So out of the book that you read so many pages, is there anybody who remembers ten pages properly? Can they say?
So prose reading never makes you remember what you have read. Poetic reading lends itself to memorization. Hundred verses anybody can read and remember. In the same manner ten pages of prose matter, is there anybody who can remember, repeat? Suppose you sit in a prayer room, can you chant, recite, ten pages of prose reading? Is there anybody who does so? We are reading Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, Mahabharatam. In the same manner do we read in our pooja room a kind of a prose book? I don’t think. Nobody does it.
So you should understand the role and rhythm of poetry and its particular relevance and usefulness to the human heart. Once you understand this, why should you not be able to take to poetic sādhana? What prevents you from doing? So whenever somebody says something I think about. When ‘Z’ told me I started thinking. Why don’t you evaluate matters properly? Would you like to read prose, hundreds and thousands of pages and then leave the book to its own place and you carry on in your own manner?
Our reading must become a subject of contemplation for us. To make it a subject of contemplation, poetry is the only means which can lend itself to memorization and you can memorize it. You know a girl, just five or six years old, that girl goes on repeating the whole of Vishnu Sahasranama. Maybe even a four year old child will repeat. But can it repeat anything prose? So please understand the value and place of poetry, how it is delightful to learn poetry, delightful to repeat poetry and through poetic sādhana I would like you to grow.
So learn one hundred verses. These verses will be more than sufficient for you to grow, understand the greater and greater dimension of spirituality, get corrected, find out the mistakes. All verses will help you, where am I wrong, what should I do, what is the next level of growth, what is meant by purity? I am thinking of writing a book as to how a seeker grows in the ladder of spirituality, every point being described by a poetic statement. I don’t know whether I will have the time. I wanted to write Jeevan-muktisudhakaram, one book and this also comes to my mind.
So my statement and ‘Z’’s point of objection or point of difference are something that I would like you to think about seriously and let me know.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.