"Thought is the most potent and creative power in the world. It initially takes shape in an individual mind. When shared with others, any benevolent thought starts growing as a vibrant process encompassing more and more people. It is such collective benevolent thoughts that build up great cultural values and treasure in the society."

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

The eighteenth chapter of Gita is a summary of all the propositions and discussions made earlier. It is very natural. But the eighteenth chapter also makes some additional statements in the way of conclusions, super conclusions, and stellar conclusions. Now all these you will find make the practice of spirituality easy, easier, easiest, wholesome, continuous, and absolutely fruitful.

All of you have generally to say spirituality is difficult. I have not found any of my disciples who will say, “Swamiji, if this is spirituality, why is it that all people do not do it?” Instead of drawing the right conclusion, you draw the wrong conclusions. Drawing wrong conclusions is also a characteristic of human nature.

Krishna is analyzing that in everything, there are three levels and kinds, the tāmasa, the rājasa, and the sāttvika. We should understand what is sāttvik and take to the sāttvik. What are the areas where we have to look for the sāttvik? Our body is completely food. It is an outcome and product of food. So, in having your food, you have to be sāttvik in the selections. Try to find out what is sāttvik and take such items of food. Avoid non-vegetarian certainly.

The very idea of non-vegetarian food, you think. See, in a mango tree, so many mangoes are growing. No mango will ever remain with the tree. It is supposed to be grown and it should all fall. So we are not denying anything in the tree. We are only plucking the mangoes which are to be plucked. And by plucking, actually there is no ill health administrated to the tree. Understand it very well. In any way, the fruits are going to fall. The flowers are going to wither. But, before falling and before withering, we make use of it.

Suppose in a mango tree, 1500 mangoes are there. Or in a jack tree in a branch, 10 or 15 jackfruits are there. You know sometimes it so happens that the branch cannot bear the weight. If you allow them to grow, the branch will fall. There are instances like that. So the tree doesn’t have a knife to cut and remove and it doesn’t have a mechanism to drop one or two. So if you can pluck a few jackfruits or mangoes, the tree will be happy, before they grow to the full size. All these are interesting to know and observe.

In the case of non-vegetarian food, how do you get this food? After killing the animal, making it bleed. The very thought of making the animal bleed, unwillingly die in your hands, or in the hands of the killer, how do you take such food? Just think about it. Is our stomach supposed to be a burial ground? Something very serious!

Now, when you come to the vegetarian food, there also there are non-sāttvik items, not many, which we have to remove. Now this is the way to build up sattva guna. One reception in the form of food, now another reception in the form of all the sensory sights, intakes, there also try to be sāttvik. Have sāttvik sights, sāttvik sounds, sāttvik everything.

I am talking on Bhagavad Gita. So many people are coming and listening to. You know the very listening, whether they understand it or not, the reception of these sounds, words, etc., - that itself is a sattvik factor. So, if you want to have a sattvik life, the quality life, then make it a habit to read the scriptures, to listen to them, to be given to prayers and to listen to and try to be qualitative in all these.

Then so far as thoughts are concerned, responses and reactions are concerned - there also try to be sāttvik. In what way you should think of others, in what way you should respond to what others do or say, there also try to be sāttvik. It is a very simple process. You should understand, “Is this is so? Yes, I shall do it. If this is bad, then I will not do it”. Such a simple thing and why are you complicating it?

Then living in Ashrams, undergoing the Ashram routines, say, we have a pushpa-samarpanam program here. Why is it that we are having? Previous to that, we have a prayer program. Half-an-hour there and half-an-hour here, one hour – it is absolutely sāttvik, absolutely sāttvik. There it is more in the way of an oral practice, visual also is there. Here it is not merely an oral practice, something more of physical practice also. Then at the end of it, you listen to a short talk. You know, how important and how sublime it is?

Then living in an Ashram in the company of the Guru, in Guru sannidhi, and trying to be of service, try to pick up any item of service in the Ashram. Now we are a few people, all of them have to be served. I think some people have been assigned or have taken up the service program in the kitchen or so. It should not be necessary for anyone here to tell you that, “Please go and do the service”. Be attentive not to linger on in the Satsang hall and go. When you come back with whatever dress discipline is given to you, observe the discipline and straightaway go to the dining hall and try to be of service. That attention to the task and fulfilling it properly – this is an actional sattva guna, an interactional sattva guna.

There are so many methods. Out of so many flowers, some flowers are particularly told that they are sāttvik. Look for such flowers, particularly white flower is the best, next best is the little orangish and yellowish. When you go to the red, it is not so; it is rājasik. But amongst them, some are considered to be good.

So the very sight that you have, suppose you have a garden, similarly in the matter of wearing your dress, don’t go for gaudy colors. Let the colors be soothing to the eye from where light will reflect, not enter your body, light as well as heat. So in the matter of what - Seeing, hearing, thinking, responding, speaking, having your food, trying to do such work which is meant for helping others, serving others. If there is a pūja room, go and have the pūja properly done. Make the flowers clean, the vessels clean, the place clean – all these are sāttvik items. I think our whole personality will change, if you are given to sāttvik nature.

That is why we speak about austerity, śārīra tapas, bodily tapas. When you come back, you change your dress, go to the dining hall, serve people – it is a śārīrik tapas. Chant the mantras, chant Vishnu Sahasranama, Bhagavad Gīta – it is an oral tapas. Then in your speech, try to be courteous, try to be non-offending – that is another tapasya. In the way you react to things, always have a progressive and a promotional reaction. Let the mind learn to know and host. In every matter, there should be a right conclusion.

'S' told me in Delhi years back, decades back, “Swamiji, the people who are coming to you, they behave in a certain manner in your front, but when they go away their behavior is very bad. I am very much depressed by that." Yes, it is so. Therefore what is the conclusion you draw? Apparently the conclusion he draws is going to Swami is useless. Having satsang is useless. Now don’t you think he makes a great mistake in making that conclusion? People are coming, attending the satsang, they don’t change and improve in the manner they are required to. That is the hard nature of person. Understanding that it is so, let me take to the satsang and not be faulty of this deletion or omission. This is the conclusion he should draw. "Ten people are bad. Therefore, I will also choose to be bad" - That you cannot say.

Many people go to the temple, not necessarily to pray in the right manner. So at least you go and pray. Let all the people who come here have a right note of prayer. “My dear Lord, I am not going to contaminate the temple or give you any trouble”. I go to the temple and stand in front of the deity. I have absolutely no prayer or seeking before the Lord. So what I have decided is I will say, “Let this deity be divine, brilliant. Let it have a lot of benedictory power. Let the area of its influence grow. Let all the people who come here be blessed with the right vision”. I put it in this way, “May you have more and more of divine brilliance. May you have more and more of benedictory power”. These are infused into the deity by mantra and tantra. So many people who go there, go only for desire. So I thought I tell God, “My dear God, so many cause you headache. Let me be one who will never cause you”.  Similarly, 'S' could have felt, 'Many people are not behaving properly. So, I will do the right way'.

When Dhruva was asked by Narada, “Many have tried to propitiate Mahavishnu, they have failed. So my dear boy, don’t make any wasteful effort, go back”,  Dhruva said, “My dear Sage, I respect you. But I refuse to accept what you say. I am a Kshatriya. I am given to valour. I am given to achievement. If there is an area of pleasing Mahavishnu where so many have tried and failed, that is all the more reason why I should try and succeed. So if you have anything helpful, enriching to tell me, please speak. Otherwise shut your mouth and go”. Narada was so pleased and gave him a mantra on which Dhruva concentrated. And then he got Mahavishnu right in his front within five months. Just see, just see. So this is called a sāttvik process of thinking.

Our śāstras have analyzed the human mind and psychology so beautifully and well, I don’t think anywhere in the world this kind of an analysis is there. It says knowledge is of three kinds, knowable is of three kinds, the doer or knower is of three kinds, action is of three kinds, attitude is of three kinds, objective is of three kinds, everywhere three kinds – tāmasik, rājasik, and sāttvik. The knowledge of rajas and tamas helps you to understand the admixtured society and not to get disappointed by their behavior. And the sāttvik enunciation helps you to cultivate it and become a shining example for others.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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