"Devotion is a means as well as its true end when it grows into a full treasure. When devotion becomes a treasure, you will need nothing more for inner fullness or affluence. As devotion grows, it will begin to free you of all desire, hatred and fear. It will relieve poverty, either by making you amply resourceful or by taking away from you the very feeling of poverty. Devotion also will remove your weakness, generating untold strength and confidence."

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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I think the success of your life depends upon how to make the non-meditational interactional life equal to what you have in a meditative absorptional state. What is that secret by virtue of which interactions do not bother us, they stimulate us and interactional outcomes get assimilated into oneself to become enrichment - I think this should be the thought and the focus for you. Whenever you are unhappy in your interaction, make sure that your own mind and its emotions are responsible for it - either desire, hatred or possessiveness.

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

I was quite young about 65 years back. It was at that young age I happened to meet my Gurudev, and instantly was victimized by a fondness for him, which fondness still continues in me. Along with the fondness I also felt sufficient intimacy with my Gurudev. I started writing to him, whenever there was opportunity talking to him, but all this I did with a lot of freedom, intimacy and openness. I don’t know whether there are other people who felt equally open in their mind in their association with my Gurudev. But I had this openness, intimacy and freedom.

Whatever I wanted to say I used to say and whatever he said I used to hear. My hearing was not a hearing; it was more a learning by exposure and revelation. Either what my Gurudev said was an exposure to me or it was a revelation to me. When you get attuned to whatever your Guru says, the process of learning becomes very easy and facile. You just absorb whatever he says. There is no question, there is no argument, there is no resistance. There is only a feeling, a fervour to absorb what he says. In such a mood and such an interaction, transformation of disciple becomes very very easy.

I got deeksha from him, thereafter I felt I had a focus in my life. What to do - do the sādhanā. The sādhanā was a self-based pursuit. In the sādhanā, there is no factor other than my own body, mind, intelligence and heart. My body is there in this sense - I have to make it still and restful. So no physical activity is the least implied or meant. Then the only activity will be by the mind and intelligence. So the entire sādhanā was in a way easy; a very facile process. I felt that it was so but many of the people who take deeksha from me are not able to feel in that manner and they are not able to use and pursue the sādhanā also well.

The sādhanā is a very simple process. What is that? Close the doors and windows and sit on an āsan, close your eyes, sit still and then work up your sādhanā inwardly. Why should there be any difficulty? I don’t even ask people to light a lamp. Simply remain. It can be early morning even before bath or if you want to be traditional after bath. The only condition is that in your stomach there should not be any undigested food. A liquid, one glass of anything is okay. Now this is the sādhanā.

The sādhanā goes on working inwardly in your mind, in your intelligence. Very often, the seeker will get absorbed to a silent communion with the self or his mind will be active bringing about distractions. Then he should reflect upon the distractions - why are they coming, what are they due to. So it becomes contemplational and reflective or absorptional and silent. The sādhanā will be varying between these two. You go on pursuing this sādhanā as long as you want and you feel that ‘I have done enough of it’.

When the mind gets absorbed into yourself, you cannot miss the presence of the self. Where is the mind getting absorbed into? It gets disconnected from all other external things and their reflections but where is it getting absorbed into? There should be some presence and that is the self. Such moments may not be very regular and for long durations. But it is necessary that you get absorbed. But will the problem be resolved by absorption, according to me no - because we cannot remain always absorbed. So what is that sādhanā equal to this inward absorption whereby you will have an unbroken spiritual pursuit? Thinking in this manner is the secret of the seeker’s life.

Even in meditation, what are you trying to do? You get withdrawn from physical activities and interactions and with the mind fully with you, you try to go into – ‘what is deflecting me, what are my interests, what is behind the mind’s working, do I have a desire, do have any hatred, do I have any fear or further emotional turbulences?’ You get an opportunity to look in to the mind and know its structure and also expressions. So it is an opportunity for you to discover your inner constitution; that is very important. But I believe sooner or later, you must be able to equalize your interactional life with the silent absorptional sādhanā. How can this be done? This is the secret of our spiritual wisdom.

Bhagavad Gita excels in pointing out how the interactional life can be sublimated and enriched. Bhagavad Gita is a Karma śāstra. Though it is a Moksha śāstra, the means adopted for moksha is karma. Action proceeds from desire and as it proceeds, it also begets the opposite of desire - hatred, then fear, matsara and so many other emotions. These emotions are generally driving the mind into a varied interactional facet. What you have to do is that let the interactions be but the multiple emotions which are associated with the interactions should be sublimated. My interaction should be free, natural, loving. They should be making me feel happy and pleasant rather than vexing me and disappointing me. How will you ensure this - this is your interactional sādhanā.

I am acting because I have the energy to act. I have the senses to demand and also promote activity. It is a sensory aspect of my life; it cannot be avoided. But while interacting, I should not lose hold of myself. My interactions should be very pure and sublime, beneficial to me as well as the others. I should take away all negative elements in my interaction. My interactions should proceed from fondness, from love, from the interest I have in the world for the others. Interactions cannot be selfish or even deluded. As I am in meditation absorbed, so also I should be absorbed in my interactions. That interactional absorption or interactional inherence should not bring about disruption, should not bring about interruptions. How to ensure that it is so?

Here is the secret of spiritual life is what I have to say. We cannot be meditating and absorbed for the whole lifetime. We are not sleeping for the twenty-four hours of the day. Kumbhakarna slept for six months but he was awake fully for the next six months. So we have to be asleep no doubt but you have to be equally active. So this wakeful interactional period should become a complement to the meditational absorption. This will be absolutely possible provided you are able to make your mind free, pure, loving, interested in the welfare of others. There are a number of benign and benevolent qualities, you should start developing them if you don’t have, allow them to grow.

When you see a seeker or a devotee and you engage in a spiritual or devotional conversation, should it not be stimulating to him as well as to you? Our Swamiji went to California two years back and he happened to go to Ramakrishna Mission Centre I believe and there, a Swamiji was talking to him. The talk got extended. Somebody came and said it is time for meditation. Apparently Swamiji said, “Where do I get an opportunity to talk the affair of my heart? So I am speaking something to him very nice and good. Meals I have every day..”, something to this effect.

Even a Swami in United States was very happy to speak about his spiritual heart, spiritual aspirations and experiences when our Swamiji went there. What does it mean? Interactions are supposed to be very stimulating, very expansional in character. In the absence of interaction, how do you know that there is something broad and infinite in nature like the world? This world is actually an expression of the self. The self has got a magnitude which is infinite. That infinite magnitude you are able to know only in the interactional life; only when you wake up.

So we should not blame the world or blame the universe for whatever complexity it has. When you wake up from absorption, that is the time you come across with various magnitudes and magnificence. So do not shun your activity. But do your activity as if you are meditating in the sense that in meditation you are free from attraction, repulsion and fear. In the same manner, activity and interaction also should be without attraction, repulsion and fear. Why don’t you make it a point that ‘I will not do any action with desire, any act with hatred, any act with fear’? Suppose you make a resolution like this, then you will have to probe into and find out – ‘I seem to be working on desire but can I work without desire? If so how, what, where?’ That enquiry will come. Vasishtha says:

सर्वस्थोऽहमकर्तेति दृढभावनयानया ।
प्रवाहपतितं कार्यं कुर्वन्नपि न लिप्यते। ।।
Sarvastho’ham akarteti dṛḍa-bhāvanayānayā |
Pravāha-patitam kāryam kurvannapi na lipyate ||
(Yogavasishtha, Sthiti Prakaranam, 56.34)

Sarvastha aham akarteti. Anywhere and everywhere I am a non-doer. It is my body that works, mind that works, intelligence that works but I am not these; these are my instruments. When a drill cuts an object given to it, do you think that the man operating the drill also cuts? No, he does not. Only his drilling machine cuts. He does not cut anybody. Similarly, when your eyes see, the eyes are seeing, you are not seeing. When the mind is thinking - the mind is thinking not you.

Sarvastho’ham akarteti dṛḍa-bhāvanayānayā. ‘I am a non-doer’. This attitude should become stable, deeper, constant, more constant, consistent. When you can have the non-doership, everything that you do becomes a flow, pravāha-patitam kāryam - as if a log is put in the flow of a river. The flow carries it; the log doesn’t do anything. You will start feeling that I am not doing. Everything is getting done, getting done, getting done. A harmony will come to you, an integration will start dawning whereby no conflict will be there.

Your interaction will be, watch for - does it promote desire, does it promote or bring about hatred, does it bring about fear? Out of desire, hatred or fear, never do an action. Automatically you will be obliged to find out a dṛshti, a vision where desire does not play at all. Everything is motivated, inspired or otherwise done by the providence. We have to think in this manner. Don’t think that not to desire is impossible. As desire people have picked up, children have picked up, non-desire also can be picked up.

So I think the success of your life depends upon how to make the non-meditational interactional life equal to what you have in a meditative absorptional state. What is that secret by virtue of which interactions do not bother us, they stimulate us and interactional outcomes get assimilated into oneself to become enrichment - I think this should be the thought and the focus for you. Whenever you are unhappy in your interaction, make sure that your own mind and its emotions are responsible for it - either desire, hatred or possessiveness. Think in this manner.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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