"It is not what you do that matters, but how you do it – with what attitude and aim. The spiritual effect that a seemingly spiritual activity brings, can also be had by the domestic pursuit, provided you preserve a spiritual attitude and dedication."

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

Today I thought of telling you the difference between a seeker’s life and the life of an ordinary person.

Everybody can be a seeker, once a person becomes a seeker, then his whole life will have to be geared towards this seeking and in everything that he does, he must be governed by the fundamental and ultimate principles of seeking.

The very word 'seeking' implies an objective that you are seeking. In the context of spiritual life, the objective is gaining freedom through Self-realization. So, the Self and the Self-realizational benefits should be constantly in the focus of the seeker. Whatever he does, either in the way of sensory interaction or oral interaction, will have to be governed by the principles of seeking. As a seeker, does this activity agree with me and is harmonious with me? Whatever I do, whatever I speak, whatever I think, I should make sure that it is promoting and reinforcing my seeking. So, a constant examination should be on in the seeker’s mind. When the seeker becomes an exclusive and wholesome one, like some of you Brahmacharins are here and Sannyāsins are, then you will have to be constantly be, completely covered by the seeking principles. In fact, instead of being many-branched in your thinking, you will have to single-directioned. What do I mean by that?

व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिरेकेह कुरुनन्दन ।
बहुशाखा ह्यनन्ताश्च बुद्धयोऽव्यवसायिनाम् ।।
vyavasāyātmikā buddhir-ekeha kuru-nandana |
bahu-śākhā hy-anantāś-ca buddhayo’vyavasāyinām ||

You must have that resolute buddhi, the buddhi will become very clear as to what is the aim of life, how it can be achieved and what are the special disciplines and watchwords I have to conform to. This becomes very clear. Otherwise, there will be a number of interests, a number of goals, a number of reliances, dependences and what not.

After prescribing several quotes for the several varṇās and ashramas of human life, Manu summarizes the whole proposition in an essential manner, in this manner.

यमान्सेवेत सततं न नित्यं नियमान्बुधः ।
यमान्पतत्यकुर्वाणो नियमान्केवलान्भजन् । ।
yamān-seveta satatam na nityam niyamān-budhah |
yamān-pataty-akurvāṇo niyamān-kevalān-bhajan ||
(Manu Smriti 4.204)

Yamān-seveta satatam, in human life we have something called continuous, ceaseless and eternal disciplines, watchwords and principles. Now, some are niyamās in the form of formalities, religious rites and obligations. These formalities and religious rites and obligations have a short-term base. They are occasional, time-bound, and effort-bound. On the other hand, yamās are such disciplines which should always be accompanying your life.

Manu says that those people who disregard these eternal and continuously operating principles and take to only occasional and time-bound and effort-bound formalities, fall in their life. They don’t progress, they don’t have fulfillment. On the other hand, those who are given to these eternal and incessantly operating principles, they are the ones who will progress. What are these eternal principles?

As Ashtavakra Samhita says, Ashtavakra informs Janaka:
मुक्तिमिच्छसि चेत्तात विषयान् विषवत्त्यज।
क्षमार्जवदयातोषसत्यं पीयूषवद्भज।।1.2।।
Muktimichasi cettāta viṣayān viṣavat-tyaja |
kṣamārjava-dayā-toṣa-satyam pīyūṣavad-bhaja ||
(Ashtāvakra Samhita 1.2)

You must have patience in the matter of sādhanā and its fruition. Never try to hurry up and think that ‘I will have the fulfillment of my sādhanāin a year or two, or three or five years’. It is not so. Patience should be there.

The other most important principle about which we were talking yesterday, is ārjava - straightforwardness. Straightforwardness is a quality that you have to imbibe if you don’t have and strengthen and deepen every time. It is not that a few hours of the day you become straightforward and the rest of the period you become otherwise. Or two months of a year and the rest, you are different. It is not so. Like respiration, like blood circulation, straightforwardness will have to be a constant associate of yours. It has to become a quality or a coordinate of your mind, intelligence and heart.

Kṣamārjava-dayā-toṣa-satyam. Then you must always remain contended because you have taken to a life where eternal principles are constantly pursued. Then you are not interested in other things. So the distractions are not there. Why should you ever feel worried? Because there is no external or material or objective, the objective is only realization of the self and complete contentment. So, as a means for it, remain unruffled and remain happy. With many things in this world, one can become extremely miserable; with nothing around we can still be happy like a child.

Satyam’- truthfulness. About truthfulness I need not say. Whatever you try to think, speak, reflect upon, associate yourself with, will have to be reflecting this truthfulness, that spirit and purpose of truthfulness. It is not just not speaking lies. Are you truthful? Are you honest to yourself? Do you mean to say what you say? Do you mean to do what you propose to do? So a constant self-examination will be there in such wholesomely disciplined people and they will totally be above board so far as formalities and occasional rights and obligations are concerned. We are not governed by a Monday, we are not governed by a Friday, we are not governed by ‘Ekādaśi’ or ‘Dvādaśi’. Our principles are operative in our personality and they will be accompanying all our interactions. Now these principles are to be taken up and they should become part of your being.

For any kind of a wholesome seeker, exclusive seeker, this kind of Yama takes over all the different types of Niyama. Now if you want to have some kind of formality like the Pushpa-samarpaṇa, the bhajan or the prārthana in the Samādhi Mandir in the evening it’s okay. That’s only a very nominal part, but the primary part and the fundamental one will be your being governed by these principles and ethical values of life. Be sure of it, be very clear about it.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

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