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

In our religious, devotional, yogic, spiritual and philosophical life, the one factor where the seekers and sadhakas should focus is their mind, mind, mind. Intelligence is only a refined form of the mind. In substance, there is no difference at all. We have got a large knife, we have got a very small knife. The large knife will have a thick blade. The small one will have a thin one. There are some operations which the thin knife can do, large cannot. But they are made of the same substance. But the subtlety, fineness or temper each has, will be different from those of the others. Somewhat similarly, our mind substance, intelligence substance, ego substance, all are substance-wise the same. When we do the mind function, it is called the mind. (When we do) intelligence function, it is called the intelligence. When it does the ego function, it is called the ego. So don’t think that there are many substances within the body. Body itself is made up of panchabhutas. In that body, there is a presence that animates and activates the body. That is the only other factor in the whole creation. That is God. That is the soul. That is Brahman. That is the yogic substratum, yoga substratum.

You will find there are religious and devotional people. There is another category called the spiritual people. The spiritual people will always speak about and ask for guidance on meditation, meditation. Only when you take to meditation, you are considered to be spiritual. This is no surprise or exception. The Vedantic tenets make it clear that sravana, manana and nidhidhyasana are the only three ways of approaching and realizing God, truth and the self.

Sravana means you hear somebody exposing the truth. It is different from reading. Reading becomes Paṭana. Here it is sravana. So sravana is a two-legged process. One speaks and the others are hearing. So it is an interaction between the two, you can say.

After sravana, you should take to truthful introspection. What is said? What is heard? What is its relevance? How does it work? Does it have a strength? If so, how much? Where will it act? What is the real bond between the so-called soul and the rest of the things like body, mind, intelligence? This kind of a manana, introspection should be done, until at last you become very clear that besides the panchabhutas, there is only one factor and that factor is the inmost presence called the soul. God, Supreme Reality, Atma, all these are its epithets, synonyms. What the seeker should always attempt is to purify his mind, sharpen his intelligence. All the pooja and other devotional practices which one does will not have meaning unless they directly and immediately act upon the mind and they give you a measure of peace and clarity.

Mind consists of thoughts and all the thoughts should bear around your goal, moksha. When this manana becomes firm and established, then you are fit for meditation. So meditation is the summon bonum of spirituo-religious, yogic and philosophical life. Every one of you should make a practice of meditating atleast thirty to forty minutes a day. Our body has completed its growth at the age of twenty-one, latest. Then the only factors in us to grow after the body begins to decline after having grown is the mind and the intelligence. You must sit closing the door and windows of your room in a proper āsan and interlock your fingers and close your eyes and start observing the mind process. You should go on observing the mind process. That means you are focused within your body. To focus, you use your mind. To be focused also you use your mind substance.

All the knowledge and experience for us, come from one singular subject. That is what people call the soul or God. You should understand that both of them are no different from the sixth factor, the consciousness, the power or presence that animates matter, animates your body. Don’t say, “I am not able to catch, I don’t have anything.” Don’t say that! Assiduously, with a lot of faith and consistency, you do the practice of meditation. Don’t do it merely as a routine. Do it with a lot of love, fervor, interest and dedication. “Some people are able to meditate and handle their minds. Why is that I am not able to? So I will also try to.” You are seeing as much as the others are seeing. So can you not meditate also as much as the others claim to be doing?

Our Upanishads are very strong.

न चक्षुषा गृह्यते नापि वाचा नान्यैर्देवैस्तपसा कर्मणा वा।
na cakṣuṣā gṛhyate nāpi vācā nānyairdevaistapasā karmaṇa vā |

Whatever you seek in the way of God, Self, Atma or Brahman, it cannot be seen by the eyes or the rest of the organs.

Na cakṣuṣā gṛhyate nāpi vācā. You cannot get hold of it through the power of speech also.

Nānyair-devaih - by the other senses also it is not possible.

Tapasā karmaṇa vā -  the so-called rigorous austerity. Arjuna did severe austerity, forgoing even sleep. He got the so called pāsupathāstra. With all these, when he came to the battlefield of Kurukshetra where these weapons are to be judiciously and effectively used, he crumbled. What does it mean?

ज्ञानप्रसादेन विशुद्धसत्त्वस्ततस्तु तं पश्यते निष्कलं ध्यायमानः ॥
jñānaprasādena viśuddhasattvastatastu taṁ paśyate niṣkalaṁ dhyāyamānaḥ ||
(Mundakopanishad 3.1.8)

With a mind purified partly by age and partly by having done and gained many things, that mind will become lighter, it will become delightful, pleasant. It will become pleasant provided you know about the world, you know about the soul, you know about satsanga and what is its benefit. So one has to sit, sit, sit! Sit inside a room, with windows and doors shut, alone, and then you look to, look fondly for knowing the presence within the body, presence within the body.

ज्ञानप्रसादेन विशुद्धसत्त्वस्ततस्तु तं पश्यते निष्कलं ध्यायमानः ॥

What I would like all of you to understand now is that you must have a short period atleast of meditation. It may not do anything to begin with, you may not like it also. But are you not sleeping? Are you not dreaming? So spend some time, thirty to forty minutes, atleast to improve the quality of your life. That meditation is very, very important. I don’t want you to meditate throughout the day, four hours, five hours, six hours, no. Atleast meditate for thirty to forty minutes in the morning. You can have a relaxed meditation even in the afternoon.

So don’t make a mistake. Unless you are given to meditation, you will not be able to purify your mind, sharpen your intelligence and start on the path of realizing the self.

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

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