"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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Practical Guidance

Prabhaata Rashmih talks by Poojya Swamiji
  • PR 31 Mar 2016 - Mahabharata to Deal with Conflicting Situations
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru. 

    In the evening, we are discussing the third chapter of Bhagavad Gita, where in response to Arjuna’s enquiry, Krishna is explaining the whole philosophy about why a man should become active and should not shun his activity. It is not one point of view that Krishna presents, but several - From a personal level, family and lineage level, societal level, from the universal level, from the spiritual level, from the level of shreyas which was the main point of enquiry for Arjuna right from the beginning. There the emphasis is:

    तस्मादसक्तः सततं कार्यं कर्म समाचर ।
    असक्तो ह्याचरन्कर्म परमाप्नोति पूरुषः ।। ३.१९ ।।
    tasmād-asaktaḥ satataṁ kāryaṁ karma samācara |
    asakto hy-ācaran-karma param-āpnoti pūruṣaḥ ||
    (Bhagavad Gita 3.19)

    Therefore, being an asakta, having no clinging, delusional clinging to what you do or what outcome it will bring about, do consistently whatever is meant to be done, whatever is required to be done, consistently.

    Tasmād-asaktaḥ satataṁ kāryaṁ karma samācara. What are the two points here? Consistently be doing work and while doing so, asaktah, that is the mental discipline, reformation or refinement. And what is the karma that you will do? Kāryaṁ karma, whatever is necessary, whatever is warranted, whatever is expected to be done. So is it not a free license for doing everything that is necessary? Make sure it is necessary and do it without any delusional clinging.

    Asakto hy-ācaran-karma param-āpnoti pūruṣaḥ. In the next line he says, asakto hy-ācaran-karma. There he doesn’t say necessary karma. If you perform your activity as an asakta, param-āpnoti pūruṣaḥ, you will not lose; you will gain the Supreme in life.

    So, for getting the supreme gain of life, what are the points we have to note? Whatever is necessary be doing, do it in an asakta manner and understand that by so doing, you will attain the Supreme. I would like you to take up this verse and organize and channelize your introspection in these lines.

    I am writing Mahabharatam, I am not able to get time. So yesterday I started. I am in the Mahabharata war. After Bhagavad Gita gospel was given, Arjuna was alright, he took up his Gandiva, raised it and he was ready to fight any number of battles he said. That part is over. Suddenly, Yudhishthira was seen keeping his bow and arrow down, proceeding fast to the opposite camp. Arjuna thought, “What a calamity it is! My brother is going to surrender before the opposite army.” He became panicky. Krishna said, “Keep quiet. Your brother is not like you. He has no fear as you have had. You know, before commencement of the war, it is up to any good man to go and pay respect if elders are there, even in the opposite army, and take their permission and blessing. Your brother will not do anything wrong.”

    The same Krishna who became eloquent before Arjuna’s discomfiture, he did not have anything to say. He hushed Arjuna’s agitation. Yudhishthira went there and he was paying respect, one after the other to Bhishma, Drona, Kripa, Shalya etc. The process would take some time. Krishna suddenly takes that time to go to Karna. Karna had a problem with Bhishma. Bhishma always used to say that Karna was a chatterbox, he is a tall-talker and every time he used to speak about that. Karna felt so humiliated. He felt he was a great and unconquerable warrior and he was waiting for Mahabharata war to confront Arjuna and outwit him. “This old man always puts me down, humiliates me.”

    So, in spite of his compelling friendship with Duryodhana he said, “As long as Bhishma is in the battlefield, I will not come. When Bhishma withdraws or falls, then I will come.” Krishna goes to him, taking that little leisure and said, “Karna, you have made a vow that you will not come to the battlefield and fight for Duryodhana though you have great fondness and friendship towards Duryodhana. Such a great and valorous warrior like you, is it right that you keep quiet as long as Bhishma is there in the battlefield? Why don’t you come and fight for Pandavas? For a warrior like you to keep quiet is not right at all! How will you be happy when the war is going on, you are keeping quiet? Will not your hands itch to take the bow and arrow? So, you want to fight after all. So you don’t fight when Bhishma is there on his side. Why don’t you come?”

    I am wondering and wondering and wondering. What is this Krishna out for and what is the meaning in all these activities? Wherever he gets an opportunity, that opportunity he uses in a masterly manner. Not minding what Karna would think, what others would think and what people like all of us would think, even after centuries and millennia of the act, but he went there. Karna, as expected flatly refused, “I stand by Duryodhana though I may not fight with him, I will not do anything against him. So please go back.”

    I would like you to think as to why did Krishna go there and tell Karna. Did he ever think that he would come and fight on the side of Yudhishthira? This Mahabharata is full of human episodes of this kind. It describes the behavior of unfriendly people, enemies, half-hearted friendship, people those who have everywhere.

    Now Krishna, the same Krishna, when the last-ditch battle was going on, and Karna’s wheel went into a slush, and he got down from the chariot and wanted to lift up the wheel, right at that time, according to normal rules of warfare, he should not be fought. So Arjuna was a little reluctant to discharge arrows. Then, Krishna goads him up saying, “Don’t spare. Fight him right now”.

    Then Karna started speaking to Krishna, “What is it that you are saying? Give me a little time, give me a little time. Let me lift up the wheel and then you can have all the battle. I also want it.”  Then Krishna insinuatingly speaks to him saying that, “What happened to your patience and time-seekingness when you did this? When you did that? Did you give any time for anybody in the open assembly when you asked, goaded, goaded, goaded Duryodhana to ask Draupadi to come and sit on his thigh? What all things you said? Did you ever give any respite?” And the whole incidents he was narrating one after the other. “So you have no right for mercy or consideration or anything like that. Face the battle here and now. Heroes will never withdraw”.

    Now, what are these contrasts? He says to Yudhishthira, “Arjuna is a great friend of mine. For his sake, I will cut my body and give. You need not be dejected. You have your brothers. I am there. When I go to the opposite camp, none in the army will return to their sheds. I will myself kill this old man, Bhishma, when he was proving a terror.”

    Once the war began, each team will want to win. To ensure victory and to defeat the opponent, whatever is timely to be done has to be done. Why did he go to Karna and tell him “Fight till Bhishma falls, on the side of Pandavas.”? See, something very interesting which will make people think. We are after all in a world where everything is not sweet and pleasant. There are many bitter and unpleasant situations here. There can be personalities, our own mother and father, brothers and sisters, sometimes wife and husband. So many things will be there. What are you to do in the matter of dealing with all these conflicting situations? I think Mahabharata has an answer, a model and an example for everything.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

  • PR 30 Mar 2016 - How to find joy in Karma Yoga
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

    I am going to pose a very simple question today before you. Just see how deluded we are and how unintelligent we are!

    Whenever we do work, the work has got an objective. So the entire work is a movement towards the objective. It is connected with the objective right from the time you conceive the work in your mind. But we always separate between the fruition of the work and the performance towards it and we are happy only when it fruitions. If you are happy when it fruitions, should you not be equally happy when you conceive it and you start moving towards it in the form of performance? How can it be that a work when fruitions is delightful? Any approach to that should be equally delightful at every point of time. But does it happen? No. See how foolish we are!

    The success of our life, particularly a sādhaka consists in having the same joy if what you do attains fruition right from the beginning. The karma-yogic joy does not wait for the completion of the work or the attainment of the objective. The karma-yogic joy starts right from the beginning when you conceive of the work and start executing it.

    Suppose there is a bulb glowing. You see it from a distance. So it is brilliant, luminous. As you proceed towards it in darkness, will not the brilliance be more and more and will not the brilliance be visible even from a distance? And when you are walking towards it, every time it is brilliant. And the sight of the brilliance will be delightful to you. In the same manner, should not the joy of work be there, right from the beginning?

    So the Karma Yoga is a kaushala, a dexterity, by virtue of which your yoga starts right from the beginning and as long as it is on, you become joyous, you become fervent. This is one point.

    Another point which I have always said - Joy by its very nature is emotional; it is a creation of the mind. If that is so, keeping the mind with you, why not you ask the mind to generate joy always, ever and ever? Why is it that you are constricting yourself? (With thoughts like these) ‘I will become joyous only when my work fruitions.’ Let the work be a flow like that of a river. It is flowing from your mind. The mind is the source of joy. So, thinking that I am going to do a work which has got a certain objective which is necessary, the very start of the work should give you equal joy.

    Karma yoga is thus always an advantage, spirituality as such is an advantage. It does not wait for time, place or effect. It starts becoming effective and delivering joy and fulfillment right from the beginning. Will you please work on this proposition and then become intelligent and wise enough to understand it, get away from the delusion? What happens is, we are tense and unhappy while doing a work, thinking whether it will attain fruition and once it is fruitioning, then also you are tense. ‘Oh! My work has completed, it has become successful. Come, Come, Come join me, I will give you a party.’ When it attains fruition, what will you do with the fruition?

    The student has passed 10th Class, 12th Class. What would be your thought? ‘He has to be put to further studies, which place will be better? Do I have the capacity to send him to the right place?’ Even then, it is not a time for joy. It is a pleasing and expected outcome and that outcome initiates a further course of action. Similarly when he passes, he becomes a graduate; then also the further thoughts as to what as a graduate he can be put to, he can take up. If you get the salary at the end of the month, the moment you get it, you start disbursing it, that disbursement becomes your concern. So every outcome of a work is the inauguration and beginning of a further sequence. There is nothing like a completion of a work. Suppose a contractor has completed his contract. He has made a huge profit. What will he do? ‘I have got staff, I have got experience. This work is complete. I must have another work.’ He looks for it.

    The other day an executive was telling me, his company was speaking in glorious terms, a top officer to the rest, “Our Company has sold a property in UK and it has brought so many millions of dollars. So we have enough of money”. This executive was telling me, “See, how is he feeling. Whenever a company has to sell its asset for finding resources, for doing something or the other, is it good or bad? But he is putting it in such a manner that we have enough money, the asset has been sold. The very fact that they had to sell the asset to make the money is very, very negative. It doesn’t speak well at all. What he had to say is, ‘Our company has sold its asset, in order to find the resources to run the company or for this project. So our responsibility is very serious. More than what it will be, because we have found the resources by disposing off very valuable assets which we have accrued over a period of time, so the financial solidity of the company is not good. Now we have to do very well, strive hard so that things will be better and the company will be able to go back to building assets again’.”

    Just see? Every item of work puts us to the further phase of it and there is nothing like a full stop or even a semicolon in our performance. So, the joy that you look for must be brought right before the commencement of the work, while commencing, after commencement, during its progress as well as during its fruition plus planning the next item, next project on the basis of the fruition. This is what Krishna says:

    एवं प्रवर्तितं चक्रं नानुवर्तयतीह यः ।
    evaṁ pravartitaṁ cakraṁ nānuvartayatīha yaḥ |

    It is a cycle or a wheel that goes on revolving. It never stops.

    Harih Om Tat Sat Jai Guru.

  • PR 26 Mar 2016 - How to Introspect On a Verse
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru. 

    I will speak on what we discussed last night. Every time, when I try to speak on a verse or on a subject, if I get time, I think about it. Apart from thinking, when I speak, I don’t know, it may be my nature, ideas come anew also. But what I want to tell you is that if you are a seeker or a good student, you should try to develop your own reflectional, ruminational capacity and also orientation.

    The purpose of introspection is to make introspection itself as a sādhana. As you will do pooja, as you will chant and do hymns, in the same manner it is totally mental sādhana. The sādhana is focused solely on the mind. Try to bring as much of refinement and attunement in it. That means you have to be focused. Say, yesterday I discussed a verse,

    यस्त्विन्द्रियाणि मनसा नियम्यारभतेऽर्जुन ।
    कर्मेन्द्रियै: कर्मयोगमसक्त: स विशिष्यते ॥ ३.७ ॥
    yas-tv-indriyāṇi manasā niyamyārabhate’rjuna |
    karmendriyaiḥ karma-yogam-asaktaḥ sa viśiṣyate ||

    Yastu indriyāṇi manasā niyamyārabhate’rjuna. You can cut short these words, yaḥ tu - Whoever indeed. Cut away those words.

    Indriyāṇi manasā niyamya ārabhate’rjuna. The word ārabhate - begins, Arjuna - addressing Arjuna, they can be cut.

    karmendriyaiḥ karma-yogam - That also you can cut.

    Asaktaḥ sa viśiṣyate - That man excels. That also can be cut.

    So, how many words are there for you to understand your sādhana and practice it? Indriyāṇi manasā niyamya asaktaḥ. These are the only four words. You have to regulate and refine the senses with the mind. And regulating, you have to become asakta. Don’t you think the three words alone are to be focused? And in doing so, what are the factors involved? Indriyāṇi manasā niyamya. The whole sādhana is resting upon senses which interact with the objects and mind which regulates them.

    Asakthi is also to be a qualitative enrichment of the mind. So, what are the factors you have to concentrate on or you have to deal with? Only two - Mind and senses, senses and mind.

    Yah tu indriyāṇi manasā niyamya ārabhate Arjuna |
    karmendriyaiḥ karma-yogam-asaktaḥ sa viśiṣyate ||

    Altogether, twelve words are there. You can eliminate all the nine. And your focus has to be ‘manasā indriyāṇi’. The entire sādhana is done only by the mind because senses are the linking factor for us with the objects. The sādhana is to be applied on the senses. Even that you can eliminate. The sādhana is to be applied by the mind. So the mind is the sole focus.

    Unless you study the verse, you spend mental time to understand, to focus, I don’t think any sādhana you will be able to do. You may chant Bhagavad Gita repeatedly for thousands of times. I don’t think (you will progress). You are chanting, chanting, chanting is agreed. But are you applying, applying, applying? Where will you apply? And which is this agency or factor which does this application? 

    So, in the whole verse I find, all the other words can be used for understanding the concept and the message. But they don’t have any functional use. Functionally, you only have mind and senses. Senses also, I don’t think we have much to do. Our eyes will see. You cannot obstruct the eye from seeing, obstruct the ear from hearing. Then, what is this regulation? The regulation is only mental. The mind has to regulate. What does it mean? Let not the mind have a craving for seeing many things. So the regulation on the senses, it is to be again brought about, accomplished, thought about, applied in the mind. So the word ‘manasā’ is the only one you can make use of, apply on, the result also is to be known only in the mind.

    Just see, out of twelve words and thirty two letters, we have come to one word and three letters. How will you understand this? Unless you spend time in analyzing the whole verse. ‘What is the message? What is the message? And ultimately, what is that I have to do?’ I have to think about my eyes? Think about my ears? Not at all! They are fixed and they only have an outgoing capacity. When a sound is there, the ear will hear, you cannot close it. When a smell is there, the nose will feel it, you cannot close it. Mouth you can close. The skin you cannot close. Only eye and tongue. The rest of the three senses, you cannot close. So where is this regulation to be applied?  By the mind, in the mind, by the mind, in the mind, by the mind, in the mind, by the mind, in the mind.

    My dear children, will you start thinking, thinking, and doing this introspection? See, ever since the new bathroom was built in the new building where we are staying, the geyser was fixed there, and the switch is outside. I started switching off when I finished all my work in the bathroom, I come out, then I switch off. Now and then or very infrequently, Nutan Swamiji happens to come. The moment he comes, he will switch off. So I felt – “What is this? He is switching off and I am not?” So when can I earliest switch off? The moment I get out of the bathroom, to change my clothes, that is the time I can switch off. Nobody will expect me to switch off when I am inside the bathroom. So I exit from the bathroom first to put on my dress. At that time, I should  switch off.

    You know, I have been trying this for so many months now. Even now it deceives me. I have found a new method. I put on the chappals. So when I exit, if the chappals are placed in a manner that I insert my feet, then I miss the light behind. So I have decided, I will put the chappals in the reverse order. So I exit from the bathroom, I put on the chappals. Then I see the light. Even then, when my mind thinks about something else, I miss.

    Why I am telling you this is, at one point I thought, let me give it up. Maybe it is a discipline I may not be able to correct. See, it hurts me. It puts me into trouble (thinking) ‘What is this?’  But it is a very long habit. Maybe, it will take equal number of years for me to stabilize it because some impression is caused in the brain. It is not easy to obliterate it and replace, there is no mechanism. I don’t know whether the doctor will be able to do it with an operation.

    See, if I have to replace a habit, it is not easy at all. Many of the habits are formed. Some of the temptations are very strong. Nobody will know. You alone will know. So unless, I don’t like to say, you fight it out, you know how much of alertness is called for? Alertness? The word used is,

    श्रद्धावाँल्लभते ज्ञानं
    Śraddhāvān-labhate jñānaṁ
    (Bhagavad Gita 4.39)

    Śraddhāvān-labhate jñānaṁ. The word ‘śraddhā’ is ‘assiduous application’. Assiduous application of the senses where senses are called for, of the mind when the mind is called for, of the intelligence when that is the tool to be applied. And we have only these three - mind, intelligence and senses. Nothing else we have to apply. So in the whole verse, I am searching and searching and researching to find out how I can make you a sādhaka or a sādhika. 

    Yah tu indriyāṇi manasā niyamyārabhate’rjuna |
    karmendriyaiḥ karma-yogam-asaktaḥ sa viśiṣyate ||

    We have taken somebody to assist us in doing the Malayalam work. We asked her to read Ātmasaraṇiyil.  It seems she said, “I have read Ātmasaraṇiyil so many times, I don’t know how many times she has said, “It has become almost by heart for me. So please give me some other book.” So I asked her, “Have you read it so much? Have you understood? Then why don’t you write, if you have understood so much, you write whatever you have read.”

    “That much I have not read.”

    They will not read. So we are asking them to read, after making her an employee, during the working hours we are asking her to do it. But even then, I find a negative and indifferent response. 

    Today I am thinking of asking Medini to give her a dictation from Ātmasaraṇiyil alone. Let her give her fifty words, all from Ātmasaraṇiyil alone, a book which she says she has by hearted. Let us see what is the result. You understand the gap between, I don’t know between what, you yourself should tell me. Gap between, she says “I have read, I have by hearted, and it has become monotonous and repetitive for me.” That śraddhā is not there, śraddhā is not there.

    Śraddhāvān-labhate jñānaṁ. Here also, you can avoid jñānaṁ and labhate. Only one word śraddhāvān, ‘vān’ also you can remove, śraddhā ….  The man who has śraddhā, he alone gets knowledge. What is the śraddhā? This is what I am trying to explain.

    Our people are saying, “Swamiji, You are taking Gita so very well.” Because there is no hurry, I am trying to go through, go through everything, try to link up, a task which I have not done earlier in my own life. I know that this is the essence of Bhagavad Gita. This is the…..

    There was always a kind of a newness in my understanding and I always proceeded with the premise that I will not read any commentary, I will not read any other book, I will try to speak on Gita in the manner in which Krishna would have wanted to speak. It is his dialogue. Let me explain his dialogue as he would explain it. This was my attunement right from the beginning.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

 

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Poojya Swamiji says that the real focus

  • of devotional practices is not God, but the devotee's own mind and behaviour;
  • of karmayoga is not action but the attitude of the mind with which an action is performed;
  • of knowledge is not knowledge, but the purification and expansion of the seeker's mind.

Swamiji's Teachings

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Poojya Swamiji says that the real focus

  • of devotional practices is not God, but the devotee's own mind and behaviour;
  • of karmayoga is not action but the attitude of the mind with which an action is performed;
  • of knowledge is not knowledge, but the purification and expansion of the seeker's mind.

 

NSJi-HmPgSwami Nirviseshananda Tirtha

Swami Nirviseshananda Tirthaji, a renunciate disciple of Poojya Swamiji, is known for his scientific expositions which are a source of inspiration to seekers.  Read More...

MaJi-HmPg-White

Ma Gurupriya

A disciple of Poojya Swamiji, Ma is the loving mother of Poojya Swamiji's devotees around the world. Devotion and service remain the predominant forces shaping Ma's life.  Read More...

Recordings of Poojya Swamiji's Talks

Bhagavad Gita : A Topic for Research - 1

Bhagavad Gita : A Topic for Research - 2


 

Vicharsetu
Vicharasethu 
Vicharasethu is a monthly journal in English and Hindi, edited and published by Poojya Swamiji. It is also published in Malayalam by the name Vicharasarani. With Articles, Correspondance, Guidance for Sādhana and News updates from the Ashram, these monthly publications are a great guide for the earnest sādhaka. 
 
₹100.00  

Devotees hold periodic meetings at their own locations wherein the teachings and messages of Swamiji are heard, read and discussed with a view to comprehend and arrive at their essence and make it a functional note in their life. This section provides resources to facilitate the proceedings at such gatherings. Read More ....

How to chant Bhagavad Gita

How to chant Viṣṇusahasranāma

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