"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. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

I don't know what I shall talk to you today. You must have known by now that this Swami as also our Ashram, we have primarily and also solely to speak only about Brahmavidya Abhyasa and the ultimate outcome of the Abhyasa namely, Jeevan Mukti, Self Realization and fulfillment. As I say it is Brahmavidya Abhyasa, I would also like to add and emphasize that this is a pursuit, a process and the art of inner experientialism. In Brahmavidya, the only factor that is getting involved and also getting better and better in the form of purity, refinement, expansion, elevation and enlightenment, it is our mind. Unless you are able to understand everything in terms of the mind, because mind is constantly linked with all the activities and experiences you have, unless you are able to link everything with the mind, the sadhana is not going to be continuous or extensive. In this matter, what exactly counts is an important point.

I think what counts is in the generality of cases, a proper guidance. This guidance is not just like a guidance you receive in a laboratory for your degree courses. That is also a guidance, that is guidance in the objective sphere. But here we require guidance in the subjective sphere. What is the mind? How is it getting formed? How does the mind get agitated? How to lead it to contentment? What is a thought? Is it really there? What is an emotion? What is meant by doubt and what is knowledge? Our Sastras have revealed all these points in several places. In Bhagavad Gita it is there. In Bhagavatam it is there. In the Upanishads it is there. In many places, many aspects of this realizational science are mentioned. But what I find is that people don't get to them, if at all they get to them, they don't get impressed by them, to be guided by them. So this guidance will be necessary from a Sadguru who has realized the truth.

Is it again one of going to the Guru and asking him for the guidance? “Yes I have got the guidance, I go my way.” No, like Ekalavya did, no it is not. You have to have an interaction with the Guru. In the interaction, if the Guru is vocal and he is quite active and interactive, then most of the learning takes place by looking at him and trying to understand how things are working in him. And whenever you dialogue with him, you can ask him whatever you want but the discussion should primarily be on the mind and its behavior.

Why I mentioned this? Yesterday a few people came to see me. There was one person who was not very tall, a little fat, the whole head is shaven and grey hair. Then after the Bhojana-pavitrikaranam, he told me, “I would like to talk to you privately.” So I said, “I will come back after my food, you also take food.” Then he came. I asked the other people to go away from the satsang hall, then I started listening to him. He went on telling me that he was right from the young age wanting to take up sannyasa, be a sannyasin and many, many things happened. He was associated with Ramakrishna Mission, some Swamis also. He also happened to read Sri Aurobindo’s books. He wanted to read divine life, after knowing about integral yoga. He could not get the book, he went to Palghat in Vijnana Ramaneeyam there was one Sureshwarananda Swami or so is there, he was told the book is there. But he was asked, “Why are you running about? There are one or two cooked rice pieces in a huge quantity of water. Should you drink all the water or only those two pieces?” Then he said, “Unless I drink, how will I know the two pieces are there in the bottom? How to get at them?” The Swami was happy. But he was having a paralytic attack, he could not take. Some days later, he said, “Somebody would come and I will give book.” etc. etc.

He said “I am the follower of Ramana Maharshi.” And he said he can sit three hours without any thought. I said, “Three hours?” “Yes.”

“First of all, I don’t know whether what you mean by 'without thought' and what I mean, they are the same. If you are able to sit without any kind of a movement in the consciousness sphere inside the body for three hours, it is not a small matter at all; it is something very great.”

“It is absolutely no thought and I am simply in.”

“As Ramana Maharshi says, you have to enquire with the source of ‘I’, I reached there.” Now the next statement he made was, “I get stuck up.”

I said, “What? You get stuck up? When you have reached the very source of everything, you get stuck up? I don’t think it is right at all! Why do you feel you have got stuck up? The source of thought, the source of mind, is the source of the entire creation!”

I don’t know whether my words had any impact in him. Then he said, “I still want to take up sannyasa and after taking up sannyasa, I don’t want to be anywhere. I want to go to a place where I will see nobody and none will see me."

I said, “True sannyasa means leaving all your income. Are you a pensioner?”

“Yes.” He retired as a Senior Divisional Engineer in BSNL.

“How much pension do you have?”

“Twenty thousand rupees.”

“So true sannyasa means you will have to leave it.”

He said, “I am prepared to write a letter to the government saying that I don’t want pension.” His wife is retired as a head mistress. She must also be a pensioner.

“I have done all my jobs and responsibilities.”

I said, “The type of sannyasa and the post-sannyasa settlement that you look for is something very, very unique and intriguing. Only providentially you will have to be led there. Suppose you come to the Ashram here, you can stay for a week, a month or even two. But this is not a place where you will not be seen by others and you cannot see others. So you must have such a surrender and such an attunement that providentially a place like that will be found out.”

Then I called his wife. “See, he speaks about all this. I would not like any disharmony to be in your house because of his sannyasa flair.” They said “No. We are quite happy with each other.” etc.

Now why I am presenting it before you is that if a person is a follower of Ramana Maharshi and by virtue of the self-enquiry process he is able to reach a stage where no thought, no movement, no vibration within takes place and that too for three hours, I don’t know what further is to be achieved. Then why is it that he feels, “I get stuck up there.” What is it that makes him say, “I feel I have got stuck up.” Tell me, what is he lacking now? He has reached almost an impasse in his sadhana. Normally it should be the best of enlightenment for him is what I feel. This is what Gaudapada says

योगिनो बिभ्यति ह्यस्मादभये भयदर्शिन:।।
Yogino bibhyati hyasmādabhaye bhayadarśinaḥ ||
(Gaudapada Karika 3.39)

Even the practitioners of yoga, find fear here and they see fear in fearlessness. What is that state when you have no thought, no mind? What is there further to be had, look for, attain? But still it gives discontent, it is not able to give fulfillment. Now you tell me. What does such a seeker need? This is what I mean by right guidance.

You must have a teacher or anybody, don’t call him a teacher and a Knower of Truth who has got the capacity both in words, in mind, in mood etc. to welcome the seeker, to guide him, to tell him and even remove the last doubt in his mind. And the seeker on his part must be able to develop such unflinching reliance, fondness and restfulness on such a teacher. If this takes place, you will find the seeker fulfills himself and flourishes extremely well.

I would like you to think about this episode and it should be a masterpiece of information and guidance for you in your life of seeking. “I get stuck up! I get stuck up! I don’t know where to go.”

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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