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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
We are not able to get from our scriptural and other treatises, what exactly is the message and how does it relate to us, in which manner does it have its applicational relevance. Nobody worries about it. People will go on chanting Vishnu Sahasranāma, Vishnu Sahasranāma, Vishnu Sahasranāma, but what is this Vishnu Sahasranāma and why should we chant it? In chanting, what is the effective part of it? When will we miss the purport, when we will gain it? This kind of an introspection normally never occupies anybody. So it becomes a kind of a parrot-like repetition you can say. Even then, it has some effect.
Normally if you approach Vishnu Sahasranāma in a very sensitive and attentive manner, what you will get by reciting it a hundred times, you will not be able to get even when you recite it otherwise for a thousand or ten thousand times. In all that you do, it is that mental application and attention that matter. When are we going to understand it?
Yesterday we had a discussion on Bhagavad Gita and one remark that was thrown was, I am only using it as an occasion to speak, there is no critical note here. See, whether Krishna spoke to Arjuna and Arjuna heard it and then forgot it, he had to be told again, therefore, what are we trying to make out? I will also hear and forget and again I will have to hear. Okay, you read it again. You don’t want a further repetition. In the case of Krishna and Arjuna, Krishna’s speech was not recorded and it was not available in print. So Arjuna asked him to say once again. In your case, you don’t have the problem. The Bhagavad Gita is there, why don’t you read it again?
Now, why are we quoting this instance to say that Arjuna forgot it? Everybody will forget. Is a knowledge to be forgotten? Or it is to be made vibrant and active in you? See, in what way Arjuna’s forgetting it matters to us? For us, the book is available and you can read it as many times as you want. And let us keep Krishna away and the Arjuna away. It has come from the skies. Even then, if it has got a meaning, message and relevance to us, we should absorb it.
In this background, I want to tell you that the success of human life, not merely spiritual life consists in making the spiritual understanding and pursuit concurrent in your life, collateral in your life, co-existential with the daily activities of your life. In this background, I have a simple formula to tell you. What is that formula? Please do not practice devotion, do not practice devotion and struggle. The better way will be become a devotee. If you become a devotee, all that you do will become devotional. Suppose you practice devotion, you may miss the practice. So between the two propositions, 'becoming a devotee' and 'practicing devotion', I would like to say, the former, becoming a devotee is easier.
What prevents you from saying, "I am a devotee of the Lord."? Similarly, do not practice your sādhana but become a studious seeker once and for all. You declare to yourself: "I am a seeker." If I am a seeker, anything that you do will be seekerly. My getting up in the morning, my bathing, my going to the office, doing procedures there, 'I am a seeker' and all that you do will be seeker-oriented, seeker-friendly, seeker-born, seeker-subsisting. See, it is a very simple way!
See, the entire world we say is a child or a santati, a creation of God. The earth also is a creation. So we are a denizen, a resident of the earth. If the earth is a creation of God, are we not creations of God? So as an individual you have to say, "I am a creation of God." In other words, "I am a son or a daughter of God." Now if you feel this, how many times will you have to feel it? Every one of us is either a son or a daughter of our parents. And we are born as a son or a daughter and you continue to live as one. You may marry, you may have children, you may go abroad, you may change your job, whatever happens to you, it is an extension of your sonhood or daughterhood. Similarly, if you become a seeker, everything that I do will be an extension of my seekerhood. In order to strike this position, what is your problem, my dear souls?
One day you declare: "My dear God, I am devoted to you and I am a devotee." All that you will need is, as a devotee, is there any inconsistency in me, a disharmony in me? Can I enrich, deck and decorate myself more? What shall I do? We have got so many writings on what constitutes excellence in devotion.
Our Nimi Chakravarthy while he was performing a yāga, suddenly unexpectedly nine yogis entered the sacrificial site. Being a Mahārāja he understood they were unique people, great people. He welcomed them, made them sit, gave them some water etc. Then he sat in their front cross-legged. All the priests and ritwiks, they also took their seat. And then he said that, “It is very rare to have your vision and a little association with you. The Gods and angels of the heaven, they are just following humans." Mark my expression. "Whatever we do, they follow. If we praise them, they are happy. If we disregard them, they will disregard us. So it is just like a mirror image of ours. If I smile in front of a mirror, the mirror will smile. If I look gloomy, छायेव कर्मसचिवाः (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.2.6), they are just like the shadow. Whereas your movement in the world and a little association you give to the people, it is extremely ennobling, rewarding and enriching. So I am greatly blessed."
I don’t think his yāga would have given him anything at all except burning all the materials offered to the fire and saying that, "I have performed a yāga." It began at a point of time, at another point of time it would end, that’s all! But here, these yogis came, so he asked, “Please tell me something about Bhāgavata Dharmās.” What does it mean? Dharma means either characteristics or behavioral traits or highlights or features of devotees. "Please let me know what are the characteral, behavioral and interactional features of the devotees." Each of the yogis began to speak from his point of view and we have an assortment of rendering from a set of nine yogis. The entire subject of human life, the world around him, the interaction between the two, the subterranean world, the celestial worlds, everything about human life is discussed and disposed of there.
Why I said this? Declare that "I am a devotee" and if necessary, come to know what are the devotee’s excellences or qualities, now and then read them. Apart from reading, I don’t think you have to do anything. You read to be exposed to. When you read and understand that it is so, instantly if you have a receptive mind, the mind will have received it, stored it, intensified it and made it manifest in your life. Please at least take what I say. In the whole of my life, I have never struggled to cultivate a quality at all. If it’s a quality, what does it mean? It is very beautiful, very nice. Suppose you are a lover of gold and I hold a beautiful ornament before you, you will simply say, "Extend your hand", take it and put it on your neck. In the same manner, qualities also can be possessed, owned up, provided you know that it is a quality enriching to us and I am a seeker of it.
A man who looks for quality, he will always receive it, imbibe it from wherever it is available. So make spiritual life a smooth flow. Make it collateral with your daily, weekly, monthly, yearly activities. Never separate any part of your life from spirituality. You are a spiritual being. Your body is only a perimeter in you. You are a spiritual being in every sight that you have, sound that you hear, smell that you receive, taste that you beget and touch you feel. It is not the dead body that feels but it is the living body. That livingness is the spirit. So you are a spiritual person every time. Realize this and feel that everything in your life is an extension and expression of the spiritual presence in yours. Make it collateral, co-existential and concurrent in your life.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.