"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.

See, I was thinking what I should talk today. I felt that I should talk to you about what is the sādhana and why is it that you don’t feel sufficient progress there or at least an inspiration and commitment to do the sādhana. I don’t know whether you are missing the focal point.

In Bhagavat Gita, there is a statement ‘vyavasāyātmikā buddhir-ekeha kuru-nandana (Bhagavad Gita 2.41)’ .

He says, “Your buddhi has to become very res­­olute, very determined in this.” he says. We are reading it, 'vyavasāyātmikā buddhi’, I have also read it. But I am wondering whether you have thought as to what does it mean in actual sādhana in our life? What is meant by this 'vyavasāyātmikā buddhi'?

In the whole subject of self and self-realization, the focus is always on the self. You should not get away from the self. What is that "focus on the self" means? One is the self, “I am the self”. And as the self, I don’t have anything to get or anything to give. I don’t have anything to gain or I don’t have anything to lose. When you are able to get into a state that, "I don’t have anything to gain or I don’t have anything to lose", that indicates a kind of a fullness. This fullness should be your focus.

Now, the the trouble that is created often or always is our mind swings and swerves. It can swing and swerve by virtue of its own action like desire, maybe hatred. Whenever you have hatred, you have hatred invariably towards something or someone. Forget about the hatred. Desire can be for anything. I want to have money, I want to be great, I want this or I want that. That desire is a self-generated propulsion. Now, this desire means you have slipped from the self concept. In your sādhana, have you ever brought this self as a point, a focus, by virtue of which all your thoughts and actions will be tested and verified? I am wondering, you should tell me individually whether you are doing it.

Suppose I have a grief, why am I having grief? What is the reason? On which account am I becoming aggrieved? Because I am the self. There should be no grief for me. I am the self, there is no desire, there cannot be any desire for me, because the basic proposition is that we are the self. And at the self level, nothing is happening, no action proceeds from there and no effect is going to befall. Our body is born or was born, but the self is not born. The body will die, the self will not die. If the first point and the last point are not true of the self, everything in between also is not true of the self. Have you taken this kind of an introspection? ‘X’, have you ever taken it? I mean, then what else is the self point?

Even the deeksha that I have given you, it tells you and reminds you constantly that you are the self. And whenever that proposition is violated or it is vitiated, you must take it into your heart. "Why am I? Why am I?" I may have poverty with me. Should I allow this poverty to make the self also poor? My poverty can be economic. It can be mental. It can be intellectual. But all these poverties do not touch the horizon of the self. I am saying, "I am the self." So as the self, I have no poverty. As the self, I have no affectation. Unless this self-questioning is made, I don’t think you can have any progress.

Once you start making this self-questioning, at one time our ‘Y’ felt so angry towards nature and also unpleasant about God that her sister was taken away by the mountain. One day she told me, “I don’t like to see anything. I am very angry about God.” See, I am wondering, what are these two? I said “You are a seeker who has come to the Ashram, and you are a Brahmachāriṇi and being a Brahmachāriṇi, can you have this kind of a thinking? What has happened? All the people are taken away by the earth. We are born in the earth, we fall on the earth and we are taken away by the elements. In one case, it was a little premature or earlier. Are we to worry about it? And how can we allow our mind to be vitiated by a development of this kind over which we have no control?" Just see, where are you as a seeker and what are you doing?

So, unless this self-questioning is had, I don’t think there can be any improvement. And what prevents you from questioning like this? Because you don’t require any special education or scholarship. Mā always speaks about reading śāstras, reading śāstras. You know what I am feeling? We have explained to you so much of śāstras in this Ashram. And any one of you, upto now nobody comes to me and tells me that “Swamiji, we are reading śāstras. It does a lot of good for us, we have learned this. But in this particular point, I would like you to explain it so that I can apply it to myself." See, all our discussions are aimed at the self, aimed at your own mind. Unless that mind impact is there for the discussion and for the revelation, I don’t know what is the point in discussing. We always call it experiential, experiential, experiential. So much of manana we are doing for you. Our lecture is your manana. So this so much of manana we are causing for you and if all these manana does not produce the necessary effect, I cannot say what else can be done.

So, I would like you to let me know, where is the trouble. Sometimes Mā is asking that, "Are we not bringing them up properly? Is there something is wrong and deficient in our guiding them or looking after them?” (Nutan) Swamiji is taking the class regularly. You know what I am feeling? We have taken so many classes for you. Teaching, teaching, what is this teaching? You know, a good student, whenever they discuss Brahma Sūtrās, they take only four sūtrās. The first four sūtrās. The rest of the sūtrās are left for the students to learn by themselves.

Pāṇini Ashtādhyāyi or something like that, it is never taught in full. Only the first one or two chapters are taught. And then, the children or the students become sufficiently knowledgeable and inquisitive so that they can learn by themselves the rest of the text. How long can we go on discussing, discussing, discussing, discussing? See, in a satsang also, some of you should say, "What is this, what is this? A particular shloka is there, we are thinking but we are not able to understand it, please let us know something." You know I think that involvement from your side, see, you may move about and do the work in the Ashram physically, it is involving. But mentally, this is where I tell you a verse,

गच्छतस्तिष्ठतो वापि जाग्रतः स्वपतोऽपि वा ।
न विचारमयं चेतो यस्यासौ मृत उच्यते ।।
gacchatas-tiṣṭhato vāpi jāgrataḥ svapato'pi vā
na vicāramayam ceto yasyāsau mṛta ucyate
(Yogavasishtaramayanam, Upaśamaprakaranam 93-15)

Gacchata – While he is moving,  tiṣṭhata - Sitting, svapata - Sleeping, jāgrataḥ - Wakeful.

If a person’s mind is not given to vicāra, consider that he is a dead man. This is what Vasishtha tells Sri Rama. Why don’t you apply this verse? What prevents you from reflecting upon this? After all, it is only one thing to be reflected upon, your mind, your intelligence, your self, what else is it? Can you not reflect upon it even when you are doing seemingly physical activities? Physical activities can be anything. Even then, self reflection need not go at all. It should be a corollary of your activity.

So what I am feeling is that, how to make you get involved in this sādhana process? This sādhana is sitting in a place, trying to get absorbed, keeping the mantra that you have as a help for the purpose. This is one side. But it is far more otherwise. When you get up and again till you sit, there are a number of hours for you. During these hours you must be completely involved in reflectiveness, rumination and reflection. And the reflection need not be anything big, it can be very, very small and simple also. "Why am I getting agitated?" Agitation is there, I agree. The moment agitation is there, your purpose will be, your view should be, "I must dissolve it." Where will you dissolve? In your own mind. What has produced this agitation? Your mind. And what is process for it? Introspection.

That introspection should be as I always say, truthful introspection and infusional introspection. The introspection should infuse into the mind whatever you want, the agitation should be lessened, lessened, lessened and dissolved. Maybe one subject will require three, four or five or six installments of introspection. But for doing introspection, you need not wait for a special time. It can be in between your work because all the work does not require our mind’s absorption.

Many of the work that we are doing, many of the items of work we are doing are routine. Say, taking bath. How much of concentration you have to give for taking bath, answering the calls of nature, even eating, having a stroll, doing some work in the kitchen, serving people. Our mind has got tremendous capacity, as modern people say multi-tasking. At least you should do double tasking, triple tasking at least you must be able to do if not multi. Do you think there is any substance in what I say? Why is it that…? I have been telling ‘Y’ time and again, time and again, time and again, "Why are you allowing, why are you allowing you minds to be unnecessarily eaten up by the others?" What is the reason, I don’t know? Why don’t you take up this - "My mind, I will make it cheerful. Any cheerlessness is caused by my mind. External causes may be there. I am becoming cheerless. Why should I become cheerless on account of other things?"

In Calcutta, we met one of the friends of, classmates of Mā. That lady is going out and working. Her husband is suffering from dementia. It appears, one day he went out of the house and he could not come back. So, she says, "I am so much concerned about my husband." Is there any greater worry for any one of you here in the Ashram? See, dementia is so much that he doesn’t know what he will do. “So I have to look after my (husband).” And she was very cheerful, nicely speaking, not with a heaviness and she is going for work and doing things. So, this is a permanent source of agitation for her so far as this life is concerned. Nobody likes the husband to be dementia oriented. So it is a fact we have to accept in our life. It is like that.

Yesterday in Parlikad, ‘K’, one of my old schoolmate, he says he has totally become dementia and completely taken over. He says that “I don’t want to live like this.”, and all that. Suppose there is a problem in the house, we have to live with the problem. Somebody has died. You may say anything that you want. The person has died is a fact. What will you do? Either please die yourself along with him or you reconcile with the fact that I have to live without him. Two options are there. Die with him or keep quiet and reconcile with the development that he is not there. Is it not simple arithmetic? Why do require philosophy here? Even then, you cannot allow your mind to be cheerless and heavy. So, I think this introspection you should always do. Will you do it for one week and let me know? Okay.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

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